by: Wiggus [ ]
BACKGROUND & HISTORY
Developed by North American Aviation in 1940 for the Royal Air Force, the P-51 Mustang makes just about every aviation fanboyís Top 5 list of favorite bullet spitters. Itís sleek yet brawny. Itís the muscle car of the sky. So why not build yourself two of them for under $20?
This kit was initially released by Platz in 2005 and this marks the fifth re-release. Despite being nearly fifteen years old, the molds show no wear and the parts are surprisingly crisp. The box is side-opening and includes two complete kits that are separately bagged. Beautiful color illustrations are on the bottom of the box to help you decide which ones to build.
IN THE BOX
1 sprue in smooth gray styrene
1 clear sprue
1 A4 sized instruction sheet
Full color marking and decal guide
The instruction sheet is a single A4 sized sheet Ė build steps on one side, color marking guide on the other. Paints are called out for Mr. Color and Model Master. The instructions are clear and legible. The color and decal guide is beautiful.
Two complete P-51D Mustangs are included in this boxing which you can finish as five different American planes; two from 1944 and three from 1945. Four versions have natural metal finishes and one in USAAF Olive Drab.
The decal sheet is printed by Cartograph and is in perfect registration. Nearly all the paint markings are supplied as decals (including invasion stripes, anti-glare patches, and painted rudders), but if you want to build either of the two versions with the blue or teal nose you will have to mask and paint those areas.
Each Mustang is assembled from 35 parts. The gray plastic is smooth and has a luster to it. Pylons are included so that you can load drop tanks if you like, although one of the sprues in this sample has a pylon that did not get injected fully; looks like Iíll be building one without the tanks.
Surface details are numerous, fine and crisp, depicting elevators, flaps, panel lines and even spent ammunition ports. Only closed canopies are provided. That is fine since the cockpit is positively spartan. Neither a stick or instrument panel are provided, but at least the radio gear behind the pilot is there. Also perplexing is the four-bladed propeller. Each blade is a separate piece that has to be sandwiched between the cone and the backplate, and angled correctly for proper pitch.
As with the 1/144 Thunderbolt kit that I reviewed recently, Iím amazed by the detail crammed into these tiny kits. They would be a great introduction to the hobby and fun to build side-by-side with someone. The end result will be a Mustang to be proud of.
Thanks to Platz and Fred Boucher for supplying this kit for review.