Airfix 1/48 'Boeing' P-51D Mustang

KIT #: A05136
PRICE: $25.00 plus shipping
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2018 tooling


When WWII finished, the US had an embarrassing number of surplus aircraft. It was fairly obvious that not all of them would be needed, so a fair portion of them were sold or even given to various nations around the world to either rebuild or build up their air forces.

It is fortunate that they were not all scrapped as many of these same planes were needed to fight the Chinese on the Korean peninsula less than five years after the end of WWII. The Mustang was also manufactured in Australia and their planes differed very little from the standard Boeing (then North American) product. In the US, about the only thing that changed was the removal of the sealant in the wings and the use of an uncuffed prop (at least in most instances). All of the remaining now F-51s were fitted with rocket rails, an option that was installed in very late war planes.


Many of us were raising eyebrows at the news of another 1/48 P-51D, but the truth is that those more easily available were of Japanese manufacture and hence a bit on the pricey side for the folks in Europe. So it just made sense for Airfix to spend its development money on a new tool Mustang. Like the Spitfire and 109, one cannot really not make money from such a kit.

If you have seen a new tool Airfix kit in the last few years, little will come as a surprise. The external detailing is engraved panel lines with accentuated fastener and even some external rivet detail, the latter of which is unprototypical unless you are doing a warbird.

Things I like about the kit are a proper tail wheel well, the option of raised or lowered flaps, an insert for the lower cowling vents so you can do the version with the louvers instead of holes, and a nicely detailed interior. The interior instrument panel has raised detail and also a decal you can use if you wish. The Airfix kit also has a proper main wing spar that you can see in the wheel well, a feature missed by many others. There are also two types of exhaust, one without the manifold piece on the top and you get two different props; one a cuffed HS and the other an uncuffed one with squared off tips. Be careful on which you use for your model and looking at photos showed that some of the markings options provided may have used an uncuffed prop without the squared off tips. If you decide to use this kit to do a WWII Mustang IV, note that no Aeroproducts prop is included as some of those planes were actually 51Ks. 

For things under wings, you have a lot to choose from. You can put either 75 gallon tanks or 500 lb bombs on the wing rack. The 108 gallon paper ones are included but not germane to this boxing. Most importantly, you get rockets and their stubs. The kit also includes two canopies, one being the standard version and the other the 'Dallas' canopy. If you haven't figured it out, Airfix provides the sprue for the prop and rockets with this boxing, but the rest of it is standard WWII Mustang kit.

Instructions are well done with red areas in several of the steps showing items installed in the previous construction step. The large decal sheet has three rather pedestrian schemes that will require the builder to paint any real color. The box art plane has red bits on the flight surfaces, while there is a Swedish plane and also an Australian one with a red, white and blue spinner that will be interesting to paint. All of the aircraft are unpainted metal. The decals are quite nicely printed and provide a full stencil suite along with a separate page to provide a placement guide for the data markings.

If you do not already have a lot of 1/48 Mustangs or are one of those who will only build the latest, then this one is for you. The 'Boeing' thing is because I think it is B.S. that they charge royalties for something they did not design, did not build, did not name, and was paid for with taxpayer money.

December 2018

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page        Back to the Review Index Page        Back to the Previews Index Page