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1/48 ICM P-51B

December 24, 2012 in Aviation

This is ICM’s knock off of the Tamiya kit. It is so close that the parts are virtually interchangeable. However that is where all similarities end. This kit is nowhere nearly as well engineered as the Tamiya kit and given it’s low price tag something had to give. The fit of the parts was very bad, my wings were badly warped, the wheels were completely useless, the decals silvered badly, and the canopy was completely “frosted”. I fixed the wings using hot water, the cockpit was replaced with one from True Details along with the wheels and canopy. A new set of decals from Aeromaster finished things off. So by the time I was done I had probably spent more than the cost of a Tamiya kit! Oh but it was fun. I have a few more of these ICM beauties in my stash including some Spits and Yaks so wish me luck.

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7 responses to 1/48 ICM P-51B

  1. Keith….. Sometimes we get more satisfaction from a project when we have to work at getting good results. Clearly, you have done so on this project. The P-51B has been a long time favorite of mine. Nicely done.

  2. Despite its’ “shortcomings”, it would appear you did a masterful job saving it. However, maybe it’s just me, but something you said doesn’t seem to add up. 1) “..the parts are virtually interchangeable..” [with the Tamiya kit]. “..the fit of the [ICM]”..was very bad..” How can both statements be correct? What am I missing in your explanation? Again, nice job on the build – I like it a lot.

    • Hello Craig,
      Well the parts are “virtually” the same, but not identical. Visually they appear the same, however I expect the Tamiya parts are produced to tighter tolerances, better materials, and engineering as compared to their ICM counterparts, which suffer from warpage and shrinkage. Hence if you put the ICM part into a Tamiya kit it will fit but nowhere near as good as a Tamiya part.

  3. I think my old friend the late Richard Turner (pilot of “Short-Fuse Sallee”, memorializing an old girlfriend) would like this model a lot. I have built several of these kits over the years, and while you do need to do something for the cockpit, if you have Falcon/Squadron vac canopies and any of the bazillions of aftermarket decal sheets for P-51Bs out there, you can get a good looking model. The one problem with this kit (as it is with almost all P-51 kits) is that there is no really positive alignment for the main landing gear, meaning that often it won’t be canted forward enough (as here), which is the most common mistake and the most difficult not to make. Since you’re going to do others, the best I can say for alignment is, if you have the landing gear leg in position so that looking straight down at the wing you can just see the axle ahead of the leading edge, you’ve got the right angle (and I think that explanation demonstrates just why this is so tricky for most of us).

    Very nice, realistic-looking paint work. Decal work is good too.

    • Tom,
      Yes I agree with you, aligning the landing gear was very difficult and I thought it was just another short coming of the ICM kit. One wheel locked very firmly in the wing while the other just floated free. In the end I just eyeballed it based on photos and used superglue once the position was established. Your idea is probably a better one though. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Cool Mustang! Cancel painting, love it!

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