- Skins & Decals (PDF, AI, SVN, etc.)
**Please read the Hints and Tips at the bottom before printing and building!**
It is advisable that you download the full plans and have them available for viewing before beginning your build. You will need them for reference as score lines as they are not represented on the skin kits. These are not for beginners! You must be comfortable with the flite Test build method. I would also advise you build a mini P51 before attempting this. I learned much from my first build.
Old Crow Page sizes: 8.5X11 and 11X17
“Bud” Andersons P51 Mustang “Old Crow” Clarence Emil "Bud" Anderson (born January 13, 1922) is a retired officer in the United States Air Force and a triple ace of World War II. During the war he was the highest scoring flying ace in his P-51 Mustang squadron. This was the same squadron as well known test pilot (and first pilot to break the sound barrier) and ace Chuck Yeager, and they have remained lifelong close friends. Towards the end of Anderson's two combat tours in Europe in 1944 he was promoted to major at 22, a young age even for a highly effective officer in wartime. After the war Anderson became a well regarded fighter test pilot, and a fighter squadron and wing commander. He served his wing commander tour in combat in the Vietnam War. He retired as a full colonel in 1972, after which he worked in flight test management for McDonnell Douglas. A member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Anderson has remained a sought after speaker at aviation and military events well into his 90s.
"Paul I" Page sizes: 8.5X11 and 11X17
Paul I is a P51 currently on display at the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, WI. This aircraft belonged to the late Paul Poberezny. Paul was widely considered as the first person to have universalized the tradition of aircraft homebuilding. Through his work with EAA, he had the reputation of inspiring millions of people to get involved in grassroots aviation.
Note the different color on the bottom/back of the fuselage. I had to reprint that part on a different printer and, no surprise, I got a different color. Something to consider when you decided where to print your plane. I also edited the blue stripe on the fuse in front of the canopy to make it extend more down the side of the fuse to look more like the full scale.
"Bunny” Page sizes: 11X17
A P51 that, when not flying, can be seen at the Palm Springs Air Museum. In 2012 the plane #8217 exterior was painted with the markings of the P-51 flown by Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Bob Friend. On February 28, 2015 “Bunny” was unveiled with several Tuskegee Airmen in attendance. These heroes signed the top of the left stabilizer something that is also reflected on the model. I also love the fact that this aircraft continued the tradition of having a pin up girl on the nose. Bunny is scheduled to be available for rides in the Spring of 2017.
Note: Since there is no real silver printing in CMYK, I did Bunny in a light grey. The up side is that the details really stand out!
Hints and Tips
- Printing - Please check your Print Dialog box and make sure that under "Page Size & Handling" that the "Actual size" button is checked and NOT the "Fit" button. If "Fit" was chosen it can result in smaller sized prints even when the correct paper size is selected. So far this one tip, if not done, has wasted more time and money than anything else!
- Again this is not a beginner build! You must be comfortable with the flite Test build method.
- It is advisable that you download the full plans and have them available for viewing before beginning your build. You will need them for reference as score lines are not on the skin kits.
- The extra turtle deck - It was the one piece I had the most issue with. The extra non-curved one was a last minute fail safe. In case something went wonky with a build, the builder would have this to use as a backup to custom cut.
- The horizontal stab - Do not cut out the tabs that engage the fuse on the top (blue) skin. It is unnecessary and will detract from the look.
- The Wing - I opted to just remove all the paper and only use the skins. I think after the spar is in it will be more than sufficiently strong. Take extra care in trimming the edges where the wing halves come together.
- The fuselage - Peel off the paper from just one side of the foam.
- When a piece has two sides covered with skins:
- Rough cut one side from the paper
- Take an appropriate sized section of foam and peal the paper from both sides
- Glue it to the foam
- Trim the foam to the skin (art)
- Trim the other side of the skin from the paper
- Carefully align the second side to the foam
- The bottom of the fuselage - Take extra care when gluing the two bottom sections into place. Panel lines should line up and the paper on the edges should be flush for a clean look.
- Sheeting - To keep the color between pieces the same I printed out everything on the same paper - 24lbs bond although 20lbs bond would work as well and save a little weight. For parts that require card stock, I just glue the printed paper skin to a black sheet of the same paper then cut the piece out.
- Sharpie Touch Ups - Use an appropriate color Sharpie for touch ups.
- Weathering Tip - Use a silver fine tip Sharpie to simulate paint chipping.
- Landing Gear - You have several options in the gear and bay area. As a belly lander, cut and glue part of the gear bay doors so it overlaps the wing and fuselage. For a mustang with gear down, cut and glue in the "open bay" graphic, Again overlap the wing and fuse. Use the remaining gear doors to make yourself some killer looking landing gear! Can't wait for someone to do this!
- Belly Landings - Protect you P51 doing belly landings so it stays awesome looking longer. Using packing tape on the undersides of the fuselage.
- I tried a version of localfiend's clear canopy and it came out ok. I really think it needs a paper model cockpit when a clear canopy is used.