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John F. Thornell and his P-51B Mustang

n by Tomasz Gronczewski

P-51B-15-NA flown by John F. Thornell, Jr (17.25 victories)

The man ...

John F. Thornell was a leading ace of famous 352nd FG "Bluenosers". Toprnell was an "early" ace of the 8th Air Force. After a finished combat tour in Europe he returned to the States in Autumn 1944. Despite that the war lasted for almost one more  year and the 352nd had plentiful occasions to harass the Luftwaffe, only two other pilots managed to surpass Thornell's score: John Meyer and George Preddy.

... the machine ... 

Majority of Thornell's kills were scored while flying this very aircraft nicknamed "Patty Ann II". The plane was repainted couple of times, but in May 1944 it looked like shown on my model.

... and the model. 

This is excellent 1/48 Tamiya P-51B. The kit is uilt striaght out of the box with exception of all interior, which  was replaced by the phenomenal Aires set.  Other modification were limited to aileron and flap actuators that were removed and replaced by steel pipes and photoetched horns. THe additional bomb was also provided by Aires.

Entire plane was sprayed with SnJ Aluminium. The blue nose was painted with Humbrol enamel no. 109. The shade was selected based on the references which indicate that during that period the 352nd used a somewhat lighter shade of blue for its famous nose markings. 

Letters PE-T were sprayed with Humbrol 85 Coal Black using homemade  vinyl masks. National insignia were taken from an Aeromaster sheet. The nickname, serial number and victory marks were all printed with Alps MD 5000 printer.

As a summary I can say that I love Tamiya Mustangs, SnJ, vinyl masks and Alps printers!

ta148_p51b_bu_tgtho003.jpg (81998 bytes) ta148_p51b_bu_tgtho004.jpg (86939 bytes) ta148_p51b_bu_tgtho102.jpg (82183 bytes)

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