This is my first Airfix kit. I don't know how I've managed to avoid building one, maybe they weren't available in my local hobby stores when I was a kit. As an adult, I always though of them as cheap low quality kits. Apparently they have seriously stepped up their game after being bought by Hornby Hobbies. After completing the 1/72 Tamiya Zero I had a strong desire to build some more 1/72 WWII fighters, so this was a perfect chance to dive into the world of Airfix.
This kit is comprised of three sprues, packaged in a small box. The detail looks pretty good, not quite as fine as Tamiya, but still good.
There is a small clear sprue for the canopy.
Construction starts with the cockpit. It has some detail, but not a huge amount. I sprayed the cockpit with Vallejo Model Air Green Zinc Chromate (71.094).
I hand painted a few details then used Mr Metal Iron to dry brush the cockpit. Finally, I used the Tamiya Panel Line Accent black color as a wash to dirty it up a bit.
I painted the landing gear bays at the same time, using the same process as the cockpit.
The rest of the construction was pretty simple. glue the two fuselage halves together, glue on the wings and rear stabilizer and that's that. I masked up the canopy and glued it on.
Because I was going to use a metalizer paint for the finish, I decided to prime the model before painting to give the paint a better surface to bind to. I used Vallejo Black Surface Primer. This was my first time using their black primer, and it worked great.
I sprayed the front of the aircraft using Tamiya XF-8 Flat Blue.
I allowed the blue to dry for a day then masked it off. I used Mr Metal Chrome Silver to paint the rest of the aircraft. When this was dry I gently buffed the paint with a few q-tips to bring out some shine. The rudder was painted Tamiya X-7 Gloss Red, then glued onto the model.
Despite using a metalizer, I wanted to give the P-51 a warn look, so a perfectly shiny finish was out of the question.
I gave the model a gloss coat using Pledge Floor Care. When this was dry I applied the decals. The kit came with a lot of very stencil decals, and I did lose a few in the application process, but I doubt anyone will notice. Aside from that, the rest went on wonderfully. I used Solvaset to get them to settel into the panel lines.
When the decals were fully set and dry I applied another gloss coat and used the Flory Model's grime wash. I cleaned off most of it, leaving it in the panel lines. I then used the Tamiya weathering set to add some soot near the exhaust and the gun ports.
I had a few last minute details. I assembled and painted the landing gear then glued them to the model. When those were dry I gave the whole model a final coat of Vallejo Satin Varnish to seal in the weathering. I didn't want a completely flat finish on this model which is why I went with the satin finish.
Finally, I painted the Exhaust with Mr Metal Iron and glued them on.
And with that last piece I was done.
I really enjoyed building this kit. It took about two days to complete, and most of that time was spent waiting for paint to dry. Time to explore some more Airfix kits.