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430 Mustang: 1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B (Converted to Mk.1)

The Accurate Miniatures Mustang series releases starting in 1994 set a high-standard for detail and fit. They covered many of the Allison engine Mustang variants, which had not been given much attention previously. This 1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B Tac Recce Mustang version was released in 2003 and is another fine example.


1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B

Notable Kit Features:

  • Very finely scribed panel lines and surface detail, including rivets

  • Well detailed cockpit with separate sidewalls

  • Instrument panel is molded in clear plastic with decals provided for instruments or optionally you can paint and dry-brush the raised detail dials

  • Radio and reconnaissance camera equipment included

  • Nice air scoops with decent recesses

  • Weighted and un-weighted tires with fine diamond tread supplied

  • Standard and Malcolm canopies provided

  • Quite comprehensive instructions (written by model makers)

  • Paint colour reference provided as Federal Standard plus 7 other paint manufactures products


1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B

Build Inspiration:


This aircraft build wasn't my initial inspiration but that of Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the Executive Director of the Burlington-based Juno Beach Centre Association. After seeing my website Alex had scheduled a visit to The Hangar to check out my Canadian aircraft collection in person. That initial meeting was delayed due to COVID, however Alex & Louisa (Interpretation and Outreach Manager) eventually made the sight-seeing trip. During that meeting we got to discussing an upcoming project of the Juno Beach Centre in France to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2024. The Juno Beach Centre were in possession of wreckage from a couple of aircraft flown by RCAF veterans and wondered if I would be interested in building a model aircraft to represent how the aircraft looked in its day. I was honoured to be tasked with this display project to enhance a piece of Canadian history and gathered the necessary pieces to accomplish this goal. The RCAF Mk.1 type differed externally in its armament, with a couple of .50 caliber Brownings in the nose as well as a mix of .50 and .30 caliber guns in the wings. For this build I selected the 2003 release of the F-6B as the gun wing panels are more accurate for this Mk.1 type conversion.


RCAF 430 Squadron's Mustang Mk.I - Letter 'P' AL986

Another of RCAF 430 Squadron's Mustang Mk.I - Letter 'P' AL986


A Bit of History:


The Mustang Mk.I wreckage Juno Beach Centre had was from a RCAF 430 Squadron aircraft flown by Francis Goring from Sarnia (Ontario) Canada. On August 12th, 1944, he was the pilot of the Mustang AG 455 (Letter Code 'F'). He was on a tactical reconnaissance mission between Falaise and Vire in Lower Normandy when his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire or “flak”. Francis Goring did not survive the crash of his plane. He was killed in action at the age of 24. He is buried in the Banneville-la-Campagne war cemetery in the Calvados Department.


(Also built for this occasion was a C-47 Dakota that was shot down on D-Day. Additionally my RCAF 404 Squadron Beaufighter was sent to represent Coastal Command's contribution to the massive invasion effort).


1/48th C-47, Mustang Mk.I & Beaufighter

If you can plan a trip to The Juno Beach Centre, either this year or next, the 80th Anniversary exhibit is sure to be inspiring. (See link below)



1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B

Heads-Up Report:


  • You may want to consider the more traditional route of gluing the nose to fuselage sections together prior to joining the left and right sides of the fuselage

  • AM provided the incorrect A-36 front air-scoop, so I had to rob the proper one from a Mk.1A kit I had in the stash

  • The instructions show the main gear oleo struts facing forward, and according to my reference shots, they should face aft on the Mk.I

  • AM instructions do correctly point out that the main gear doors should be in the closed position (they were only open during gear transit) although actuators and doors are shown open

  • The underside radiator air-scoop exhaust was a challenge to fit

  • Kit canopy designed to be closed (After-market options are available)


1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B

Kit Additions / Modifications:


  • I had to do some surgery on this kit in order to get the Mk.I aircraft I wanted, however the Ultracast parts and instructions were top notch to get the job done without much trouble. The conversion set provides nicely cast wing guns (with a good depiction of the barrel ends) as well as the nose insert and nicely detailed gun barrels for the cheek guns. As a finishing touch, replacement Curtiss Electric propeller blades are also provided. Ultracast Mk.1 Mustang conversion set 48031. (https://www.ultracast.ca/product-p/ult48031.htm) 

  • I missed installing the cockpit rollover frame until the kit was pretty much complete and it is A LOT more difficult to install at this point :)

  • 430 Mustang Mk.1 decals were from decal stash and custom made

  • Added seat harnesses


1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B

Finishing:


The paint scheme for this aircraft was an upper camouflage scheme of Olive Drab Green and Ocean Gray with Medium Sea Gray undersides. This aircraft had a RAF Sky spinner and tail band. The D-Day invasion stripes were painted on, had been reduced to lower side only at this stage in the war (or possibly never applied to upper surfaces in this squadron?). Leading edge yellow stripes were also painted on. my standard "Pledge" (floor finish) gloss coat was applied to prepare the aircraft for decals. Post decal application, a dark wash was used to highlight the panel lines and control surfaces. The final layer was a shot of Model Master dull coat to seal everything in and matte it down. The final fragile parts were added to complete the subject and ready it for the display hangar in France.


1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B

The After-Build Report:


This 1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B kit (or the whole Accurate Miniatures Mustang Series for that matter) is definitely recommended. There are lots of Mustang kits to select from and the Tamiya one is also a winner (if your are looking for a Merlin version) however, for an Allison version this kit is hard to beat. I have often seen these models at very reasonable prices and have developed a bit of a stash of the AM Mustangs as a result.

Unfortunately Accurate Miniatures is no more, however their molds have resurfaced under a number of kit manufactures. (Italeri re-released their A-36 kit and Academy re-released the P-51B and the Mustang Mk.1A.)


1/48th Accurate Miniatures Mustang F-6B

Completed build #265 - November 2023 using the 1/48th scale Accurate Miniatures #480010 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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