Hasegawa 1/48 P-51D Mustang


Jt 155


$24.98 MSRP


Two options


Olivier Lacombe


'Checkertail Clan' boxing


Please visit the preview for a look at what comes in the box and a brief history.


Strangely (maybe not!), construction starts with the cockpit.  It assembles itself quickly,  and I painted the floor a reddish brown, the seats and side consoles Interior Green while the instrument panel and the radios where painted Flat Black and detailed with aluminium paint.  I also assembled the radiator, using Interior Green and aluminium for the colour.  After the fuselage was sealed, I discovered that this area should have been Zinchromate Yellow!  Things will never change it seems.  The interior was added to the fuselage along with the radiator assembly and they just dropped into their respective places without any fuss. 

 The fuselage received some detailing work prior to closing.  It included the painting of the interior, the fitting of the exhausts and the drilling of all the small holes that make up the gills up front.  The halves were mated up together after the cockpit was done, as explained above.  Whilst the paint was drying, I worked on the wings, opening up the holes for the underwing racks before gluing them together.  I also decided that my plane would have 75 gallons drop tanks and proceeded on putting them together.  I also glued the spinner together, and I’m not impressed with this one.  It looks as if the upper part is smaller in diameter than the lower component, thus exaggerating the seam.  Weird… 

 The wing was added to the fuselage along with the tail planes, and the overall fit was excellent.  Minimum sanding was required to get the plane ready for painting.  Openings were masked and it was time for critical phase…



 Since this Mustang was going to end up as a NMF plane, I sanded it overall with 600-grit sandpaper, and then applied Alclad II grey primer on it.  Subsequently, I sprayed Alclad II White Aluminium paint using very light coats until everything was covered.  The drop tanks and the gear doors were painted at the same time, but not the canopy, as I wanted to use Model Master Metalizer on them.  I found none and had to revert to guerrilla tactics in the end.  More on that later.  The next step was to paint the yellow areas on the tail and wings, and that was accomplished using Gunze Insignia Yellow.  Next came the Olive Drab anti-glare panel with Tamiya paint, followed by Gunze Red for the nose and spinner.  When I was painting the plane, it slipped from my hands and it the ground, breaking off the propeller shaft.  Luckily, it was the only damage done to the model. 

About 4 month passed before I decided to actually finish the painting, for which I used Alclad Stainless Steel for the panel around the exhaust stacks.  I also wanted to paint the wings a different shade, but that plan fell through when I couldn’t secure adequate paint.


 The blades were brush-painted Flat Black with Model Master Insignia Yellow tips before being added to the spinner.  I painted the wheels and glued them to the gear legs before adding everything to the wings.  I also detailed the drop tanks with some red paint for the fuel cap, doing the same with the other fuel points on the airframe (wings and fuselage) at the same time.  The tanks where then glued to the wings.  Remember the unpainted transparencies?  Well, I used Testor Aluminium (small jar) to bring them up to speed.  I carefully brushed in on, making sure not to make too many strakes.  I also painted the inside of all the gear doors the same way.  Since the surface of the plane was smooth, no clear coat was needed before the decaling session.


 I was very afraid of goofing up this stage.  However, I knew that my local shop had a set of Aeromaster decals with the same plane I was modeling, so I had a back up.  The decals themselves were old, almost 6 years, but as I started to lay the checkers on the stab, they went in beautifully without tearing off.  I found out that the Aeromaster plan was wrong, it has you putting the stab decals backwards, i.e. the leading edge of the decals on the plan is in fact the trailing edge.  You can tell by the curves in the corner of the decals.   In all, it took 3 days to put everything to its place.  The only problem I faced was that the right-side fuselage insignia broke in two, but I was able to secure it in place without a trace of the accident.  I applied liberal amounts of MicroSol on the decals, and trimmed them once they dried up.  I then used Gunze Black to make touch ups between the top and bottom checkers and glued the prop in position.

 The decals were sealed off with Model Master Metalizer Sealer, and the anti-glare panel was flattened out with Tamiya Flat Base mixed with Future.  The transparencies were added and the aircraft headed for the display shelf. 


 Whew!  My second NMF plane was much more enjoyable than the first (Hasegawa P-47D)!  I found no difficulties whatsoever in making this kit, Hasegawa has a real winner here.  The ease of build makes it a perfect choice for anyone’s first natural metal finish, and there are tons of different ways to paint a Mustang.  Recommended!

 My wallet loves me so much it bought me this kit!

Olivier Lacombe

March 2004

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