Revell 1/48 P-51D Mustang

KIT: Revell 1/48 P-51D Mustang
KIT #: 5241
PRICE: $12.99 MSRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Greg Ewald
NOTES: Fantastic instructions, a good deal for the dollar.


 This is a “what-if” build, and a somewhat modified version of what many consider to be the greatest fighter/pursuit plane of World War Two.  With the technology of the better British engine, the 51 outclassed just about everything the enemy could throw up into the air.  There is no sense in rehashing what you know about the real aircraft, but as far as the imaginary one goes:

   Without the British support, the much improved Allison engine was used to power the F-51 Thundercat, sold as an export fighter to the South African, Ceylonese, and Egyptian air arms in their attempts to thwart the Empire’s growth, while the United States held back and watched from afar.

   Mounting two heavy cannon in the wing, and a grenade launcher in a “through the spinner” configuration, this anti-tank fighter was the bane of many a Roman or British tanker.  Later versions had pylons mounted for the use of napalm filled tanks, which could decimate the Imperial rank and file as they marched on their conquest of Europe.

   Film at eleven. 


This has to be one of Revellogram’s best…cleanly molded, great instructions, easy to assemble.  The detail is so-so, but with some foil belts, and a bit of time with a small brush, the cockpit looks good, as does the rest of the basic assembly.

   The styrene is perfect, not to brittle, not too waxy…just right !  Even the clear bits are easy to remove from the sprue, and without much sanding, the test fit shows this to be a superbly engineered kit.  The Revell instructions have b/w photos for reference at most steps, which is a nice touch.

    If you want to have a fun time building, this is the kit for you.  Seven steps and bing, bang, boom…you have a nice sized model ! 


   From the get-go, I knew what I wanted…a tank killing Mustang.    The machine guns had to go first of all, so the panel in the upper wing was glued into place, and the PSR began.

   The cockpit goes together just fine, some basic painting, an oily black wash of India ink…and you are there. Aftermarket sets are available for you superdetailers out there, but for me, the factory stuff worked out really well.  The floor was finished as to be plywood, and the interior painted a very dark grey that is almost black.

    To be honest, this one of those kits that you can put together quickly, and have nice results in the end. The only flaw that I could pick up on was the dubious addition of having a removable ( ? ) lower engine cowling…hey, this kit does not have an engine! The piece at least fits in o.k. without too much filler.

   Hollow metal tubing was used to make the cannon barrels, and the grenade launcher. The amount of different styles and sizes available today is head-spinning, be sure to check out the links below!

   For the upper receiver of the cannon’s, I used 1/72nd drop tanks from the spares box, glued in place and then psr’d to death, without removing detail from the wings, they work as a convincing approach to the massive upper breach necessary for the cannons.

   A smaller tank was used as the ammunition holder for the small grenade launcher, (white phosphorous, to ignite the napalm held in the tanks), and puttied into the nose section, slightly off center and low enough so that the pilot could actually see what the hell he was aiming at.

    I did drill out the holes of the canopy mount using a Dremel, with that big bulging canopy, you can’t help but see it. 


This was a plane that was being run out of a defunct airfield in Botswana, barely able to take off…and I wanted the model to reflect that.  Salt chipping was the way to go!  The whole bird was painted Aluminium, salted, sprayed with two coats of Desert Sand (German), then the salt removed by gently running the whole kit under warm water and scrubbing with an old toothbrush (my wife’s- don’t tell her).

   After it was dry, I took a 3M pad and scuffed the surface lightly, then coated the whole affair in Future.  The decals were printed out on my inkjet in a faded motif, you have to remember the hot and dry sun of the Kalahari, and what it would do to paint,  then applied with Microset and Sol, over-coated with a satin acrylic finish.

    The tires go on, the prop goes on, the canopy goes on. You are finished.


For the sheer dollar value vs. fun factor, this kit is an outstanding winner.  It would be perfect for a group build, a contest, a first-timer’s kit, or a what if for an old whacko like me.  Can’t recommend it enough !


Some good close up reference can be found here:

Greg Ewald

 April 2008

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page