P-51A from TF red box kit - RC Groups
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Jan 03, 2013, 07:26 AM
Cohen the Barbarian
Build Log

P-51A from TF red box kit

Why the A? Because everyone does the “D”, and anyone who also makes something else makes the “B”.

General concept is:
E-Flite Power 60;
6s 5000mAh;
retracts including tail wheel if I can work it out.

I will use the same method I employed on a previous build of an Elder Biplane – building a battery box which takes the place of the formers at the front of the fuselage, and which carries a firewall to mount the motor. The carved blocks of the cowling will be replaced with built up structures (or fibreglass) which will also form cooling ducts for the battery and ESC.

My research shows this kit is regarded as “Stand (a long way) off” scale, I will endeavour to improve it as I go, (another of my hobbies is building 1/16th plastic car kits to museum standard).

Enough palaver, let's begin...
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Jan 03, 2013, 07:36 AM
Cohen the Barbarian

Making a start...

Having inspected the kit, the first order of business was to replace the factory side panels with lighter ones, particularly to lighten the tail.
Jan 03, 2013, 07:42 AM
Cohen the Barbarian

Battery box...

The battery box weighs about 2.5 ounces less than the formers and engine mounts it replaces, the battery will hopefully be enough to correct the balance without dead weight.
Jan 03, 2013, 08:21 AM
srt8madness's Avatar
Looks neat! Finding a scale prop for an A is much easier than the others .

Good luck, I'm watching with interest
Jan 03, 2013, 04:32 PM
Scale Builder
Subscribed. The Allison powered 'stangs are my favorite as well and I look forward to your build Genghiz. You have your work cut out for you if you plan to make the airplane anywhere near accurate but that's what is so nice about working with balsa. Here's a few pics from my collection just for inspiration.

Jan 03, 2013, 10:26 PM
Cohen the Barbarian

The fuselage progresses

Thanks for the encouragement Srt8 & Chad. The photos show useful detail about the shape of the cowling .

I have a cunning plan to conceal the cowling latch in the nose air scoop, activated by pushing a suitable probe in through the opening.

The 2 sides mounted onto the battery box with no trouble, and the first few formers are in place, giving a structure which is quite a bit stiffer than the original design. It’s starting to look like an aeroplane.
Jan 03, 2013, 10:46 PM
Cohen the Barbarian


This could take a while, it’s almost 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) in my workshop, which limits my endurance.

Plan A was to make an armature with a balsa skin, however the compound curves made this a less than ideal approach.

Plan B is to make a plug and use this to produce a fibreglass cowling. This required recutting the nose disc as the first one was sized to allow for the thickness of the skin.
Jan 03, 2013, 11:10 PM
Scale Builder
As a resident of Phoenix, Arizona I can sympathize with you Genghiz! While we are having beautiful weather at the moment most outdoor activities come to a screeching halt during the summer months. Model building and flying included! Fortunately I have ready use of a couple of air conditioned workshops because I certainly cannot bear to work in my garage when the temps top 100 degrees.
Jan 03, 2013, 11:31 PM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar


Very nice build , I am following your progress with the hopes of starting my P40 red box , same plan , epower , eletric retracts all around and scale mods
Jan 04, 2013, 05:01 PM
Cohen the Barbarian

The cowl plug progresses...

Hi LDM, welcome aboard, I will watch for your P40 build with interest.

Chad – I had a look at the climate data for Phoenix, we get similar extremes, but here (Leeton NSW) it is peakier, spring and autumn are long and mild, summer and winter are shorter, but fairly brutal. FWIW our home towns (Leeton is nowhere near city size) are within a degree of latitude (33N vs 34S) and situated in nominal desert areas.

Looking at the build, the plug for the cowl is coming along, the rearward extension to the wing is done, and I have started shaping the nose cone.
Jan 05, 2013, 07:48 AM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
G , great build and definitly motivational !!.
Dont know if you picked your retracts yet , but I have just purchased a set of rotating gear from the FMS line of 1700mm Warbirds (Corsair ) that I will use in the P40 .
The 1700mm P51 may work for your red box P51 . They are very stout and include nice scale struts and wheels .
You can find them on the RC Castle website under the parts list for the 1700mm P51 .Also very reasonably priced
Jan 05, 2013, 11:20 AM
tlh101's Avatar
These may be of some help:
Jan 05, 2013, 08:10 PM
Cohen the Barbarian

Plugging away...

Hi TLH, thanks for those brilliant 4 views, they will make it much easier to get the profiles right.

LDM, great suggestion about those retracts, I will check them out. I have got a set of E-Flite 60-120’s on order, but I also have a GE Spitfire IX, Seafury and a Brian Taylor Hurricane to fit out when they get built – so nothing will be wasted.

The nose plug continues to take shape, the main cowl will be ready for carving later today or tomorrow. I am thinking about how to work on the tail, I need to keep access to fit out the rear retract etc, but want to lock in the basic shapeof the tail section in the next couple of days.
Jan 06, 2013, 08:51 AM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
Very cool G , great work !!!
Jan 06, 2013, 06:29 PM
Cohen the Barbarian
Little by little the nose is coming along, the “chin” block has now been built up, (not shown in current pictures), initial carving has started.

I have a plan of attack for the main hatch and tail.

Main hatch/nose cowl – cut formers from the sections shown on the plan, use these to create the hatch, then blend the nose into the hatch.

A note for anyone who, like me, is not so experienced in forming the nose shape of an aircraft – the upper section of the nose is squarer than you might think – it looks gracefully curved in profile, but when viewed from above it does not taper as much as you might expect, if it did the cylinder banks would not fit inside the skin – basically the exhausts stacks are parallel, and just about the widest part of the nose.

Tail – I will join the rear tips of the fuselage and put horizontal formers at the rear – the lower one just a couple of inches long to allow access to the inside. Formers or temporary spacers will be put in at the rear of the belly scoop and along the back ready for the turtledeck.

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