Red Roo 1/72 Dart-Stang
KIT #: 72139
PRICE: $31.75
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow
NOTES: Resin conversion


This CA-18 Mustang, A68-187, a PR. 22, was built by CAC and taken on charge by the RAAF in 1950. After a very dull career, mainly involving being stored at various sites, it was sold in 1958. It passed through a number of owners, and had a stint on a pole. In July 1969, Hockey Treloar purchased it with the intention of conversion to a turboprop using a Rolls Royce Dart from a Vickers Viscount. Registration VH-FHT was reserved, then VH-UFO, neither were ever applied.

 The estimated performance was a top speed of 540 mph, with a cruise of 500 mph, and a range, with external tanks, of 2500 miles. The modification work was done by Aerosmith Aviation Services, originally at Bankstown, then relocated to Canberra in 1972. The project reached the stage of engine runs, and flight tests were planned for 1975. However the project languished, with the aircraft parked outside, slowly deteriorating. In 1990 the aircraft was shipped to Toowoomba Airport, and a Merlin engine was fitted. It was sold and shipped to the USA in 1995, where it is currently flying as N50FS.


This kit is unusual in that it includes the kit to be converted, as well as the conversion parts needed. The conversion parts include 14 resin parts, the fuselage halves, nacelle, fuel tanks, flaps, seat and wheels. There is a replacement wheel well, and a one piece propeller supplied, so no fiddling with separate blades. The propeller has been moulded with a brass rod for a shaft. Also included are a number of wire hair pins, some plastic-card strips and a injection needle.

 The resin parts are very cleanly moulded, with no sign of bubbles or mould glitches, there is some very thin flash, and pouring stubs to be cleaned up. There are very fine engraved panel lines, much finer than on the Academy styrene parts. All the resin parts have a noticeable layer of mould release wax.

 A very comprehensive instruction sheet is included, with a full page of history, lots of construction information, and several colour photographs of the subject and the construction process. It also includes templates for wing dihedral, u/c door and flap positions.

The kit to be converted is the Academy P-51D, which is supplied complete in a sealed bag. I'm sure this kit has been reviewed somewhere, it looks quite nice, and probably does not deserve the fate which I will subject it to.


The usual start to a resin kit, wash all the parts in warm water, I used a No. 7 bristle brush and laundry soap. There was a tiny bit of flash on the major components, most of which fell away in the washing process. Next I separated the wheel well, flaps, tanks, belly panel and prop from the pouring lugs, and cleaned up the remains, this was a quick and easy job, just needing a couple of passes with a scalpel, and a light wet sand.

Construction proper started with the Academy one piece lower wing. The shell ejection holes were backed with card and filled, the holes for the tank pylons were opened up and a new hole drilled for the pitot in the correct spot, the original being filled. The central of the three moulded identification lights was drilled lightly to form a cup, the outer two were filled.

The Academy part is too flat, so the moulded wheel well was removed, a slot cut in the rear flange, and the resin well added. Using the supplied template, a plastic card jig was made, and the wing re-rigged to five degrees dihedral. Sounds complicated, but this process was explained in detail in the instructions, and illustrated with colour photos. Still working on the lower wing, I added the fences using some of the supplied plastic-card strip.

Finally on to the cockpit which was assembled OOB. The instructions suggested not using the bulkhead and radio parts, and building a seat support with the supplied wire. All too fiddly for me, so I used the Academy bulkhead and seat parts. It looked empty so I added the radio as well. Dry fitting into the resin fuselage halves found that it fitted fine, the only modification needed was to cut the floor off just forward of the instrument panel.

I painted the cockpit assembly and the fuselage side walls with Tamiya's very stinky yellow-green XF-4, then did a little detailing with black, silver and buff. Fitted the cockpit to the starboard fuselage half, then joined up the fuselage, and added the lower fuselage panel. It fitted very well, with a little sanding of of the lower panel, and just a touch of Mr Surfacer along the joints.

The engine casting was then joined up, not a perfect fit, with a small step on one side. Fixing the step would have destroyed a lot of the engraved detail. Probably should have joined the nacelle to one fuselage half first, then joined up the fuselage, which would have left a small gap at the top of the fuselage forward of the cockpit. With very thin resin parts, and superglue, I thought it best to leave it alone rather than attempt pulling it apart and trying again.

Next offered up the modified lower wing to the fuselage, needed a tiny bit of sanding of the resin wheel well to get it to fit. Had small gaps at the leading and trailing edge under the fuselage. Then added the upper wing halves, again had to sand the wheel well part to get the wings together. I added a small shim at the trailing edge to match the fairings moulded onto the fuselage halves. Ended up with a small gap, which I filled with superglue and then a layer of Mr Surfacer. I then carved out the gun-camera port, removed the gun barrels and drilled out the gun ports. Added the tail plane halves, almost perfect fit again, with just a smear of Mr Surfacer. Then I added the flaps, using the supplied template.

Left it for a day for the filler to cure, then a light sand. Needed a touch more surfacer in a few spots, another sand then a clean out of the engraved panel lines and details using a sewing needle. Lack of heavy sanding meant that there was no re-scribing of lines needed. Gave the model another thorough wash with warm water and soap, and left it for a day in the sun to completely dry.


 This was the easy bit, overall natural metal, with a few anodised grey panels, and no decals. I masked the cockpit and wheel wells with foam. I used Tamiya rattle can 'Bare-metal silver' for the wings, tanks and tail control surfaces, and a mixture of 'Silver leaf', 'Titanium silver', which looks a little orange, and 'Mica silver' for the fuselage, masking off various panels to give a slightly patchy effect. 

Just about done, added the undercarriage with the supplied resin wheels, the large fuel tanks, then the propeller and canopy. The instructions went into a lot of detail about wire hinges and multi part retraction rams for the doors, but it was all a little fiddly. Another template was supplied to get the angle of the inner gear doors right. A bit more detail painting and it was finished.


 A high quality resin conversion with excellent moulding. The instructions were among the best I have seen. Only one bubble was found, on the lower fuselage next to the tail wheel well, and that was easily fixed. Fit was very good apart from the nacelle, with just a small amount of fettling needed around the wing roots.

I saw this aircraft many times in the mid 70's at Fairbairn (Canberra Airport), and walked over to have a close look a few times. I don't remember taking any photographs of it. A very quick and enjoyable build, recommended for all. 


 Mustangs of the RAAF and RNZAF, Peter Anderson, Reed, Sydney, 1975

Kit Instructions.

Peter Burstow

January 2015

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