Dragon 1/32 F-6D Mustang
|KIT:||Dragon 1/32 F-6D Mustang|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New fuselage and camera ports.|
It was common practice (and still is to some extent), to produce a photo recon version of an existing airframe. This provides the opportunity to use the best around at the time and in many cases, those aircraft still retained all of the offensive capabilities of the original (at least when using fighters). Thanks to the huge success of the Alison engine Mustang in the tactical recon role with the RAF, it was only natural that later Merlin powered Mustangs would fulfill the same role. they were mounted with two oblique and one straight down camera, the latter having a door to cover the lens so that oil and gunk from the radiator exhaust would not mar the lens. Photo recon planes were given the 'F' for Foto designation, and Mustang tac photo birds were very useful platforms, serving well into the Korean War.
There was much hue and cry when Dragon released their 1/32 P-51D, and I won't go into that here. You either hated the panel line treatment or you didn't. Apparently it wasn't that much of a problem with most as the local hobby shop sold out of every one it got in and a second batch as well. Those wishing for a retool will be disappointed. If you think about it, few companies will listen to a vocal minority and go to the additional expense to retool a kit that sells well, and the Dragon 1/32 P-51D sold well.
95% of the spures in this kit are from the P-51D. That includes the clear upper cowling, the bombs and rockets, the rubber tires, the photo etch fret, the interior and the wings. Yes, I wish the mounting holes for the rocket stubs were not already open. I doubt if the F-6D carried those or bombs, but those are there if you want. This kit also includes the full engine and mount as well as both paper and 'peanut' drop tanks. Same prop blades as well. The main canopy does still have the seam down the middle that you will have to sand out, but it was the only way to mold it.
Well gee, there has to be something different. Yes, there is. For one thing, there is a new sprue that contains the photo recon fuselage halves. This sprue also has the rudder (which is quite smooth with none of the usual fabric texture), horizontal stabs and elevators. There is also an additional clear sprue with the camera windows, and that includes the one on the lower fuselage. No cameras are provided.
Instructions are quite well done and provide well drawn construction sequences as well as Gunze and Model Master paint references. The Cartograf printed decal sheet provides markings for four aircraft. One is the box art plane from the 15 TRS/10 TRG, another has a red check tail from the 69th TRG while there are two rather generic planes with only serial numbers. One is an F-6K with a DF loop on the spine. All of them are overall unpainted metal with blue spinners. One can only hope for some interesting aftermarket sheets as really, only two of these options will ever be used. Why put in plain Jane schemes is beyond me when there are other interesting markings out there.
So there you have it. An F-6D in 1/32 scale. Really a first as no other injection molded F-6Ds exist that I am aware of. The kit has more than enough detail to satisfy most modelers and if the panel line/rivet treatment isn't a problem with you, you will have a fine replica of America's best known WWII fighter/recon plane.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours at your local hobby shop or ask them to order it for you.
November 2007 If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please
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