Revell 1/72 Mustang III






Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The Mustang was one of those planes where everything worked properly from the start. Developed by North American in 90 days as an alternative to building the P-40 under license, the aircraft was a huge improvement over the Warhawk. Early versions were altitude hampered by the Allison, which, though it made the plane perform superbly at low altitudes, was pretty well useless above 15,000 feet. The installation of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine changed all that and gave the Mustang the high altitude performance it was lacking.

The P-51B/C was the first variant with the Merlin (produced under license by Packard) and was a highly sought aircraft. After USAAF units were supplied with the plane, a number were also turned over to the RAF. The British eventually got some 900 aircraft and designated them Mustang III, the first unit, 43 squadron, getting the type in early 1944. The first thing they did was to replace the framed canopy with a clear vision 'Malcolm Hood'. So popular was this hood that many USAAF Mustang units sought them and while many were received, the demand was always more than supply.

In addition to being an excellent long range escort (when fitted with drop tanks), the Mustang could also carry a pair of 500 lb bombs, making it a useful ground attack aircraft. It was also fast enough to catch the V-1 cruise missile that was plaguing southern England and many flying bombs met their end under a hail of .50 calibre bullets!


Thanks to the popularity of the Mustang, there have been a number of P-51B kits in 1/72. Probably the two most built have been the old Monogram and the Airfix versions. Both could be made into respectable models and your author has built a number of each of them. They both have their faults, but nothing really major. A few years ago, Hasegawa released a superb P-51B in this scale. However they made the glaring error of using a P-51D wing and so sales of this to enthusiasts were not what was hoped when first released.

Fixing all of that is the relatively new Revell of Germany Mustang III. This has the correct wing as well as other detail goodies. There is a complete and well detailed cockpit with detail molded into the fuselage halves as well. There is a decal for the instrument panel or you can detail the panel itself. The overall detail level is excellent with few nasty ejector pin marks, though I did find some of the landing gear struts. The kit itself is molded in very dark green with nice engraved panel line detailing. This 1999 kit was molded in Poland and as such has quite a bit of mold release agent on the plastic. Make sure that you wash the kit before starting painting of any of the parts.

Options are to have the radiator door open or closed as well as the choice of paper drop tanks or 250 lb bombs. Prop blades are separate. I do wish the prop was a single piece affair as in days of old! The canopy is a bit thick and is a single piece. I'd have liked to have been able to display the kit with the canopy open since it has such a nice interior. An aftermarket one will be the only real solution.

The instructions are typical of Revell of Germany. They are on newspaper stock with the first half devoted to warnings in a multiplicity of languages! Color callouts seem to be either Humbrol or Revell paints and a number of them need to be mixed. The decals are quite well done and are matte. They are printed in Italy, though by who is unknown. You get two decal options. Both planes are painted in the standard RAF day fighter scheme of the time; Dark Green and Ocean Grey uppers with Medium Sea Grey undersides, a sky tail band and yellow wing leading edges. They also carry the white wing bands used to prevent confusion with the Bf-109. The first aircraft is from 316 Sq and is shown on the box art. This one has a rather impressive tally under the cockpit. The other option is AZ*R of 234 Sq in December 1944. Of course, you can build a USAAF P-51B using this kit as well should you wish!

It looks to me to be a really nice kit and is available at a rather reasonable price. Sure to be a winner!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that averages over 2,500 visits a day, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.