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1:32 P-51D upgrade sets (for Revell kit) RB Productions Catalogue # see article for codes, links and price Available from RB Productions It’s been about a year since Revell released their newly-tooled 1:32 P-51D Mustang, and although we have had numerous aftermarket sets from the likes of Eduard, RB Productions has now released two new sets for this affordable kit of one of the most iconic WW2 fighter aircraft. These new sets were recently launched at Scale Model World 2018 (Telford) and I got my hands on them for this article. The sets in question are: RB-C32008, P-51D Bomb Racks, €15,01 RB-C32009, P-51D Undercarriage Doors (for Revell kit), €18,00 Bomb Racks This set, of course, could actually be used for any qualifying Mustang kit, and not just the Revell release. Presented in a small blister packet, this set contains an instruction sheet which double as the display materials, a single casting block with the two bomb racks, and a single PE fret with the swing arms. Parts are secured within a zip-lock wallet. The resin itself is a light grey material and the connection to the casting block is made on the underside mating surface, meaning that you don’t have to restore any details when removed. Clean-up will be a breeze. Detail is superb and refined, and the casting (I suspect MDC) is flawless. Of course, be very careful with protruding details. The racks themselves aren’t handed, but how you apply the swing arms will be crucial when it comes to how the bomb will hang. A single PE fret contains eighteen parts. The obvious elements here are the swing arms themselves, which will be bent to shape using the template printed on the instructions sheet. The rest of the parts are for the discs which will hang off the end of the arms and come into contact with the munitions. A small length of wire will be needed to connect these to the swing arms. I would also fully drill out the arms to accommodate the wire. Spare discs are supplied, in case you lose one or two. Instructions are simple to follow and nicely printed in colour. It’ also important that you note the orientation of the munitions, again shown on the sheet. Undercarriage Doors Packed into a similar blister as the previous set, this contains a single zip-lock wallet with each of the four light grey resin elements being cast on their own block. Connection to those blocks is my means of a thin, easily defined web of resin that could be cut through with a couple of passes of a sharp blade. Externally, the doors don’t really have details (as can be seen from reference photos), but internally, they most certainly do. Again, in comparison to reference images, RB Productions seems to have got these on the nail, with excellent pressed metal detail, rivets and access port to what I presume is the hinge mechanism. Again, the instructions are superbly illustrative, even if these direct replacements are fairly self-explanatory. Conclusion Two very nice sets that can be used with the 1:32 pocket moneyP-51D Mustang from Revell, and of course, very easy to install. Excellent quality all-round, from casting to PE manufacture, and simple to understand instructions. What’s not to like! My thanks to RB Productionsfor the review samples seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the article.
1:32 Red Nose P-51D Mustang Aces RB Productions Catalogue # RB-D32025 Available from RB Productions for €18,50 Also available in 1:48 and 1:72 scales (check site for prices) There are quite a few products which RB Productions has sold which have some relation to Romania – Radu’s country of origin. This new decal set is one such item. But how does the P-51D relate to Romania, you ask? Well, these particular (mostly) stripe-tailed machines saw action over Romania. See…there isa link! Launched at Scale Model World(where I received my copy), these are available in all three popular scales (of which I have the 1:32 set). This decal set is packed into a re-sealable clear sleeve which neatly shows four P-51D profiles on the cover, complete with information about their pilot and Fighter Group. Flip the sheet over and you are presented with a couple of black/white images, plus some further pilot information, plus a splendid colour photo of MX-A, resplendent in its red tail stripes. Some colour notes are supplied here, and a key is also printed which pertains to the colours used, in ANA, FS and Lifecolor codes. For further info, the specific references are also listed, should you wish to seek out those particular tomes. Opening up the folded presentation sheet reveals all four profiles in much more detail, including decal position reference and paint application. Notes are also supplied for the wing bands (and fuselage/tail bands for one machine), in all three scale dimensions (as this insert is common to all three different scale releases). Where kit decals need to be used, then this is also clearly highlighted. Two decal sheets are supplied. Neither of these carry any national markings or regular stencils, and as noted, you will still need to use the kit decals for that purpose. The first, larger sheet contains the individual machine serials, codes, names and kill tally markings, as well as the red stripes for the tail and the forward central portion for the stabiliser stripes. Also note that numerous black stripes are included for the edging of the fuselage, tail and wingtip stripes of the last scheme on the sheet. A smaller, second sheet contains the upper and lower stabiliser stripes. Note that these, and the stripes for the fin on the previous sheet, are printed as a whole piece, without separate rudder or elevator portions, so you will need to divide these soon after application. Lastly, a decals for the last scheme is also included. A very nice little touch on this set are how the decals re numbered. Scheme A has all decals prefixed with ‘A’, scheme B prefixed with ‘B’ etc. I think you get the idea. It certainly makes things easy to identify. All printing is done by Fantasy Printshop and is superbly thin, cloggy, has minimal carrier film, plus also solid colour that is in perfect registration. Having used Fantasy Printshop decals many times, I know how good they are, and they conform well to surface details. I’ve also used decal setting solutions with zero problems. Of course, all decals are also silk-screen printed. Conclusion A very nice set of reasonably colourful P-51Ds (as far as silver goes!), and of course, you can also build more than one scheme from this set, as long as one of them is scheme D (without tail stripes). Nicely researched and superbly printed, this is one to perhaps adorn the recent Revell P-51D kit. I’ll soon have some aftermarket parts to show you for that kit too. My sincere thanks to RB Productions for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the links at the top of this article.
1/32 Revell P-51D Mustang TEST SHOT First Look I've been asked to build a test shot of the forthcoming P-51D from Revell. This will be for TMMI, and be finished in the kit decals for LOU IV. Permission has been given for me to publish these images of the test shot here on BxM. Please remember though that there are quite a few scuffs on this model as they aren't treated with the same kid gloves as a production standard kit, and the plastic is also darker, harder and a little more brittle than what you will see in your own kits. So, take a look at what we have here and ready your wallet for a right royal bashing.
1/48 North American P-51D Mustang Airfix Catalogue # A05131 Available from P&S Hobbies for £21 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 1940 by 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 originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the RAF as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber (Mustang Mk I). The addition of the Rolls-Royce Merlin to the P-51B/C model transformed the Mustang's performance at altitudes above 15,000 ft, allowing the aircraft 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 Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 two-stage two-speed supercharged engine and was armed with six .50 calibre (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning machine guns. From late 1943, P-51Bs and Cs (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 theatres. During World War II, Mustang pilots claimed to have destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft. At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters, including the F-86, took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After the Korean War, Mustangs became a popular civilian warbird and air racing aircraft. Except for the small numbers assembled or produced in Australia, all Mustangs were built by North American initially at Inglewood, California but then additionally in Dallas, Texas. Extract courtesy of Wikipedia The kit This is my third Airfix review in the last week or so. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been interested in their output, but they seem to be pushing all of my buttons at the moment. I have to say that when I saw this in P&S Hobbies in York, I knew it was going to leave with me. Whilst the artwork style of these new kits is very different to the Airfix kits of my youth, they still manage to draw the modeller to them with their gorgeous computer-generated imagery. Again, this is another sturdy and glossy box with which incorporates a parts tray and separate lid, and one where you need to get your fingernails under the lid to prise it off. Inside, all of the six frames of light grey styrene are packed into a single heat-sealed polybag. Another bag within this contains the single clear sprue. I’m always very vocal about all parts frames being packed into a single bag, and with good reason. My sample kit had a few parts that were skewed on the frames due to the packing. A reasonably large decal sheet is included, as is the instruction manual, printed in Airfix’s new format. Airfix don’t include any PE in their releases, but the detail within should be more than enough for the average consumer. If you want a further detail-fest, then Eduard has a full suite of resin and PE for this particular release. Frame A It’s interesting to see the part’s breakdown and engineering of this kit. Airfix seem to be offering some very nice options with their new kits….even single seat fighters such as this one. Note the fuselage is moulded without a tail section? If that’s a hint that we might see an early un-filleted tail in a future release, then that would only be an extra bonus to us, as this kit offers two styles of the later filleted tail. Yes, two styles. Modelling is certainly an education in itself. Looking at the exterior of the fuselage, you will see some very neat panel line depiction and fairing and fastener details. I think these panel lines are perhaps a tad heavier than they could be, but certainly not in the realms of a few of their kits of recent years. I also think my photography seems to emphasize it a little too. It’s certainly not a deal breaker for me, in the slightest. Note that the exhaust manifolds fit into a recessed slot from the outside of the fuselage, meaning you can add them after painting. The cowl also has a hole into which one of two options of breather plate can be added. Within the fuselage, there is no detail, but a recessed area indicates where the separate cockpit wall panels will sit. The most unusual part on this frame is the cockpit floor area and fuel tank section, which extends back to, and incorporates the tail wheel well. Coincidentally, this is pretty much the same method that Revell has employed with their new P-51D Early release in 1/32. Anyway, this part forms the base into which the various other parts will sit, including the battery and radio gear. There are some ejector pin marks, but these are in the area to the rear of the fuel tank, and don’t form part of anything that can be seen. Mustang wings. This is always a subject that draws debate and argument, pretty much every time a P-51D kit hits the shelves. To putty, or not to putty, is undoubtedly the question at all times. Now, whilst this model isn’t riveted, per se, it does have key rows of rivets and fasteners that are recreated. This also includes the wings. We have to remember that Tamiya’s own Über-kit had riveted wings, albeit very faint. You can of course choose to fill this particular detail if it goes against your own personal taste. It can also be seen that the leading-edge MG section is a separate piece. Internally, there is no wheel well detail moulded as this will be separate too. Both regular and paper drop tanks are included. The texture on the paper tanks is very nice. This will probably be the option I use. I also quite like the texture on the fabric rudder, although it could benefit from a few light strokes of a sanding sponge. Frame B This larger frame shows that Airfix has designed the wings to have a full-span lower part, which is complete apart from the separate front wing to cowl fairing that forms the leading edge of the inboard wing area and main gear bay. I’m not absolutely sure of the reason why at this stage of an out-of-box review, but nothing leads me to think that this isn’t done with good reason. Again, wing surface textures are very nice, depicting key panel lines and rivets. There are positions here for what look like rockets, but with this release, you are asked to fill these and sand these flush. Should you wish to install the bazookas, bombs or drop tanks, then you will need to open up the locations from within the wing panel. The upper engine cowl on this model is a separate part, meaning that it installs along a natural cowl panel line, and of course, you won’t need to remove any troublesome seams that would otherwise run right down the middle of this area. There is some nicely innovative engineering going on at Airfix, these days. Here you can see the tail wheel walls which fit into the rear of the aforementioned cockpit tub area. I’m still amazed that they did this in the same manner as the new 1/32 Revell kit. Great minds think alike! Detail is very good, despite you not really seeing too much in the way of anything once installed. Note the detail on the main gear bay doors too. These incorporate part of the main well wall details. Earlier, I did say that there are two versions of the filleted tail, and here they are. The differences here are fillets themselves, and the stabiliser fairing area. These parts will install along a natural panel line. The cockpit walls are moulded here. I am more than happy with the detail which is depicted, plus the extra parts which enhance them, but there are a couple of what appear to be ejector pin marks in awkward places. Not all of these circular marks are pin marks. Some are actual details, but I fear not all. That is a little disappointing. If you want to take this model to another level, then Eduard’s replacement pit will not only remove this issue, but improve things yet further. This is a very reasonably-priced kit, so you might have a few coins left with which to invest. Lastly, the scoop intake is moulded as halves and simply installs within the belly of the model, before you bring the fuselage together. Frame C Instead of moulding the gear bay detail on the ceiling of the upper wing, Airfix has chosen to engineer this as a separate part, as did Meng with their recent 1/48 release. This is quite nice in depiction, but could perhaps do with a little extra detail added, such as plumbing etc. Squared sockets exist for the main gear struts to locate to. Two landing flap options have been provided for this kit. Of course, these are for the neutral and deployed positions. The flaps themselves are identical, bar the angle of the plug tab that fits into the socket on the trailing edge of the wing. There’s no doubt this provide a very solid approach to fitting these parts. A little panel line detail is moulded here, as well as some leading edge detail, but no rivets. Another part on this frame is for the forward centre wing to engine cowl section with the same cowl fastener details as generally seen on both the fuselage sides and upper cowl. Lastly, Airfix has included a three-part pilot figure (quite average), a wing spar that incorporates gear bay detail for the rear face of this area, and also the four-blade, cuffed propeller. The blades on this are nice and thin too, but the connection gates are on the blade cuffs, so care will be needed when cleaning the part for use. Frame D We have quite a large parts count with this frame, with most of the cockpit being found here, plus the undercarriage and other extraneous airframe parts. I did say earlier that Airfix’s rendition of the cockpit is certainly more than adequate. In fact, it should look very good built straight from the box, with its fairly high parts count and nice detail. The instrument panel itself should provide a good centrepiece to your work, the seat being provided with moulded belts. Note the quilted effect on the backrest, along with the draped harness. You will also find the battery and radio pack plus frame here. There are two exhaust options here; shrouded and unshrouded. Neither are moulded with hollow stubs, so you’ll need a micro drill bit and some patience. Two breather plate options are also provided. If you want more options, then there are also two types of wheel with different tread patterns. The hubs on these are integrally moulded and the wheels are weighted. I think the undercarriage legs are reasonable….not great, but reasonable. They have a mixture of both sharp and soft detail and the prominent seams will need to be removed. This is where I hope Eduard have plans for a bronze alternative. It could certainly benefit from such. The tail gear strut is very nicely detailed. Other parts on this frame include bombs, belly scoop fairing, undercarriage trouser doors, two-part spinner, radiator shutter and numerous other cockpit parts. Frame E This frame is for the clear parts. Note that Airfix supply THREE hoods, all with slight variations in profile. I can’t see the Dallas hood, unless I’m mistaken. There are also two forward windscreen options. Both of these incorporate a small section of fuselage skin, as per Tamiya’s 1/32 kit, providing a better way to fit these parts without gaps or glue smears being had. Framing detail is sharp, and clarity is excellent. The parts are also nice and thin. You’ll notice this frame also contains wing underside lamps and gunsight options etc. Frame F One of the kit options provides for underwing bazookas. These are very reasonable, despite the seams you’ll need to remove, and there appears to be an indentation at the point where the connection gate is. Decals A reasonable-sized decal sheet is included with this release, and would appear to be printed by Cartograf (Italy). The sheet is split into common decals (national insignia and stencils), and the two schemes. The stencils themselves are numerous and will certainly take up a couple of bench sessions to apply. Included with the individual machine markings are the various black bars and stripes. I would probably mask these and airbrush them instead of using decals, but the option is there. Printing has a satin finish, and the decals are thin, with solid colour reproduction and minimal carrier film. Everything is also in perfect register. The two schemes are: P-51D, ‘Little Indian’, 2nd Air Commando Group, 10th Air Force, United States Army Air Force, Kalaikunda, India, 1945 P-51D, 44-15152, ‘Jersey Jerk’, Captain Donald Strait, 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group, United States Army Air Force, RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, England, 1945 Instructions A sixteen page booklet is included, breaking down construction into seventy stages. All illustration is CAD-generated, grey-scale shaded, with good use of red ink to denote new part assembly. Colour references are given throughout for Humbrol paints, and two glossy sheets are supplied which show paint and decal application, plus a stencil guide. Conclusion It’s nice to see Airfix revisit the subjects that I slavishly built as a kid when most of my money went on the old boxed and packet kits from this veteran manufacturer. They obviously know what should sell very well, and I imagine the Mustang is one such kit. What also sells this for me are the various options, such as the canopies and exhausts/breather plates too, plus some innovative engineering. The schemes are quite nice, but not particularly varied, although the addition of the underwing bazookas certainly adds to the mix. A very nice kit with plenty of detail and very well moulded. It’s not a perfect release with some softness here and there, but it’s most certainly worth £20 of anyone’s money! Give it a shot. My sincere thanks to P&S Hobbies for the review kit seen here. To purchase, contact them via their website, here, or visit them on Walmgate in York, or Castle Road, Scarborough, UK.