Tamiya North American P-51D Mustang model kit in 1/32 scale
The American North American P-51 Mustang was developed in the end Nineteen Thirties following a British Specification as the threat of the Second World War emerged. The design of North American was for a high speed and long range aircraft that would operate along side the Spitfires of the RAF. The P-51 utilized a (partially) laminar flow wing, reducing drag and giving longer range. The Second World war was in 1939 a fact and there were urgent needs for aircraft from all Allies.
of the P-51 were developed, including the P-51D that got a license built
Merlin engine, had a large canopy hood for better pilot view and an improved
armament. Drop tanks were also possible and the P-51D was able to escort
Allied bombers all the way to Germany with its range of about 3700 km.
It was first used as fighter but later also for ground attack. Although
not without its faults, the P-51 was an important aircraft.
The 1/32 P-51D
model will be made as an early Dutch ML-KNIL aircraft with large Dutch
The Tamiya P-51D kit no. 22 / 60322 in 1/32 scale was issued in 2011 and replaces all the older kits in this scale as it is superior as far as detail, accuracy, fit and overall execution.
The Packard V-1650 "Merlin" engine
is a separate item in the kit and can be seen when cowling panels are not
Better use decals obtained elsewhere.
An early P-51D without dorsal fillet
can be made from the kit, a P-51D with the fillet and some optionable parts
are there for interior parts like different instrument panels, 2 seats
Very nice is also a booklet in colour
with history about the P-51 with photos and text.
The model parts fit is very good with
no putty/ filler needed.
Starting the build
The kit will be made following the Tamiya kit instructions. I missed parts layout drawings in the pages, making searching for some parts a bit difficult.
A "straight out the box" build will be done as far as possible.
During assembly, you will note this: in order to achieve a good fit, Tamiya has the sprue gates on the part mating edges. So all these gates were to be removed after cutting the parts with a special cutter and the sanding with a file and sandpaper. This is a tedious job, but will ensure a very good and neat fit on the parts. This is done for each sub-assembly and each part.
of various parts and sub-assemblies was done while still on the sprues.
"painted" sections of the main wing, this being aimed at getting laminar
flow; on new aircraft the many rivets were filled to have a smooth finish
as much as possible, and the wing painted aluminium to get a smooth finish.
Later on this was often, after maintenance, not so well kept after.
- bare metal surfaces on fuselage, empennage with fin and rear tailplane, wing trailing edge flaps and wing tips.
- olive green like anti-glare panel in front of the cockpit wind shield.
- for the interior, I believe the Dutch ML-KNIL Mustangs had the "interior green" surfaces. This applies for the cockpit but also gear bays.
were made, such as for the engine (STEPS 1 - 6) and bulkheads. These were
airbrushed beforehand with the appropriate colours as indicated by Tamiya.
The frames in
the forward fuselage require carefull painting/ airbrushing as well. Some
areas are aluminium.
The fuselage is now assembled. Next are the wing with flaps and landing gear and much more.
On to next
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- Book: P51D/K Mustang, Dutch Photofile 1, G.Casius and Luuk Boerman, 2011
- Book: Camouflage en Kentekens, van de Nederlandse Militaire Luchtvaart, JHN Greuter et al.., Bonneville uitgeverij. (rare standard "must have" reference book in Dutch)
IPMS NL P-51
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Created this page October 31, 2013