Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Video tutorial: How to superdetail and scratch build a scale model engine bay on the P-51D Mustang

I'm working on my 1/32 Hasegawa P-51D Mustang, and the engine bay is as basic as you can get. It needed some help. So I've put together a video tutorial, showing how I added scratch built detail from average stuff you'll have in your modelling supplies: bits of wire, styrene sheet, styrene rod and bits and bobs.

It’s a very satisfying process. You start off with boring, play around with various gubbins* and then you have something that looks plausible and much, much more interesting.

I don’t get too hung up on exact detail. Life is too short for that kind of rivet-counting. Instead, it’s a bit like theatre sets – an impression of what it is meant to be is all you need. But if you wanted to, this kind of scratch built detailing is how you would do it, you would just need to be a lot more exacting with your references and measurements.

My next step is the cockpit. There is a definite need for a significant amount of scratch building in the office of the Hasegawa Mustang. Under that big clear bubble top canopy it’s all a lot more visible than the engine, and it’s the most interesting and human part of the machine. Seatbelts, instruments, controls – lots to do!

Enjoy the video, I hope it inspires you to give it a go yourself. It has certainly inspired me to want to do a lot more scratch building soon – maybe my next project will be that long-postponed sci-fi scratchbuild? Hmm…




 “Gubbins” = various bits and pieces from the spares stash, used to ‘look like / feel like’ machinery or mechanisms. I always raid broken printers, fax machines, old kits, etc for little components I can re-use. Build up your own stash, it is great to have.

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