by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
With interest in the P-51D surging thanks to Tamiya's recent 1:32 "super kit", Roy Sutherland at Barracuda Studios has released the first of a new series of decals for the aircraft - not only in 1:32, but in 1:48 and 1:72 as well.
P-51D Mustangs Part 1 contains national and individual markings for a very attractive quintet of Mustangs:
1. P-51D-20-NA "Double Trouble Two", 353rd FS, 352nd FS, Raydon, England, 1944-45
2. P-51D-15-NA "The Millie G", 55th FG, 343rd FS, Raydon, England, 1944-45
3. P-51D-15-NA "Amorous Len III", 357th FG, 363rd FS, Raydon, England, 1944-45
4. P-51D-5-NA "Lou IV", 361st FG, 375th FS, Raydon, England, 1944-45
5. P-51D-15-NA "Alabama Rammer Jammer", 353rd FG, 352nd FS, Raydon, England, 1944-45
Each has plenty to attract the modeller, such as "Double Trouble Two" with its extensive yellow and black checkers on the nose, and "The Millie G" sporting a red pin-stripe over a Dark Green or Olive Drap fuselage (not reversed, as seen on the vintage 1960s Revell kit - I wonder how many of us built that garish carnival queen as kids!). And of course there's "Lou IV", shown here in a two-tone upper surfaces scheme of Dark Green - but Roy admits, without a definitive answer as to the actual colours applied in the field, the "was it actually blue?" controversy looks set to continue.
Now, the observant among you will have spotted the joker in the pack of schemes above - "Amorous Len III. This is a fictional piece of nose art to avoid the extraordinary copyright issue that's sprung up recently over Chuck Yeager's "Glamorous Glenn III" (Oops! I wrote it!). "Amorous Len III" is written in the same script as the real name, and with a little care you can insert the missing characters - which Roy has quite coincidentally included as bonus items.
The decals themselves are superbly custom-printed by Cartograf to their usual impeccable standard. The items are perfectly in register with a glossy finish and minimal carrier film. The code letters and fuselage insignia on the original E2-C were left with an outline of the underlying natural metal and this is printed in a really nice speckle-free silver ink to save awkward masking.
There's a comprehensive set of stencil markings sufficient for one aircraft provided in 1:48 and 1:32, but due to the layout of the 1:72 sheet you actually get two sets in that scale.
The instructions feature excellent quality colour side profiles, and small top and bottom views, plus a full 4-view stencil placement diagram. Each of the featured aircraft is treated to a brief history, and a detailed description of the colour scheme, noting any unusual features of the aircraft.
With five schemes offered, P-51D Mustangs Part 1 is very good value, priced as follows:
BC72009 - $9.95
BC48011 - $11.95
BC32009 - $13.95
ConclusionThis is another excellent release from Barracuda Studios, with top quality decals for the vast selection of P-51D Mustang kits available in all the major modelling scales. Highly recommended.