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Southern Cross Mustangs

by David Muir

Red Roo Models

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

Southern Cross Mustangs
by David Muir
Published by Red Roo Models


not quoted


AUD$125.00 plus postage available online from Red Roo Models website

Contents and Media:

464 pages; soft cover; perfect bound; colour and black & white photos, drawings and profiles.

Review Type:



Comprehensive coverage; well organised and written; high quality photo reproduction; useful captions; amazing number and range of profiles and line drawings; covers military and civil, antipodean, European and Korean deployement, plus New Zealand Mustangs.



Quite simply THE definitive work on Australian and New Zealand Mustang variants, production, colours and markings.

Reviewed by Brett Green

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



Red Roo Models has released a fabulous book on the variants, production, colours and markings of Australian and New Zealand Mustangs at home and abroad.

David Muir has clearly put a huge amount of his life into documenting these antipodean P-51s for "Southern Cross Mustangs". This title weighs in at a hefty 464 pages between soft covers, and is printed on high grade semi-gloss paper.

The book is clearly laid out and the text is easy to read. Photographic reproduction is excellent, and accompanying captions are useful.



The text is peppered with scrap drawings, profiles and other diagrams covering camouflage schemes, aircraft variants and details; stencil markings, different styles of lettering for codes and serials and an incredible selection of 600 side profiles and plan views of NAA and CAC Mustangs in every theatre and style of service. These profiles are in the style of black and white line drawings, but they are colour coded and easy to follow (with the exception of a few rare ambiguous captions). In my view, these original profiles are the heart and probably the greatest value of this impressive publication.



I thought I already had a pretty good grasp of this subject, but as I turned the pages I found myself surprised with one revelation after another. I was particularly interested in the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) variations in colours and markings of Mustangs in Italy.

The specific contents of the book are laid out in the following Chapters:

  • BACKGROUND - provides brief overview of the type and its service.

  • MODELS & VARIANTS - examines the differences between and modifications made to the NAA built Mk III (P-51 B/C), Mk IV and IVA (P-51D and K) and the CAC built CA-17 Mk 20 and CA-18 Mk21, Mk 22 and Mk 23.

  • OVERALL SCHEMES - looks at the colours and finishes of the military and civilian liveries.

  • NATIONAL INSIGNIA - charts the evolution of The RAAF and RNZAF insignia.

  • SQUADRON CODES - identifies the style, size and placement of code letters for each unit.

  • SERIALS - explores the background, fonts and placement of the aircraft’s serials.

  • SECONDARY MARKINGS - illustrates the stenciling for each variant and service.

  • OTHER UNIT MARKINGS - describes the designs, logos and badges used by each unit.

  • SPINNER COLOURS - looks at the designs used on spinners in service.

  • PERSONAL MARKINGS - covers nose art, rank pennants and non-regulation markings.

  • INTERNAL FINISHES - describes finishes in the cockpits, wheel wells, engine and gun bays.

  • SHIPPING AND HANDLING - examines the protection methods used before and after delivery.

  • THINGS UNDER WINGS - examines and illustrates all the stores, weapons and equipment hung off the Mustangs in service including US bombs, rockets, fuel tanks, napalm tanks, smoke generators and cine camera tanks; British bombs, smoke generators, CLE and Storepedo containers and rockets and the Australian developed fuel tanks, DDT spray rig, Geletrol rockets and bombs, baggage tanks, fire extinguishing bombs, defoliant tanks, cable layer, target towing equipment, high speed releases for bombs, light series bomb carrier and test/trials equipment.

  • PROFILES - includes 600 profiles in four chapters covering the RAAF Squadrons in the MTO, NAA and CAC built aircraft in Australia, the Pacific, Japan and Korea, the RNZAF aircraft and the civilian operated aircraft of both countries.



The body of the text is supported by eight Appendices

  • Appendix 1 outlines the history of each unit that operated the type

  • Appendix 2 lists the RAAF Mustang Orders and Instructions for modifications and updates

  • Appendix 3 does the same for the RNZAF modifications and updates

  • Appendix 4 illustrates the RAAF A.5524 painting and marking diagrams

  • Appendix 5 cross references the serials, registrations and names of the civilian Mustangs

  • Appendix 6 cross references the RAAF, RNZAF, ML-KNIL & RAF serials and codes

  • Appendix 7 examines and lists the official colours used in service

  • Appendix 8 provides a list of selected further reading

Don't expect an operational history of Australian Mustangs though. There are some unit histories and brief background, but the real focus of this publication is camouflage and markings.





This is not Red Roo's first book, but it is clearly their best in terms of production values, detail, likely appeal and sheer weight.

David Muir has done a wonderful job documenting the variants, production, colours and markings of Australian and New Zealand Mustangs both at home and abroad. The presentation of the book is first-class, as is the reproduction of the contemporary photos. In my opinion, the number of fascinating profiles and line drawings is almost worth the purchase price alone.

If you are interested in Australian or New Zealand Mustangs, this book will be an essential companion. Similarly, if you have an interest in camouflage and markings in general, you will not find many books that explore the geneaology and application of colours and schemes in more detail for a specific type.

Put simply, this is THE definitive work on Australian and New Zealand Mustang variants, production, colours and markings.

Thanks to Gary Byk at Red Roo Models for the review sample

Red Roo Models books, decals and accessories are available at Red Roo Models Website

Text and Images Copyright 2009 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 19 June, 2009
Last updated 19 June, 2009

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