AIRFIX


Airfix 1/48 P-51D Mustang


by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/48

Price:

$14.95 AUD from Red Roo

Contents and Media:

As shown below

Advantages:

  • Multiple options in many areas.
  • Main spar correct.
  • Cleanly cast.

Disadvantages:

  • High parts count in certain areas.
  • Ejector post marks in visible areas.
  • One type of prop.

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

The P-51D is a well known aircraft that was used by many countries since it's inception in WWII. It has served from Europe to Australia dn the Middle East in various schemes and variants. The kit put out recently is the US version that does not lend itself well to converting to the P-51K version as used by the RAAF.

The sprues

The bazooka tubes are cast well but they have an odd way of putting them together. This way may work as there is only one seam and it is along the top of the uppermost tubes. You still have casting marks on the other tubes but only one glue line.

 

The sprue shown below has a great number of options for the kit on it including two different types of main wheels, two types of exhausts, three canopies, types of tails, two types of drop tank and two types of cheek intakes - both the louvers and the holes.

 

This image below left has the main wheel covers and the side walls of the tail wheel unit. Airfix have gone a bit overboard to me with the way they have portrayed the tail wheel bay as they have boxed it in totally and part of the each wall is the doors.

 

To me the prop is the biggest dissapointment as only one type is provided which means for RAAF aircraft generally you will need to source after market blades for it. It is good that they have made it one piece as this means you are not fiddling around with alignment of each blade while putting it together.

The wings have all the panel lines finely done. This will upset some purists as for US produced Mustangs the joins were for the most part puttied and painted over but RAAF ones were not all like that, especially the CAC aircraft, and some had it removed anyway.The machine guns are also represented on the wings by another insert that is glued in to the wings. This is also fraught with problems as the wings of the Walrus also had a cover to replace the wing mounted landing light, this didn't fit and had to be faired in. The wheel bay doesn't look too bad at all and has the correct portrayal of the wing spar from all accounts I have read on the internet. The flaps have the option of being posed up or down as they provide two sets of them.

The fuselage is nicely done though it does have the Airfix panel lines that upset people.

The cockpit floor. I have an aversion to sidewalls done as an extra layer of plastic as in this kit as I don't always trust that they will fit and extra work is required to make it fit in. I realise it is a bit of a 'first world problem' but having build Classic Airframes and Special Hobby kits I occasionally like 'easy' builds. Airfix has given us an unusual manner of getting the seat belt on the model by including it as part of the seat braces though it does work well when built. The interior walls of the cockpit on the right have a few ejector post marks to be eliminated and a nicely textured seat cushion is included.

 

The clear parts look good and you are provided with the three wing tip lights as clear pieces rather than having to paint them or replace them. There are also three types of canopies to choose from and two types of front windscreen. Thankfully Airfix have chosen to do the front canopy as part of the fuselage section rather than the normal way of just having the glas which tends to get glued up or fits badly.This way you can put in the fuselage piece and blend that in without fear of damaging the windscreen.

The image to the left shows the high part count for what is a simple piece of construction in Tamiya and other manufacturers kits. While a bit of detail might be good I have doubts about having so much in the tail wheel area when none realistically can be seen, even with a judges mirror.

 

Decals

The kit provides markings for the following aircraft:

 

Conclusion

The kit has shown to build up nicely but the various points raised here are still relevant as they need otbe fixed in some way.

Overall the kit is highly recommended as it it an easy build and has various options that can be used.