In-Box Review
P-51D Mustang
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Platz's little P-51D Mustang has been around for several years now, but I've only recently had a chance to catch up with the range, which now extends to three boxings:

PD-5 - P-51D "Liveries Select"
PD-8 - P-51D "Aces of the Eighth Air Force"
PD-12 P-51D/F-51D w/M10 Rocket Tubes

The kits share the same core set of parts, with additional sprues added for the later editions, plus of course new decal options. Each Mustang arrives as a double-kit with parts for two models packed in a neat end opening box. The box art in each case features a rather cleverly composited photo of the finished kit, while the rear serves as a colour guide for the paint schemes. The basic set of parts for each aircraft comprises:

35 x grey styrene parts
2 x injected canopies

The moulding is excellent, with hardly a trace of flash and no sign of sink marks. The surface finish features neatly engraved panel lines and the overall level of detail is surprising for such a small model - in fact the kit appears very much like a scaled-down version of a larger kit.

So, although the cockpit is quite basic, you still get the P-51D's distinctive seat and radio gear, while the propeller is made up of a 2-part spinner and individual blades. The undercarriage is crisply moulded with tyre treads and fine detail on the hubs, but perhaps the most surprising items are the sets of tiny exhaust stacks that are better defined than some which I've seen in much larger scale kits.

In terms of stores, the standard kit includes a pair of 75 gallon drop tanks, while the "Aces" kit adds a set of 108 gallon "paper" tanks and the P-51D/F-51D provides beautifully detailed triple rocket tubes.

Two alternative canopies are included - both plain and "Dallas" styles. The parts are thin and clear with well defined frames.

Instructions & Decals
The assembly guides are predominantly written in Japanese, but with sufficient English notes to make the simple kits suitable for modellers of pretty much all abilities. Gunze Sangyo colours are keyed to the diagrams, but there's also a cross-reference including Tamiya matches.

A stand-out feature of all the Platz kits I've been lucky enough to see has been the decals and the Mustangs are no exception, with a fine selection of varied schemes in each case:

PD-5 - P-51D "Liveries Select"
1. P-51D-20-NA s/n 44-63882 "Li'l Butch", 47th FS, 15th FG, Iwo Jima, 1945
2. P-51D-5-NA s/n 44-13783 "Rovin' Rhoda / 4 Bolts", 364th FS, 357th FG, Leiston, England, 1944
3. P-51D-15-NA s/n 44-15569 "Bunnie", 100th FS, 332nd FG, Italy, 1944

PD-8 - P-51D "Aces of the Eighth Air Force"
1. P-51D s/n 44-72218 - Lt. Col. John Landers' "Big Beautiful Doll"
2. P-51D s/n 44-14888 - Capt. Charles "Chuck" Yeagers' "Glamorous Glen III"
3. P-51D s/n 44-14450 - Maj. Clarence "Bud" Anderson's "Old Crow" in n/m finish
4. P-51D s/n 44-14450 - Maj. Clarence "Bud" Anderson's "Old Crow" in camouflage

PD-12 P-51D/F-51D w/M10 Rocket Tubes
1. P-51D-15-NA, s/n 44-15582, 2nd Air Comando Group, 10th AF, India
2. P-51D-20-NA s/n 44-63542, USAF
3. P-51D-20-NA s/n 44-73622 , Philippine Air Force
4. P-51D-20-NA s/n 9224, RCAF

The Cartograph decals are beautifully printed, with the thin, glossy items in perfect register, and in kits #PD-8 and PD-12, including an extensive set of tiny stencil markings. Some of the schemes are quite ambitious, featuring national markings printed integrally with invasion stripes or checker-boards and getting these to conform to the tight contours of such small models could be challenging - patience and decal solution could well be the order of the day...

Platz's P-51Ds look absolute gems and, although I've always concentrated on larger kits in the past, I can't wait to have a crack at them for a change of pace and fresh challenges. Highly recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent moulding and surprisingly well detailed for such small models. Superbly printed decals.
Verdict: Like the rest of the Platz 1/144 scale WW2 fighters I've seen, the Mustang is a real little gem.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: See text
  Suggested Retail: 1,470 Yen
  PUBLISHED: Dec 07, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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