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Maverick's P-51D Mustang 1:72 Airfix


Julien
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Maverick's P-51D Mustang

1:72 Airfix

 

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The North American P-51 Mustang is one of the most famous and easily-recognisable of Allied types to have served during the Second World War. It was originally designed to a British requirement for a low-altitude fighter, and because it was designed around the Alison V-1710 engine, it had limited performance at higher altitudes. This shortcoming was famously addressed by the marriage of North Americans airframe to the Rolls Royce Merlin aero engine. Once so equipped, the Mustang was able to take on Luftwaffe fighters on equal or better terms up to 15,000 feet. In common with later Spitfires, the D model of the Mustang employed a cut-down rear fuselage and a bubble canopy, giving pilots superb all-round vision. The outstanding feature of the aircraft was is range, which enabled Mustangs to escort bombers all the way to Berlin and back. This prompted the famous quote from Reichmarshal Herman Göring: "When I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up."


The Kit

Airfix's Mustang has only been around now since 2012 and is a great little kit. The kit is part of Airfix's series one range and as such as a fairly simple kit, made up of just fifty three parts spread across two sprues of grey plastic and a single small clear sprue. The mouldings are clean and crisp and moulded detail looks good. The panel lines look pretty fine to me, but some will no doubt find them a little too deep. In my opinion they arent too broad though, so treatment with primer would seem to be the way to go here. The kit has been re-released a few times over the years and now again in a tie in with Paramount for the new Top Gun Film, which has been delayed on release due to the current situation. 

 

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The cockpit is assembled on top of a large floor piece which also acts as the roof of the radiator tunnel. Onto this are added an instrument panel (with a decal for detail), a gun sight, control column and seat. Sidewalls and radio kit is moulded in place. The inner sides of the fuselage have some nice raised/recessed detail which helps to add a sense of realism to the cockpit. Overall impressions are very favourable, particularly for a kit in this scale and at this price point.

 

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If you want the airscrew to be moveable, you will have to assemble it before the fuselage halves have been joined. This will make it a bit of a nuisance to paint though, so I would recommend adding it later and fixing it in place. Whichever route you choose, once the fuselage halves are joined then you can add the wing. The lower wing is moulded as a single span, which will help you achieve the correct dihedral. The main gear bays are boxed in and feature some convincing structural details. The tail planes are moulded as solid pieces, but the rudder is a separate part, so you can finish it in a deflected position if you so desire. There are separate flaps too, which is a bonus.

 

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The Finishing details show that Airfix has put some care and attention into the design of this kit. The mouth of the radiator inlet is moulded as a separate part, saving you the trouble of cleaning up a visible seam. The cooling air exhaust is also a separate part and can be posed in either open or closed position. The undercarriage doors are detailed on the inside and the landing gear itself is also very nice. The tyres have a cross-cut tread and subtle flat spots moulded in place. Two drop tanks are provided to hang under the wings. Two canopies are provided, but only the bulged version is used for the decal option supplied with this kit. The frame of the rear canopy is a separate part too, and of course the canopy can be posed in open or closed position.

 

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Decals

As this is a tie in only one set of markings is included, those for the aircraft Maverick owns in the film. The decal sheet is printed by Cartograf and includes a full range of stencils.

 

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Conclusion
This is a neat little kit and Im very glad that Airfix took the decision to re-release it. The level of detail is surprisingly good for the scale and price, and it looks as though this should build up into an excellent model. Recommended if you want to model the Mustang from the film, or just want another to add to your stash. 

 

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Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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Two points.

- Very difficult to remove the control column (by simple cutting) without breaking it.  I used 'hot cut' using an old soldering iron.

- The elevators and tailplanes have 'each other's curvatures'.  Where they meet, the tailplane should be square and the elevator rounded: in fact the reverse is the case.  A curious mistake to make.

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9 hours ago, Denford said:

Very difficult to remove the control column (by simple cutting) without breaking it.  I used 'hot cut' using an old soldering iron.

:doh: ... OMG how come I never realized I could do that ! Ive had to scratch build two sticks now with these kits. 

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On 1/1/2021 at 8:20 PM, Denford said:

Two points.

- Very difficult to remove the control column (by simple cutting) without breaking it.  I used 'hot cut' using an old soldering iron.

 

 

Brilliant tip, thanks. I too have managed to break a few sticks and guns when attempting to remove them from the sprues of recent Airfix kits with the softer plastic they now use.

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