357th Fighter Group Profile
Sweet Helen II P-51D
Lt. Harvey Mace, 362nd FS
1st Lt. Harvey Mace's P-51D Mustang "Sweet Helen II"
Autumn / Fall 1944
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. "Sweet Helen II" in red occupies forward 3/4 of lower strip panel, letter "S" overlaps panel seam.
C. Windscreen framing natural aluminum.
D. ETO half-sphere mirror, (standard part in most kits).
E. Tail Number- "413" on fin, "558" on rudder in yellow.
F. Reduced invasion stripes come up to olive green paint just above uppermost panel seam.
G. Sides of radiator ventilation flap were natural metal.
H. Full suite of invasion stripes underside of wings & fuselage, single white recognition stripe on upper surface of wings & stabilizers, black recognition stripes on underside of stabilizers. Note relationship between aft white stripe and the letter "B" in the fuselage code.
Upper & Lower View Notes:
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. Black (lower) recognition stripes on stabilizers, white upper) recognition stripes were of standard widths on wings & stabilizers for mid-1944 ETO Mustangs.
N. Formation Lights- Red (Port) and Green (Starboard)
Overall Modeling Tips:
*This aircraft had olive drab upper surfaces, natural metal underneath. Paint on the flat colors first (invasion & recognition stripes, camouflage areas) first- then mask off and paint remainder a natural aluminum color.
Most metal colors will be marred or removed by masking materials so it's often better to leave them for last.
*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. 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.
Sweet Helen II in Green Paint