Revell 1/32 P-51D-5 (early)
KIT #: 5989
PRICE: $31.00
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: John Summerford
NOTES: Most recent boxing with different decals.


Built by the North American Aviation Company, the P-51 Mustang was perhaps the best all-around fighter plane in the American armed forces during WWII. Numerous books have been written about the Mustang and many kit manufacturers have at least one version in their inventories. One can also find many after-market parts and decals for the models.


In this example, Revell has produced a well detailed early variant of the -D model. The large-ish box holds Three bags of nine light gray sprues and one small bag of clear parts. The parts are well molded and have nice detail. An engine is not included, nor are there any photo-etch parts. Build options are; radiator doors open or closed, choice of lower cowl vent or none, landing gear down or the wheel bays closed, flaps up or down, open or closed canopy, and the choice of two different drop tanks or bombs.

A 20-page booklet holds the assembly, paint, and decal instructions. Instead of a map, two pages are devoted to a chart of part numbers and the part names in English, French, and Spanish. Decal options are for “Cripes A Mighty 3rd” flown by Major George Preddy Jr. and the plane on the box lid, “Frenesi”, the mount of Lt. Cdr. Thomas L. Hayes

Typically, the build starts with the cockpit and continues through seven steps. The radiator is built up next. After fuselage details are installed, the two sub-assemblies are installed, the fuselage closed up and the nose details added.

The wheel wells and wing leading edges are built up over the next four steps, then mated to the fuselage. Details for the radiator follow, then the control surfaces. Canopy, landing gear, and prop are added next. The final bits are the underwing stores, pitot, and conclude in step 59 with the radio mast.


The price is definitely right on this kit and is a great alternative to other 32nd scale kits. Perhaps the only after-market parts to consider using are an instrument panel, a Merlin engine and maybe diamond tread wheels. It appears that most attention to will go to the seams of the major parts. If those parts fit together as well as their detail is molded, that should go well.

 John Summerford

February 2022

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