Accurate Miniatures 1/48 P-51C Mustang
|PRICE:||$44.95 SRP (on sale for considerably less)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||2008 boxing. Bendix Transcontinental Race edition|
The P-51B was developed with the grudging consent of the Army brass because the plane 'wasn't made for us'. It was the result of British experiments that added a Merlin engine to the Allison powered early Mustang. The result transformed the airplane into the high altitude bomber escort the USAAF had been looking for, but failed to produce. Were it not for the urging of USAAF pilots stationed in the UK who flew the plane, it may never have been built.
The B and C models were identical to each other save that the C model was made in Dallas instead of California. Both types served everywhere the Allies fought during WWII.
The Accurate Miniatures plane is a very nicely molded kit. This boxing includes both P-51C and P-51A sprues as some A model parts are needed for the racers. Doing a wartime plane with this kit will require some research as it only offers the tail section with the fin filet as you see on the P-51D. This item was retrofit to several B/C models, mostly those serving in the CBI.
Considering the high regard people had for Accurate Miniatures, it is a bit of a mystery why their Mustang kit did not do so well. Perhaps it was the release of the Tamiya kit that caused this, or perhaps the fact that AM missed the small aileron hinge fairings on the upper wing. But those who have built any AM kit know that they make for superb replicas when done.
This boxing is for two post war racers, hence the mixture of P-51A/B/C sprues. Most of the bits used will be from the B/C sprues, but the A sprue has some common items on them such as the tailplanes and landing gear. You'll have quite a few spares as you won't need the wing racks or drop tanks/bombs.
You are supplied with the P-51B/C instructions which, if you follow completely will not provide the desired aircraft ,but a wartime version. You need to do a bit of thinking on this one and get some photos and an aftermarket source. For instance, the Jackie Cochran plane has been photographed with the kit's cuffed prop, but with P-38 drop tanks under the wings. Conversely, there are photos of the plane without the tanks or racks and with an uncuffed prop. The aircraft also did not have the military radio and the guns were removed with the leading edges smoothed out. Fortunately, both aircraft options: Cochran's green 13 and Manz's red 46 have been well documented with color images of both available on the 'net. Since both planes are an overall color, painting will be simple with the markings placement guide providing color references in several brands. The decals are well done and should be properly opaque.
If you haven't realized it by now, this kit cannot really be built straight out of the box without some additional work on the kit and some research. However, none of the issues are insurmountable and any modeler with a modicum of experience should be able to produce a very nice replica racer.
I don't usually comment on sources of the kits I buy for these previews, but I'd like to acknowledge the customer service of Hobbylinc. I bought this kit on discount and it was missing the clear sprue. An e-mail to them got me a new set within a week or so. They didn't have to do that and undoubtedly robbed the part from another kit. Kudos to them for doing this.
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