P-51 Mustang Title

Model Details

Airfix N/A Mustang IV, 1/72nd scale.

Detailing Items:
"Out Of Box" with Eduard seatbelts.

Xtracrylix, Mr Hobby, Tamiya and Revell paints.

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North American Mustang IV
The new tooling of the North American P-51D Mustang from Airfix is great, a vast improvement from the previous tooling's and a continuation of the new range of kits from them. This kit is from Airfix's Starter range of kits, supplied with glue, paint, paint brush and one decal option. The kit itself is the same as you get in any of the other models in the standard range.
Assembly of the model is straight forwards, no hidden little problems or badly aligning joints, etc. The truth is, the model was a joy to build and my only niggles with the kit being the joystick and aerial being too fragile. Construction started with the cockpit interior, assembling it and painting it along with the fuselage internal areas. These were all weathered with some worn paint areas and dark washes to create the used finish of an aircraft in service. Once the interior was dry, it was glued in position on one of the fuselage halves and then mated up the second half and glued it together. The fuselage halves joined together like a dream, minimal amount of cleaning was required afterwards and there was no need to use any filler to fill gaps or level up the fuselage halves. This was not a one off, as I was also building Airfix's F-51D Mustang at the same time as this model, and it was exactly the same on that model to. Well done Airfix with this new tooling. Work on the fuselage continued with adding the tail planes, but the rudder left off to be added later.
The wings were next on the list for construction, first drilling out the holes for mounting the pylons used for the drop tanks or bombs. The two top wing surfaces were glued onto the lower one piece wing, joining together without any problems, before gluing the pylons in place. After the joints were cleaned up from any glue residue, the wing was glued in position on the fuselage and left to dry. Again, another clean joint on both sides not requiring any filling at all. The flaps in their extended position were now added to the wings, but you also have the raised option in the kit to.
Once the cockpit opening was masked off, the model received a coat of primer before airbrushing the camouflage scheme using Xtracrylix paints. After leaving it over night to dry, I gave the model a coat of clear gloss before adding the decals, finishing with another layer of clear gloss to seal them. A wash over the panel lines was done next followed by weathering with powders and paints, followed by a coat of matt clear to protect the washes from being wiped away. Final assembly and detail painting was now carried out to finish the model off. Due to the fragile nature of the aerial, I scratch built two new ones for both models. These were stronger then the kit aerials and were glued in place after painting. At the start of the build, I had decided to run the aerial wire from the cockpit to the tail. This runs from the rear of the pilots seat, through a hole in the canopy to the top of the tail. A length of invisible thread was glued to the rear of the seat, passed through the hole in the canopy before gluing that in position. Once the canopy had dried, I then passed the thread through pre-drilled the hole in the tail I had done earlier whilst assembling the fuselage. Then using a metal bulldog clip as a weight on the tread to keep the tension, I put a few drops of thin super glue on the thread at both ends of the hole through the tail to hold it and trimmed off the excess once dry.The undercarriage, bay doors, exhausts and propeller were all added to finish off the Mustang. The painting instructions said to paint the propeller hub black, but as this model is of an aircraft from No.112 Squadron stationed in Italy during 1945, their aircraft's hubs were painted red. So I painted the propeller hub as close to the correct red I had from match with colour photographs I found online.
My final opinion of the kit? Great! As long as Airfix keep to this standard on the new and re-tooled kit, especially in this scale, then things can only get better as more stuff gets released and re-tooled.

© Copyright Michael Lomax
All images © Copyright H M Lomax