Accurate Miniatures 1/48 P-51B Mustang






One Aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The P-51B was the plane that made the Mustang. Earlier versions used an Allison engine, similar to what was in the P-40. This meant that the plane was a super low altitude performer but was a total pig above 15,000 feet. Putting a British Merlin engine into the aircraft transformed it into a plane that worked well at all altitudes, a trait that was needed in Europe if it was to be an escort fighter for the ever-growing bomber streams that were wending their way over occupied Europe.

And the rest, as they say, is history. The Mustang went on to be one of  the most recognized aircraft in US aviation history. Fortunately for all of us, a rather large number of later Mustangs still exist and are around to thrill us at air shows and flying displays around the country.


When Accurate Miniatures started producing kits, they started with the early Allison engined  versions. Their reputation for quality and precision was borne with those kits and so it was natural for them to continue with the Mustang legacy and give us the later B and C models. As with the earlier kits, they are a real masterpiece of engineering and design accuracy. You will note that AM  left off the stiffeners on the upper wing near the ailerons. Now I will admit that not being a Mustang expert, I didn't realize this omission until someone pointed it out to me. To semi-quote Ned Flanders, 'yes indeedy-do', they are not there. But they should be a piece of cake to add. All it needs is some strip styrene. A nice e-mail from Bill Bosworth, who was instrumental in making this kit available, told me that early Merlin Mustangs did not have these (check your photos). By leaving them off the mold, one could do one of these planes without having to carve on the wing.  Some have also mentioned that the cockpit floor should be curved to follow the upper wing, but I'm not really so sure about that. (I've since received a number of e-mails which tell me that  this floor is correct for the B/C variants.)

Anyway, the kit is just superb. It offers quality molding and all the bits you'll need to do a very nice Mustang. There are only two options in the kit. One is for weighted tires or not and the other is for the addition of a Malcolm hood as was used by several US Mustangs. Neither canopy can be displayed open and if you so want to do that, you'll have to cut the stock one and provide canopy rails for the Malcolm hood. The particular markings included are for a 357 FG P-51B with the regular canopy. The decals are superbly printed and provide the white ID bands that these planes carried. You also get a full stencil suite. If you don't want to use the kit decals, there are a flood of aftermarket ones available from companies such as Superscale for you. Just check the Decal Review tables for some of what is out there.



I'm embarrassed to say that I've not built this kit or many other AM kits. Not sure why as everyone who has done one talks about how great they are. Perhaps this one will find its way onto the work bench. One thing I do know is that careful shopping can find this kit at well over half off its retail price (check some of our advertisers). It will also make into a really super kit of this aircraft

Kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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