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P-51D Mustang

Revell, 1/32 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Revell Kit No. 03944 - P-51D Mustang
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 144 parts in dark grey plastic; eleven parts in clear; markings for two aircraft.
Price:

£36.99 EU price (£30.83 Export Price) plus shipping available from Hannants

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Brand new kit; accurate overall; clever engineering / parts breakdown; crisply recessed panel line detail; poseable control surfaces; useful options including alternative.
Disadvantages: Pebbly finish on some exterior surfaces; tricky fit in a few areas.
Recommendation: Revell’s 1:32 scale P-51D Mustang is an outstanding kit. It is straightforward to assemble, looks terrific when built and the low price means that you can build a whole squadron of these large scale ponies.


Reviewed by Brett Green


Revell's 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang will be available online from Squadron.com
 

Background

 

The prototype NA-73X Mustang was designed and rolled out by North American Aviation a mere 102 days after the specification was issued by the British Purchasing Commission. The initial operational Mustang variants were powered by the Allison V-1710 engine, which was optimised for low-altitude performance. The P-51 Mustang flew its first operational missions with the Royal Air Force in the reconnaissance and fighter-bomber roles.

The combination of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine with the innovative airframe and laminar flow wing design of the A-35/P-51A resulted in one of the best fighter aircraft of World War Two. However, the P-51B/C series (Mustang III) was somewhat hampered by poor visibility through its heavily framed canopy. It was also difficult to bail out in an emergency due to the multi part canopy. The Malcolm Hood was a sliding, one-piece canopy designed by the British to be fitted to the Mustang III to address the bailout problem. However, this was a stopgap measure.

 

 

The airframe was therefore redesigned with a cut-down rear fuselage and a large, bubble-topped sliding canopy. This would become the P-51D - the definitive version of the Mustang, and perhaps the classic American fighter of the Second World War. A total of 7,956 P-51Ds were produced.

North American’s Inglewood factory could not keep up with the pressing demand for this high-performance fighter, so production was also undertaken at Dallas. There was also a shortage of Hamilton Standard propellers. The "P-51K" designation was applied to a further 1,500 machines built at this Dallas facility. The P-51K was almost identical to the P-51D except for the propeller.

The P-51K was equipped with a four-bladed Aeroproducts propeller assembly. This could be distinguished from the Hamilton Standard prop on the P-51D by the lack of the characteristic "cuffs" at the root of each propeller blade and a narrower chord.


 

The P-51D Mustang in 1:32 scale

There is no shortage of P-51D Mustang kits in 1:32 scale.

A number of relics from the 1960s and 1970s are still available today, including the 1:32 scale Monogram “Phantom” P-51D/K Mustang and the Hasegawa P-51D.

Both Dragon and Trumpeter have made more recent attempts at their own 1:32 scale P-51D kits, but each was plagued with noticeable errors and omissions. In addition to problems in the cockpit, mirror-image and reversed propeller pitch, incorrect wheel wells and various missing elements, the Dragon kit was uncharacteristically moulded with very heavily rendered surface detail.

Trumpeter’s effort was better in some areas but introduced new shortcomings of its own, including a very poorly shaped windscreen. It also suffered from heavily recessed and fairly soft surface detail, and shared the same incorrect wheel well configuration as the Dragon kit.

Tamiya released their definitive 1:32 scale P-51D Mustang kit in mid 2011, and added a Pacific Theatre and chromed version to the family in subsequent years.

Clearly not satisfied to rest on their laurels after their superb 1:32 scale Spitfire family, Tamiya’s designers took a fresh look at some details and engineering elements. Examples include the oxygen hose in the cockpit, the revised sprue attachments for the exhaust stacks and the new approach to the engine bearers. These are incremental improvements, but when the bar has previously been set so high previously it is impressive to find that it can be raised further still.

This same attention to detail was applied to accuracy. This was the first time that any model company has gotten the shape of the main wheel well correct with its straight rear wall. The cockpit is also immensely better detailed and more accurate than any plastic Mustang front office that has gone before it.

The large number of optional parts demonstrated that Tamiya was determined not to take any short cuts too.

This is an outstanding model.

Revell has now chosen to enter this busy Mustang market with their all-new 1:32 scale P-51D.

 

 

FirstLook

 

I recently received a full set of test shot sprues from Revell’s 1:32 scale P-51D Mustang.

The model was designed by Radu Brinzan, and decals are by Barracuda Studios and Chris Busbridge, printed by Revell.

The kit comprises only 144 parts in dark grey plastic and eleven parts in clear. The dark grey colour probably unique to the test shots, with the production kit more likely to be presented in light grey.

 

  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Revell 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang Review by Brett Green: Image
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The kit features crisply engraved panel lines with some limited recessed rivet detail.

 

 

Texture on control surfaces comprises very fine raised lines. I like this low-key approach.

 

 

This kit represents an early version P-51D without the distinctive fin fillet. The tail is a separate sub-assembly, so it is on the cards that Revell will release a later version with the fillet at some time in the future.

 

 

There are other clues pointing to a possible P-51B/C release in the future too, including the separate leading edge machine gun inserts.

The wing is moulded as full span upper and lower halves, so the correct dihedral should be guaranteed. The wheel wells are correctly depicted with the straight rear wall – essentially the front of the forward wing spar – and separate detail parts for the ribs and structural details.

 

 

Options include the choice of paper drop tanks, metal drop tanks and bombs. The undercarriage may be built raised or lowered, and two separate sets of flaps are provided for the dropped and raised options.

All control surfaces are moulded as separate parts.

Three styles of lower cowl vents are included, but only the perforated version is appropriate for this early P-51D.

 

 

Two styles of instrument coaming are offered too. I believe that Part 34 should be used for this kit.

Clear parts are thin and free from distortion. In common with most Mustang kits, the rear of the canopy sits up off the spine when it is open.

 

 

In reality, the canopy should drop down onto the spine when it slides back.

 

 

Markings will be supplied for two aircraft, although my sample did not include decals.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I am really impressed with this kit.

Revell’s new 1:32 scale Mustang is accurate in outline and detail, features fine surface textures and decent fit (I have already built the kit. Photos of the completed model may be seen near the top of this review).

It does not have a full engine bay and removable cowls like the Tamiya kit, and Tamiya’s kits are better detailed in the cockpit and offer a few more options.

Even so, Revell’s 1:32 scale P-51D Mustang is an outstanding kit. It is straightforward to assemble, looks terrific when built and the low price means that you can build a whole squadron of these large scale ponies.

Revell has undoubtedly cornered the budget 1:32 scale Mustang market.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell


Review Text and Images Copyright 2017 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 November, 2017
Last updated 21 November, 2017

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