Airfix 1/72 P-51D Mustang finished and decalled as USAF F-51D Mustang

F-51D Mustang, USAF Korea circa 1950

This Mustang was one of the pair I purchased from Aldi (see previous blog post SAAF F-51D) and was built alongside teh SAAF version.

Decals came from the same sheet as the SAAF decals. As mentioned before, I was a little disapointed with the Print Scale decals. They are very thin, which is useful as they look good once applied, but boy were they a pain to use! They would fold at the dropof a hat, in fact a couple could not be used as they just curled up in to a ball! Also, the registration/line up of the USA ‘bars and stars’ was out, so had to purchase some extras from MicroScale decals.

It is a shame about the decals, as Print Scale do some very interesting sets, but I personally will not be buying them again. Still have a couple of options left on the sheet I purchased (72-300), which I will attempt to use in another build, espcially the RAAF version.

Print Scale Decal sheet 72-300

The actual build of the Airfix kit (A68208) was quite easy, no real issues to name. The under carriage seems a little fragile, but this seems to be the case with most smaller 1/72 kits.

Painted the aluminium using Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium thinned with Tamiya X-20A Thinner which I have to say, sprayed perfectly for me. Will be moving over to Tamiya paints when I need to buy replacements. For the black areas, I used Vallejo Model Air Black 71.057, which I actaully find sprays OK.

Anyway, lets see the finished article…

Airfix P-51D Mustang (A68208), painted as SAAF F-51D Mustang

F-51D Mustang, SAAF Korea 1950

Managed to pick up 2 P-51D Mustang starter sets earlier in the year for £4.99 each from Aldi. The good thing about the P-51D, is that it was still in use during the early part of the Cold War, especially in Korea.

So after getting the 2 and adding them to my stash, the next step was to find some suitable decals for them. I came across a set by a company called Print Scale. Was so pleased to find a set that had a good mixture of options, that I did an impulsive purchase, without doing any research on the quality of the decals.

Well when they arrived, I was quite surprised to see that the US ‘bars and stars’ plus the Korean equivilent were tout of register! Looking at the photos on the small instruction leaflet of aircraft in Korea, the Korean markings do actual look out of register, but the US were not.

However, the set also included some SAAF (South Afirican Airforce) and some RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) markings, which all looked good.

Print Scale decals.

The build of the Mustang did not throw up any nasty surprises, fit was generally quite good. Only issues I had with the build were the under carriage was a bit fiddly and feels flimsy, the front windscreen was not a good fit, but that may be more down to me, and the aerial could not be removed from the spru tree without breaking.

A first for me with this build was using Tamiya acrylics for spraying, and I must admit, I was really pleased with how easy the Tamiya paints were to spary, will certainly be moving over to them when I can.

Now back to the decals, they are a complete pain to use, very thin (which is a good thing), but fold over as soon as you try to remove them from the backing sheet, so much care was required when appying them.

Hope to have a USAF version up on the blog soon.

Anyway, the result, for me, is not too bad.


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ScaleMates stash manager

Are you on SacleMates? I joined when I started getting back into model making.

My ScaleMates wall

At first I just used it to catalogue my stash, which is a very useful feature for keeping track of what yo have got. But as I looked around the site, I found it had some more useful sections, such as:

Projects – if you are like me, you’ll have lots of ideas buzzing around in your head for projects. Well with ScaleMates you can start documenting your project ideas, add kits in your stash to the project, or add kits from a wish list to the project. You can also add notes etc., and link photo albums to the project. I’ve found this very useful.

Screen shot of part of my Projects in ScaleMates

Stash Manager – probably the main reason for using ScaleMates. Great for checking at a glance what you have. Sometimes I forget what I’ve got, or how many of each type, and I’v only got a modest stash. You can also mark as kit as being part of a project, if it has been started and when it is completed.

Stash manager screen shot

Wish list – as mentioned above, you can even create a wish list of kits. When you add a kit to the list, if another member has it for sale, or any of the shops that are connected to ScaleMates have it in their stock, you have the option to purcahse that kit, very handy.

Wish list screen shot

Newsfeed – and of course the social side of the site, where you can see what other modellers are doing and interact, or just broswe and marvel at others modelling skills.

Kit History – When you add a kit to your stash etc., you will then be able to see the history of that particular kit:

This is just a very small selection of what is available within the ScaleMates site, and all for free. If you want to take a look, pop along to If you join and want to connect, then my nickname is JOTCW.

Have I found my perfect paint?

Since getting back in to this model making lark, I have struggled with airbrushing. I’ve read many posts and watched many YouTube videos on the subject, but have always felt it has been a bit of a struggle to get a paint to work happily with my airbrushes.

Well I think I have just found the paint that works for me, Tamiya acrylic paints. I have 2 F-51D Mustang builds going on at the moment (will blog about them when done). And I was dreading getting a good (for me) aluminium finish. So I took the plunge and got myself a pot of Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium and some Tamiya X-20A Thinner .

The next step was to add the thinner direct in to the paint pot. This way, I won’t have to worry about the ratio each time I want to spray the paint. Got the info from the following YouTube video:

As you can see from the photo below, the results (for me) were not bad. Oh the 1/48 Mosquito is my model for airbrush practice.

Tamiya acrylic and thinner example
My first results with Tamiya acrlics used for airbrushing.

Airfix RAF Red Arrows Gnat (starter set 1:72 A55105)

Well here it is, my 2nd Cold War related model build. I’ll admit, I had some issues putting this one together. That is not a reflection on the quality of the kit, but on my lack of building skills.

It is actually a very nice kit, with some lovely detail and panel lines, which you’ll be able to see from the photos. However being a small aircraft to start with in real life, it is also quite small and fiddly to build (for me) as a 1:72 scale kit.

Things I would do differently next time I build this particular kit (2 more in the stash), is to leave the main under carriage off until building is complete. I added it as per instructions, but managed to break them when removing the blue-tak that I had used to mask the wheel wells.

Not matter how careful I was with the aerial fins during construction, I still managed to break 2 off, and one almost off. Sod’s law, I lost the two that broke off, but replaced them with some plastic cut from some spare plastic I had.

Paints used were Vallejo grey primer and Hataka Signal Red from their ‘Modern Royal Air Force Paint Set Vol.3’. I first for me on this model, was to mask the canopy and spray paint it while it was attached to the aircraft. Previously, I have always hand painted canopy frames. Can see from the photos, that its not as neat as I would have hoped.

Decals went on well, and settled well with microscale Sol.

Overall, fairly pleased with the end result considering I did struggle at times with this kit. However, still need to improve seam line removal, spraying skills and canopy masking.

Useful bits:



Airfix Hunting Percival Jet Provost T.4 (starter set 1:72)

I actually completed this kit last year (2017), apart from some non Cold War figures and a Spitfire Mk1 this was the only kit completed in 2017.

The reason I chose the Red Pelican’s, is that I wanted this to be my first airbrushed kit. Therefore I wanted to keep the painting quite simple, in this case just red. Also, I have kept away from any pre-shading and weathering just so I could concentrate on getting the airbrushing right.

The kit went together relatively well, just some issues with the fit of the cockpit tub, which required some trimming. Also the seam line on the nose took some work to hide (not sure I did completely). 

Once built and ready to paint, I primed it with Vallejo Grey Surface Primer. The next step once I was happy that I’d got all the seam lines sorted etc., was to spray the red colour. For this I used Hataka paints, the ‘Modern Royal Air Force Paint Set Vol.3’. (Red set for airbrush).

Both the Vallejo primer and the Hataka red went on well, any imperfections in the finish is totally down to my lack of experience. I hope to see my spraying skills improve over time.

Considering this one is my first airbrushed kit, I’m quite happy with the result. OK it’s not perfect, but I’m still in the learning stage, especially getting the paint to the correct consistency and the right pressure on the airbrush.

The anti dazzle area was hand painted, would prefer it to be better, but this is a learning curve.

Anyway, here is the finished model. I do have some more Jet Provosts in the stash, so expect to see some more in the future.


Useful bits:


Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’ve got a couple of Gnats on the work bench, so hope to have one of those featured soon.

Happy to take constructive crits.


Model Making Blog

This is my first post in what I hope will be a record of my journey of getting back in to model making. 

When I was younger I used to build quite a few model kits, aircraft, AFV’s and figures. Then life happened and I stopped making model kits. Over the years I would look at models in shops and even got one or two, but never really made a effort to re-start the hobby.

Well last year I did start again, and boy have things changed! Thought my old “skill” would suffice, yeah….no! So it is basically re-learning new skills, which is a bit frustrating at times, but great fun.

As this is an Cold War themed website, I will only chat about my Cold War builds, this may also include vehicles and figures, but the majority will be aircraft.

At the moment, I’m building 1/72 and 1/144 scale aircraft, but I’m considering trying some 1/48 scale kits, once funds allow.

Talking of funds, I’m a member of the Amazon Associates scheme, so I will be linking useful items to the Amazon site, if you buy after clicking on the link, I get a small commission from Amazon.

Oh, must also mention, that not only am I trying to improve my building skills, I decided I’d also start using an airbrush!

Well I hope you join me on this journey, I’m always happy to receive constructive criticism.

If you are on and want to connect, my nick name is JOTCW.

Jets Of the Cold War Gnat and Jet Provost
Airfix 1:72 Red Arrows Gnat and Red Pelicans Jet Provost.