Airfix 1/24 scale
by Roland Sachsenhofer
Hobby Boss' 1/32 Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop is available online from Squadron
The P-51 Mustang is rightly regarded as an icon of American aviation history - and would not have seen the light of day without British ambitions. At the beginning of its development there was a requirement profile formulated by the British, Great Britain was also involved in the shaping of the new long-range fighter being developed by North American Aviation and was one of the foreign users who used all versions of the Mustang on a large scale.
From the "B" version the P-51 also flew with the British engine legend Rolls Royce Merlin, built under license by Packard. So there's really a lot about Anglo-American cooperation!
Airfix founded the 1:24 scale with a handful of models at the beginning of the 70s. Toply designed for the conditions of the time and excellently researched, these kits, which have been reissued several times, partly hold their own to this day. However, the ravages of time and the far advanced demands of model builders are increasingly questioning the relevance of these kits.
One may be said in front: the general accuracy and principle proportional coherence of the kit, which appeared in 1973 for the first time, should still count to the best, what the market has to offer in things P-51D in 1:24. Here once great work was done.
On the other hand, a first inspection of the parts reveals problems that cannot be ignored so easily. Especially noticeable is the lack of any detail on the inside of the undercarriage cover. The spatial structures prominently visible on them are simply not shown. A completely flat and unstructured plane replaces the sheet metal surface, which is richly curved in reality.
To solve this serious problem I did not find a solution that would have been acceptable for me and my craftsmanship. But on the other hand, this shortcoming has become the nucleus of the idea that was finally realized, namely to build the Mustang with a closed chassis.
This decision had of course certain consequences: on the one hand I had to deal with the pilot figure, which led me as a figure newcomer to unknown terrain, on the other hand I had to deal with the topic of how a rotating propeller could be adequately represented.
I found the pilot figure taken from the kit to be a good option to bring some life to the plastic with some paint and a few etched parts. In the end, I really enjoyed the design of this figure, the result meets my requirements.
The thing with the rotating propellers was somewhat more complicated, because a patent solution was not in sight for me in the beginning. After a few attempts with transparent foil in different strengths and with the airbrush applied darknesses in different form courses I came to an idea, how the finished model should look like. Of course, it remains an approximation, but here, too, it satisfies my requirements.
This model was manufactured parallel to a second P-51D from the same kit forms. This sometimes resulted in "double trouble", but I enjoyed it a lot. With the nature of these antique kit forms, excessive ambition regarding detail would be out of place anyway. However, this circumstance really relaxes and concentrates the joy on the fact that the resulting models actually become more and more identical with every construction step of this icon of flying - and this in a really impressive and voluminous scale!
Finally, it was fun for me - but two Airfix Mustang a ´la 1:24 are enough for a model builder's life!
The markings for my Mustang IV come from the kit and show with "Edmonton Special" an aircraft of the 442th Squadron, a Canadian unit of the RAF, flown by Pilot Officer John Mallandaine during the last months of the war.
If you are interested in the building process, please have a look here on Scalemates:
As ever, remarks will be appreciated: email@example.com
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2019 by Roland Sachsenhofer
Page Created 27 November, 2019
28 November, 2019
Back to HyperScale Main Page