Sweet 1/144 P-51B Mustang 'POW'
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Two kits in one box.|
Have the average person on the street name WWII fighters and if they come up with anything, odds are (at least in the US) that it will be the Mustang. Unlike many other aircraft of that era, there are probably more Mustangs flying than most others put together. They are all over the place and you can hardly go to an air show in the US without seeing one.
The USAAF was not hot on the idea of the Mustang. For one thing, it wasn't designed for the USAAF and that alone was enough for just about all of those whose job it was to provide aircraft for the war effort to bypass. The British, however, loved the early P-51 and couldn't get enough of them. They were fast, they were well armed and as long as one stayed below 15,000 feet, it could best whatever came up against it. When the British added the Merlin to give high altitude performance, the plane was perfect. This was also noticed by many USAAF pilots who were trying to make the short ranged P-47 into a long range escort fighter.
After much politicking and going over the heads of many generals to the head honchos, the decision was finally made to start producing the Merlin Mustang for the USAAF and the rest is history.
This is a reissue of Sweet's very nice P-51B/C Mustang kit. As with all their kits, the designers of the kit are rather anal about getting everything as right as they possibly can. These folks do their research and the results are always the best kits available in their scale of choice, which happens to be 1/144. Their previous kits are superlative and so is this one.
While there are not a ton of parts, you do get options. One is the ability to have a Malcolm hood and as that part of the sprue is marked 'Mustang III', we can pretty well be assured that these molds are only beginning to be used. Other boxings are on the way for sure. The other option is in the choice of drop tanks. Either the little 'peanut' aluminum ones or the 108 gallon paper tanks. No bombs for this one. even the drop tank racks are separate. Another option is for shrouded exhaust or not. The painting guide tells us which one to use. The kit also includes a seat, a first for Sweet, I believe. Like the separate radio gear, it is a bit generic, but it is great that it is included. Wheels, struts and doors are well done with the tail wheel doors molded in position. Oh yes, you also have optional radio masts!
Always a highlight with Sweet are the markings provided. You get four different aircraft and all have a common theme, that of being flown by other than the USAAF. Two are captured/repaired aircraft that fell into enemy hands relatively intact. One is an ex 23 FG aircraft in unpainted metal that was flown by the Japanese. The other is also unpainted and was flown by the Luftwaffe as part of its 'enemy aircraft' unit. The other two are planes that flew into neutral territory and were interned. One is a Swiss AF plane, also unpainted metal but with huge red and white bands that the builder will need to paint. The other is OD over Neutral Grey and was flown by the Swedes. This one can also be done in unpainted metal if one so wishes. Decals are well done and one has enough insignia and such to do any two aircraft.
I'm sure that there are as many of you who think 1/144 is as big a waste of time as 1/32 and you'd be missing out on what is probably the finest range of kits in this scale that there is. If you like things small or just want a change, this one is most highly recommended.
Thanks to me for this one
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