Modelcraft 1/48 F-82B Twin Mustang






One Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run - availability uncertain


Once the standard long-range, high-altitude escort fighter for the U.S. Air Force, the North American P-82 Twin Mustang was the climactic development of a long series of the famous World War II P-51 Mustang series. First flight of P-82 was on June 16, 1945. After 1947, the old P for Pursuit designation was replaced by F for Fighter, so the aircraft became known as the F-82.
North American produced 250 of the double-fuselaged airplanes for the Air Force, embracing three major versions of the Twin Mustang then in service, the P-82E, P-82F, and P-82G. They were ordered too late for World War II, however.

The versatility of the P-82 made it potentially adaptable to a wide variety of roles in modern aerial warfare. It could have been used as a fighter, a long-range escort (of B-29 bombers), long-range reconnaissance, night fighter, attack bomber, rocket fighter or an interceptor.
With a speed of more than 475 miles an hour, the Twin Mustang had a combat range of over 1,600 miles with full armament. Range could be extended by use of external drop tanks on the wings.
A radical departure from the conventional single-fuselage airplane, the Twin Mustang was formed by two fuselages joined by the wing and the horizontal stabilizer. With a pilot in each fuselage, it reduced to a minimum the problem of pilot fatigue on ultra-long-range missions. The P-82F and G models carried a radar operator in the right cockpit instead of a co-pilot.
Both engine throttles and both propellers were controllable from either cockpit by manually operated levers. The pilot's  cockpit on the left contained the normal flight and engine instruments, while the co-pilot on the right had sufficient instruments for relief and emergency operation.
A simplified cockpit arrangement improved pilot comfort, including a tilting, adjustable seat to reduce fatigue during long flights.

The subject of this kit is an F-82B. It was the only version powered by Merlin engines, the others having Allisons (and therefore, different noses). This particular aircraft set a long-distance unrefuelled record  on Feb 28 1947.It flew non-stop from Hickam Field in Hawaii to Laguardia in New York, a total of 4,968 miles. It is currently part of the collection of the USAF Museum



Modelcraft is more well known for reboxing other folks models. This kit is one that they had done specifically for them and it is still the only 1/48 F-82 that is widely available. It was done in three versions, the F-82B, F-82E and F-82G Night Fighter. The sprues for the B and E versions seem to be the same with the G having the radar pod as extra.

The kit is very much a short run model with rather soft engraved panel lines, surface features that are a bit rough, and ejector pin towers in all the large bits. There is also a bit of flash on most parts, and my clear bits, in addition to being a bit on the thick side, had what seems like bits of molten black plastic in them, effectively making them impossible to clean up by any polishing method. In a word, it isn't the best short run kit around. However, it isn't any worse looking than most French short run kits, especially as it doesn't rely on resin or etched brass. The instructions state that it was molded in the Czech Republic, but it doesn't seem as if MPM had anything to do with it. Even back in 1997, MPM kits were better done than this one.

The kit has no real options as it does portray a specific aircraft. This means that it has to have the four large drop tanks under the wings. The instructions are fairly good and show all the proper construction steps and any modifications that are needed to build the kit. I may be missing a sheet or something as there is no interior color information of any kind given with the kit. The builder will have to rely on the box art for decal placement. There is a very small drawing that shows red, white and blue stripes on the upper wings and horizontal stab. I have to assume that this is only on the upper surface as the box art shows none of these colors on the underside. The spinners are painted in red, white and blue as well. The decal sheet that is included is well printed and looks to be properly thin, so may well have been done by Propagteam.  I'd recommend a web search for the USAF Museum for more info on painting this beastie.


I've talked to people who have built this kit and there is a review of the F-82E in the archives. An easy build it won't be, but this is a case of 'only game in town' when it comes to the Twin Mustang.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has 200,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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