357th FG Profile

P-51B "American Girl"

2nd Lt. Alden Smith's P-51B "American Girl"

Summer 1944

Modeler Tips:

Side View Notes:

A. Rear red band on propeller boss extends onto spinner to leading edge of blades when in neutral pitch. Determine width of yellow band by dividing remainder of spinner evenly.

B. "American Girl" in white letters rendered tightly along lower strip panel, overlaps upper seam.

C. Name stencil for pilot & crew in yellow rests over fluid reservoir panel on port side. Pilot, Crew Chief, Asst Cr Chief, and Armorer titles provided, but only the names of the pilot and crew chief were entered.

D. RAF-style Malcolm hood and half-sphere mirror, note irregular natural aluminum portions of canopy framing. Mirror housing and pylon was camouflage green.

E. Retrofitted vertical fin extension (see "Modeling's Tips", below). Fromaft fuselage bulkhead to level of lower edge of rudder trim tab.

F. Tail Number in yellow- "366" on rudder, "37" on fin.

G. White recognition stripes were of standard widths on vertical & horizontal stabilizers for 1944 ETO Mustangs.

H. Reduced invasion stripes come up to tips of lower arms of stars in the insignia. Sides of radiator ventilation flap were natural metal.

Upper & Lower View Notes:

G. same as item "G", above.

H. Same as item "H", above.

I. Width of checker reduced on underside in order to fit evenly on the narrow surfaces of the chin scoop area. J, K, L. Red, Green, Yellow navigation lights- circular and flush with wing panel.

M. Formation Lights- Red (Port) and Green (Starboard)

Overall Modeling Tips:

*This aircraft wore dark olive green over USAAC medium gray. Project number was stenciled in black over camouflage coat on port side. Paint on the flat camouflage colors first- then mask off appropriate portions of canopy framing and paint in natural aluminum color. Most metal colors will be marred or removed by masking materials so it's often better to leave them for last.

*No antenna wires were installed on this aircraft. Some decal manufacturers indicate that the markings and retrofits on this aircraft were identical to it's appearance when turned over to 2nd Lt. Walter Perry but with no kill or mission marks. Modelers are advised to seek photos showing the port side of "American Girl" since it seems likely that she would have borne some mission marks and a full suite of invasion stripes earlier in the Summer while assigned to Alden Smith. It is also doubtful that she would have been retrofitted with a dorsal fin extension prior to September '44.

*After building several 357th A/C over the past 30 years, I recommend painting the nose area forward of the exhaust cutout yellow when the flat features are painted. When the time for decals arrives, carefully cut away the yellow squares from the checkerboard decal and apply the remaining strip of red checkers to the nose. This method significantly reduces the potential for bubbles, and wrinkles plus it makes exact alignment of the decal easier.

*Prior to assembly, wash clear plastic parts with a mild glass cleaner and gently wipe dry. Then use a Q-Tip to evenly spread clear liquid floor wax (Future Brand seems to get the best results) on both inside & outside. Protect from dust and let dry for at least 2 hours. The wax fills in microscopic flaws and creates an even gloss that is clearer & shines brighter than the original plastic underneath.

Repli-Scale Decal Sheet 48-5056

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