North American Mustang III, 3 Squadron RAAF, Fano, Italy 1944

by Tony Mollica


For anyone looking to start a 3 Squadron theme, this is a really easy place to start. Aussie decals have the decals in their range, Red Roo models cover the type in ‘The Modellers Guide to the RAAF Mustang’, and Tamiya have produced a kit that is just a joy to build. You could even build a Mustang III with a Malcolm Hood if you choose CV-w.

The kit

The kit only requires a little extra work. I didn’t add a cockpit set, I would be happy to get all of my cockpits up to the kit standard. The extra work undertaken is listed below.   

  • This kit incorrectly depicts the cockpit floor as the wing uppersurface. This is correct for A-36s and the P-51A, but not subsequent models. Therefore, I attempted to flatten out and drop the cockpit floor.

  • I added cockpit sidewall detail as per these photos from ‘The Modellers Guide to the RAAF Mustang” p 85-86

  • The kit exhausts and gun barrels were drilled out.

  • Rigging is not visible in the photo of aircraft on p25 of ‘The Modeller’s Guide to the RAAF Mustang”. Therefore I didn’t rig this model.

  • I added tail fillet to convert to P-51C standard as per the diagram below lifted from ‘Scale Aircraft Modelling’ scale plans.

Scheme and Finish:

This model  has been painted to depict an aircraft of 3 Squadron RAAF, Fano, Italy 1944, as per the photograph  on p25 of the Red Roo publication, ‘The Modeller’s Guide to the RAAF Mustang.” The white ID bands and yellow wing leading edge shown on the Aussie Decals instruction sheet (shown below) have not been depicted as I couldn’t find any photo that conclusively showed them. If anyone could answer this conclusively with photographic evidence, please email me at t_mollica@hotmail.com

There appears to be some controversy over the colour of the spinner on these aircraft. They are depicted in various profiles as either red or medium blue. I’ve seen statements saying that all British aircraft in this theatre carried a red spinner. I’ve also seen information saying that 3 Squadron aircraft had either red or blue noses, depending on the flight. Any further information would once again be gratefully accepted. I’ll repaint it if necessary.

The model has been painted using the colours detailed in the photo caption on p25  and in the section entitled ‘American Manufacturers and British Colours’ on p72 of ‘The Modeller’s Guide to the RAAF Mustang’.(see below)
This aircraft has been depicted as fairly dirty. An example of how filthy 3 Sqn Mustangs could be, is shown below, from p23 of ‘The Modeller’s Guide to the RAAF Mustang’. This aircraft didn’t have a particularly long service life, so I haven’t depicted the extreme effect.

Any comments, please email me at t_mollica@hotmail.com

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