1/32 Tamiya P-51D-5 "Little Eva III"

This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Senior Airman
Jul 20, 2009
Ilion, Attiki
Good morning gents,
New project on the bench, this time a large one, tamiya's P-51D!!!

It is not going to be an OOB build... i bought some aftermarkets before i make my mind on the profile i wanted to depict, so some stuff are not going to be used, for examlpe the excellent barracuda IP, it is not suitable for a D-5 model (that is why I bought the early quinda set), more discuss on that as well as on the details or differences for a D-5 later.
At this point i want to thank Christian Alamy aka ''tourist'' for his valuable help on gathering all the required info regarding my build!!!

The profile I want to depict is "Little Eva III", Capt. James "Sully" Varnell, 52nd Fighter Group, 2nd Fighter Squadron, Italy, 1944.
James "Sully" Varnell was the MTO's third-ranking ace with 17 victories and ranked as number 10 among Mustang aces. This little-known ace scored all of his 17 victories within 67 days, making him one of the fastest-scoring aces ever. Tour expired, he's rotated home to train other pilots while Dalebroux & Jones became Lt. Hans Zachmann's men. Killed in a Flying Accident 9 April, 1945, near Pinellas Field, Florida. Varnell is the 10th ranked Mustang Ace of WW2.

Opening the box and reviewing the sprues one thing that really got my attention (i have read a lot on this) was the large number of pin or sink marks especially in the wheel wells and on the inner side of the engine cowlings!! I dont know how tamiya managed to do it!! Anyway I will find a way with the wheel wells and i am not going to leave the engine exposed so i dont mind the cowlings!!!!
Another one were the big screw fasteners on the cowlings which were raised (out of scale in my opinion) and not flush....

So i started the build with this correction. I used...

....first to mark down the fasteners and later I sanded them flush. Working my way with the fasteners i also corrected some other details not suitable for a D-5!!
- There was no oil radiator drain added until P-51D-10-NA production, so along the bottom of the lower cowling panel, there is no oil drain access door. There was also yet to be a fuel strainer access door added to the lower cowling panel, until late D-model production. So only a single door (on the left) for the ground heater duct, Midway through the bottom cowling...

instead of this..

I filled them all with ca glue, sanded them and scribed the the ground heater duct acces door!!

Next correction was on the upper cowling...
- On early P-51D's, the oil filler access door on the rear top left cowling should have the same size as the aftercoolant door just in front of it. The oil access door would not be enlarged until P-51D-20-NA production, when a dip stick was provided, requiring additional room to be accessed.
So before working on the fasteners, I resozed oil filler access door...

And as i was dealling with the cowling i decided to replace the tamiya's carburettor intakes with the barracuda ones!!

Thank you very much for watching, any extra info is very much welcome!!!
More on her tommorow as i have already made some progress...

Last edited:
Good morning guys,
Thanks a lot for your replies, really appreciate!!
Before continuing to my previous post I would like to stress out that any advice, comment or help is more than welcome!!
I would also like to point out that all the info i managed to gather was provided to me either by Christian or was found while searching on the net and especially here...
History and Details of the P-51D-5-NA (A Flight Sim Project)
from a guy nicknamed ''Bomber_12th'' (John Terrell maybe? not sure!!)
Now back to the build, having started with a bit unorthodox way i turned my attention to the cockpit area.
While building or modifying small subjects inside the cockpit I will try to give you some info regarding the D-5 (early) differences, more on that on the above link!!
- The instrument panel, was pure P-51B/C in design and layout. On P-51D-10-NA and later production, the instrument panel layout was re-designed, and the instruments were front mounted instead of rear mounted

Tamiya provides both early and late panels, but i dont like it's approach! I dont like those thick clear panels!!! That is why i turned to the beautiful Roy's 1/32 P-51D resin instrument panel, which i think is a masterpiece!!

Unfortunately later on i discovered that it is not suitable for my build. I tried to find something suitable elsewhere, Yahu models provides a 1/32 early one for the revell kit but i didi not want to take my chances with it as i did not know how it would fit. So i turned to quinda studio....really nice detail and very accurate!!!


(as you can see i have placed in position the Roy's PE for the rudder pedals)

And i glued the quinda panels with AMMO's Ultra glue (very effective one), not too shabby dont you think? I have to put some minors details on it, some weathering maybe , later, i will see!!!

I have also finished the rudeer pedals with some minor weathering...

Next i prepared all the cockpit resin enhacements from Roy, shaved some details in order to place the quinda stuff and paid attention on the cockpit side panels!

- Early D-models, including the D-5-NA, only featured a carburetor air control lever at the back of the trim pedestal. Later aircraft would have a carburetor hot air control lever added next to the carb air control lever.

Roy provides both slots on his resin so i closed the bigger one...

I have also assembled the resin Warren McArthur tubular-frame seat... The early seats Warren McArthu had no tubular frame on the top of the back to hold the seat belts but only two small ''ears''...so i cut this detail from the resin seat...

I also added the small lock-unlock right handle from the kit...

Thats all for now, see you on the next episode hehehe
Thanks for watching

And finally the rest of my progress so far...
I stole the idea from Antonio a fellow modeller...i tried to ''rubberize'' the fuselage fuel tank, for this i used tamiya fine white primer decanted and applied with a brush..

Dont know if i managed to look like a rubber, i think so!!!
Next on the side cockpit panels...
This is what tamiya provides...Not too bad at all.. Roy's on the other hand crispier!!

You can see here the rear frames that provide more stability to the cockpit floor - main fuselage tank assemply

I ''stole'' the idea from Chuck's awesome build, cut the rear frames and put them together with the resign ones to overcome any stability problems!!

I also assembled the engine which is really a model by itself as well as the oil tank! I am not going to expose the engine or the oil tank, i will glue the engine cowlings, so I am not going to pay any attention on this section!! ( I have already built a merlin engine during my 1/32 tamiya spitfire build here

Ioannis ''Agorastos'' Plagis)

And here a dryfit to see how everything goes together

That is all the progress so far!!
Hope you like it, thanks for dropping by!!


I do like it! And the fuel tank finish is very effective - must try that on my next one. I have bookmarked this thread for its amazing detail info but unfortunately it's for a D-10 model: Missouri Armada P-51D Mustang: documents and partial scratch from the Tamiya 1/48 kit

drgondog drgondog might also be of help with any D-5 specific questions.
Thanks a lot for your comments!!
I have also bookmarked this thread Andy!!! :D


Users who are viewing this thread