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Old 22nd May 2009, 23:25
Col Ford's Avatar
Col Ford Col Ford is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 32
Col Ford
Southern Cross Mustangs


Contact: Gary Byk
Publisher and CEO Red Roo Models
PO Box 113, Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia 3150


P 03 9560 0695, F 03 9545 3542, M 0418390 322, E


Southern Cross Mustangs began life as a small article for a modeller’s magazine about the target towing Mustangs operated by Illawarra Flying Services out of Sydney in the 1970s. David Muir, a keen model maker, started searching for information about these unusual and colourful aircraft little realising that it would become a decade long quest. The project grew like topsy; firstly to include the other civilian operated Australian Mustangs, then their New Zealand cousins and then, in order to understand their initial civilian markings, the RAAF and RNZAF fleets. This in turn led to including the ones operated by the RAAF in Italy at the end of the Second World War.

Over the years the search for information spread far and wide. The National Archives of Australia branches in Adelaide, Canberra, Perth and Sydney, Archives NZ and the service museums in both countries were consulted along with a number of private collections. One of the most satisfying aspects of the research was meeting with the original pilots and hearing their stories and recollections of operating the Mustang in peacetime and at war. Additional help came from Mustang enthusiasts around the world; apart from the many Australian contributors, material was provided by historians in the US, Canada, Italy, the UK, Switzerland and New Zealand. As David notes in SCM he was constantly surprised by the amount and quality of the material held by modellers and historians everywhere and very grateful for the generosity with which they shared their information.

David cites six people as being especially critical to the project; without them it would never have happened. John Hopton, a legendary collector of Australian aviation photographs, provided a wealth of images that illustrate many aspects of the text. Thais De Olivera of Giant Creations exercised her exceptional talent and did the hard yards on the layout. David Clark edited the text and helped sort the seemingly endless images and drawings. Gary Byk (Red Roo Models proprietor) took on the publishing and distribution role and wisely guided the project to completion. Dick Hourigan, modeller, historian and Mustang owner enthusiastically encouraged the expansion of the original article and supplied enormous quantities of material from his own collection. David’s wife Alison provided unswerving support, solving any problems with common sense and delighting in each new discovery.

After a decade of research, SCM was transformed into a 100,000 word 460 page tome known among the Red Roo team as “The Epistle”. It has 600 profile views covering the known marking and equipment variations, over 490 photographs and reproductions of contemporary documents and over 275 plan and detail drawings prepared especially for SCM to illustrate details such as equipment, markings and modifications.

Aimed squarely at the enthusiast, modeller and historian, Southern Cross Mustangs is without question the most thorough examination that has as yet been made of the history, technology, camouflage and markings of the Australian and New Zealand Mustangs.

SCM is divided into 17 chapters covering different aspects of the story.

BACKGROUND provides a brief overview of the type and its service.
MODELS & VARIANTS examines the differences between and modifications made to the NAA built Mk III (P-51 B/C), Mk IV and IVA (P-51D and K) and the CAC built CA-17 Mk 20 and CA-18 Mk21, Mk 22 and Mk 23.
OVERALL SCHEMES looks at the colours and finishes of the military and civilian liveries.
NATIONAL INSIGNIA charts the evolution of The RAAF and RNZAF insignia.
SQUADRON CODES identifies the style, size and placement of code letters for each unit.
SERIALS explores the background, fonts and placement of the aircraft’s serials.
SECONDARY MARKINGS illustrates the stenciling for each variant and service.
OTHER UNIT MARKINGS describes the designs, logos and badges used by each unit.
SPINNER COLOURS looks at the designs used on spinners in service.
PERSONAL MARKINGS covers nose art, rank pennants and non-regulation markings.
INTERNAL FINISHES describes finishes in the cockpits, wheel wells, engine and gun bays.
SHIPPING AND HANDLING examines the protection methods used before and after delivery.
THINGS UNDER WINGS examines and illustrates all the stores, weapons and equipment hung off the Mustangs in service including US bombs, rockets, fuel tanks, napalm tanks, smoke generators and cine camera tanks; British bombs, smoke generators, CLE and Storepedo containers and rockets and the Australian developed fuel tanks, DDT spray rig, Geletrol rockets and bombs, baggage tanks, fire extinguishing bombs, defoliant tanks, cable layer, target towing equipment, high speed releases for bombs, light series bomb carrier and test/trials equipment.
PROFILES includes 600 profiles in four chapters covering the RAAF Squadrons in the MTO, NAA and CAC built aircraft in Australia, the Pacific, Japan and Korea, the RNZAF aircraft and the civilian operated aircraft of both countries.

The body of the text is supported by eight Appendices

Appendix 1 outlines the history of each unit that operated the type
Appendix 2 lists the RAAF Mustang Orders and Instructions for modifications and updates
Appendix 3 does the same for the RNZAF modifications and updates
Appendix 4 illustrates the RAAF A.5524 painting and marking diagrams
Appendix 5 cross references the serials, registrations and names of the civilian Mustangs
Appendix 6 cross references the RAAF, RNZAF, ML-KNIL & RAF serials and codes
Appendix 7 examines and lists the official colours used in service
Appendix 8 provides a list of selected further reading

About the Author
David was born in Sydney in 1950 and raised in country New South Wales before studying architecture at Sydney University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) degrees.

A life long interest in model making led to numerous local awards and a Silver Medal at the 1982 Model Engineers Exhibition in London and the Senior National Championship and Woolett Trophy at the IPMS UK Nationals. David began writing extensively for the APMA Journal (and occasionally for other publications) in the late 1970s and subsequently had several spells in the 1980s and 1990s as the Journal’s Editor.

David and his wife Alison (a renowned textile artist) live in Sydney where they have a design and management practice specializing in sustainable building projects.

About the Publisher
Gary formed Red Roo Models some 17 years ago after leaving the Army after almost 25 years of service. The business has grown to include over 250 product lines. Red Roo focuses on Australian aviation subjects, publishing books and producing its own conversion parts and kits alongside a range of decals. It holds several exclusive agencies for overseas manufacturers and sells their products and modeller’s equipment into the Australian market.

Red Roo has a well earned and enviable reputation for quality products and excellent customer service. Gary, in association with Richard Hourigan (who looks after research and development) is constantly bringing new products to market. The release of SCM coincides with the release of several related products; further products and two more books are scheduled for release in the coming year. Gary, Richard and David are already looking at other projects to explore together and have several exciting prospects in the pipeline for release in the longer term.

All pre publication orders will be shipped at the special pre-publication price, plus postage and handling. This special offer is now closed.

The price for new orders is $125.00 AUD (equivalent to just under $100.00 US at current exchange rates) plus postage and handling. The book weighs in at 3¾ lb or a little under 1.750 Kg so postage to some locations may be higher than normal.

Due to the crowded schedule and a large group of pre ordered copies the Red Roo Dispatch Section is very busy and deliveries on new orders may take a little longer than normal. Red Roo appreciates your patience and apologises for any delay.

Southern Cross Models is only available direct from Red Roo Models ( or at selected aviation and modelling events around Australia. The current schedule of events includes:

May 22 and 23 SCALE-ACT 09 Harmonie German Club, 49 Jerrabomberra Avenue, Narrabundah, Canberra
May 30 IPMS-NSW Meeting Ryde Ex-Services Club, 724 Victoria Road, Ryde, Sydney
June 6 – 8 MODEL EXPO 2009 Sandown Entertainment Centre, Princes Highway, Springvale, Melbourne
July 14 APMA Meeting Putney Tennyson Bowling Club, Frances Road, Putney

Further events will be announced on the Red Roo Models website.

No direct connection to this other than providing the author with a couple of photos from my collection for use in this publication. Official launch is today in Canberra, Australia, where the author will make a presentation on his research and book.

For those interested in the Mustang in Australian and New Zealand service this book should be a 'must' have' for the collection.

Colin Ford
No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force 1940-1946
Historian by Appointment
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