by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in April 1940 by a design team headed by James Kindelberger of North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission. The Purchasing Commission approached North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Rather than build an old design from another company, North American Aviation proposed the design and production of a more modern fighter. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed, and first flew on 26 October.
The Mustang was designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which had limited high-altitude performance in its earlier variants. The aircraft was first flown operationally by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber (Mustang Mk I). Replacing the Allison with a Rolls-Royce Merlin resulted in the P-51B/C (Mustang Mk III) model and transformed the aircraft's performance at altitudes above 15,000 ft (4,600 m) (without sacrificing range), allowing it to compete with the Luftwaffe's fighters. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the two-speed two-stage-supercharged Merlin 66, and was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) AN/M2 Browning machine guns.
From late 1943, P-51Bs and P-51Cs (supplemented by P-51Ds from mid-1944) were used by the USAAF's Eighth Air Force to escort bombers in raids over Germany, while the RAF's Second Tactical Air Force and the USAAF's Ninth Air Force used the Merlin-powered Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944. The P-51 was also used by Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean, Italian and Pacific theaters. During World War II, Mustang pilots claimed to have destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft.
Info from Wikipedia
In the box Eduard's P-51D kit is a re-boxed Platz kit dating back to 2005, and has been released in different guises ever since. This is the 2nd time Eduard have released this kit, the first time being in 2019 as a special E-day 2019 ticket kit.
Although this kit is getting on for 15 years old, it is still holding up very well, with no flash present and sink marks kept to a minimum.
The kit is bagged in a resealable bag with the one light grey sprue and one clear sprue bagged separately from each other. A set of instructions, a decal sheet and a set of masks complete the contents.
The kit has no flash present and no sign of sink marks, with the overall moulding of excellent quality.
Exterior detail for this kit is sublime with some very fine panel lines adorning the fuselage and wings. The rudder is built into the two fuselage halves, with the horizontal stabilizers as separate parts.
The wings are built up of one lower section with two upper halves.
The spinner for the prop is made up of two parts and each blade is a separate part. No jig is supplied for the blades so care will need to be taken in fitting them at the correct angle.
Two banks of exhaust pipes are supplied for each side of the fuselage.
Interior detail for the kit is rather basic, with the cockpit only having a basic seat and of course the radio equipment that sits on the rear shelf of the cockpit. No instrument panel is present but the kit does have decals for the seat harness, something which the Platz boxing didn't have.
The wheel wells are devoid of any detail, but the undercarriage legs and wheels, along with the tail wheel are one piece each, and are very well moulded with some very nice detail for the hubs. The main wheel well covers are separate, but the tail wheel doors are moulded as part of the fuselage halves.
The six machine gun barrels are moulded onto the upper wing halves.
External stores supplied are a pair of 75 gallon drop tanks.
Two of the four marking options show the aircraft carrying the 108 gallon paper tanks, but these are not supplied, as in the original Platz boxing these parts were on a separate sprue.
Two alternative canopies are included, both plain and "Dallas" styles. Both are one piece with well defined framework and are crystal clear.
Decals and markings The instruction booklet is the typical Eduard folded A4 size booklet, printed on glossy paper, with a logical build sequence. Internal colours are given for the Gunze range of paints. A handy mask set for the canopy and wheels are supplied. The masks cover the windscreen and the main canopy which will really help in painting this tiny part. The tyres get a mask so the hubs can be painted.
The decals are produced by Eduardand are in register with very little carrier film.
All the checkerboard markings on three of the marking options are produced as decals.
Marking options B and C are part produced for the checkerboard with the black and blue portions as decals, with clear areas for painting the underlying yellow and blue parts needing to be done by the modeller before applying the decals.
Having used Eduard decals before I can't see any problems with their application.
Four marking options are supplied with this kit, which are as follows -
A - P-51D-10, 44-14798, flown by Maj. Joseph Broadhead, 357th FG, 8th AF, Leiston, United Kingdom, January 1945.
B - P-51D-10, 44-14467, flown by Lt. Gordon H. McDaniel, 318th FS, 325th FG, 15th AF, Rimini, Italy, March 1945.
C - P-51D-15, 44-15080, flown by Capt. Amos H. Bomberger, 361st FS, 356th FG, 8th AF, Martlesham Heath, United Kingdom, December 1944.
D - P-51D-15, flown by Lt. Charles White, 301st FS, 332nd FG, 15th AF, Ramitelli, Italy, January 1945.
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