Tamiya 1/48 P-51D Mustang & U.S. Army Staff Car
|NOTES:||Includes staff car and new P-51D bits.|
Faults aside, the P-51D's virtues were many:
heavy armament, good speed, high maneuverability, and long range.
By the end of World War II all but one of the 8th Air Force's fighter
groups were equipped with the P-51D.
The type went on to serve in the Korean War, and survived in Army service
Tamiya's P-51D has been out for over 10 years. I did a build review here, and Scott previewed the F-51D boxing here. As such, no Mustang sprues are shown, but here are the bits for the car. Briefly, the kit features excellent outline accuracy and external detail, an OK but not great cockpit, and flaps that can be displayed lowered, as seen on most parked P-51Ds. The newer boxings (including the F-51D previewed by Scott) have revised clear parts; the original issues had sprue gates going directly into the clear areas, but these newer issues have the sprue gates going into joining surfaces. This makes cleanup after removal from the sprues a lot easier.
New parts for this P-51D version are the 108-gallon "paper" drop tanks with separate release brackets and two new pilot figures: a seated pilot figure (much improved over the original) and a standing pilot figure wearing a leather jacket and peaked cap. As usual with Tamiya, the pilot figures are well sculpted and have separate heads; the seated pilot figure has separate arms also. You don't get the uncuffed propeller blades and HVARS in the F-51D issue, but neither of these items were commonly used by 8th Air Force Mustangs.
The car is a 1942 Ford
I've built two Tamiya P-51s and, in general, component fit is excellent. The only trouble spot is the radiator inlet fit to the fuselage. Otherwise building this model is very straightforward.
Markings for three late-war 8th Air Force Mustangs are included; all aircraft are in natural metal/silver lacquer factory finish:
1. "The Millie P", 343rd FS/55th FG, flown by Maj. Edward B. Giller.
2. "Blondie", 334thFS/4th FG, Lt. Marvin W. Arthur.
3. "Milly/Margaret", 360thFS/356thFG, Lt. Donald F. Jones.
Tamiya provides masking templates to get the OD/natural metal transition right on "The Millie P" along with templates to mask the windshield. Separate diamonds for "Milly/Margaret" that can be applied over paint are provided, which might be a good idea because matching paint to decals is tough to do at the best of times!
The overall olive drab staff car has a simple set of markings, comprising of four stars and two serial numbers.
Tamiya decals often get a bad rap, but I have used them on two projects successfully. The key is to soak them in warm water, and use only Micro-set for setting--these decals WILL irretrievably wrinkle with heavy applications of Micro-sol! That said, there's so much on the aftermarket for the P-51D, if you can't find a scheme to finish your Mustang in, it's your own fault!
This set has great diorama possibilities and can be combined with other available 1/48th scale ground vehicles to make an interesting diorama. The new decals and figures are a nice addition also. Highly recommended.
Thanks to If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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