P-51 Mustang Title

Model Details

Airfix's P-51D Mustang, 1/24th scale.

Detailing Items:
Out of box

Tamiya's Gloss Aluminium.

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North American P-51D Mustang
This is model is the old Airfix 1/24th scale kit that was first produced in 1972, which I had build for a magazine review. The model was built this model straight out of the box to see how the kit has stood up the test of time and if a novice would be able to build it.
Now, because of the age of the tooling for this kit, the detail was basic and cannot be compared to the current range of large scale models, especially the Mosquito that Airfix released or the new 1/24th Mustang from Trumpter. But for someone who might not have the finances to buy the newer large scale aircraft models, or the experience to build them.
When you start this kit, there is some flash and mold lines to be cleaned up from the parts, but this can be expected for tooling this age though it is not as bad as I would have thought it might have been. The plastic that Airfix have used on this kit is that softer, more flexible type they use on a lot of their older kits I have seen, so it can be a little more plyable for fitting some of the parts that do not match up properly. You do need to do some trimming, filing, filling and sanding to get a good match when joining some parts. Also the thickness in the plastic varies along a few of the major parts such as the fuselage and engine halves, and other large parts too. But the tip is to take your time and it will get there.
As this kit was developed before the days of CAD, the detail of areas such as the cockpit, engine, guns and the undercarriage are not up to todays standards. But with some effort with aftermarket parts and a bit of scratchbuilding, extra detailing can be added to improve the models finish. For this model, I added the replacement dial set that are produced by "Airscale", which are decals that are adhered to the bad of some acetate and then this is glued to the rear of the thinned dash panel of the model. Otherwise this model is out of the box as par the instructions, which is unusual for me.
Following the instructions, I noticed some of the colours that Airfix say to paint certain parts were wrong for the model I was building. In my research of "Big Beautiful Doll", I noticed the undercarriage bays and gun areas were Interior Green, not Aluminium as in the instructions. So I followed what I had seen in my research and try to represent the preserved flying aircraft of today, but she miht have had hese areas in Aluminium in the past. For the main fuselage colour, Airfix say to use their Silver (#11), but I think this is too bright and again from the research photographs I had found, in my opinion Tamiya's TS27 Gloss Aluminium was the best match for the finish on the real aircraft. The rest of the painting was as instructed, but the exhausts were painted using Mr Hobbys metal finish Stainless Steel paint then weathered with a little rust and soot colours. The decals were trimmed of their excess carrier film before being added to the model with the aid of some Microsoft and Microfix, then once dry, a little weathering of the main panel lines. At this present time, no clear has been used on the model as there seems to be no need to do so. But I might clear it in the future to mainly protect the decals from any damage in the future.
The end result! After the several times of swearing and almost throwing the model out of my skylight in the workshop, this kit surprised me. It actually does build up to make a very nice model without the effort of adding extra detail to it. The couple of model shows that she has been displayed at so far, the feedback has been good and they were shocked when told it was the old Airfix kit and not the new Trumpter one. So, if you would like to build an aircraft in this scale but cannot afford the cost of the newer kits, then try out these older Airfix 1/24th scale aircraft.

© Copyright Michael Lomax
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