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Louis Gardner
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Kit Review: 1/32 scale P-51D-5NA Mustang, Revell of Germany, kit number 03944, Part 1

March 24, 2019 · in Reviews · · 18 · 4.5K
This article is part of a series:
  1. Kit Review: 1/32 scale P-51D-5NA Mustang, Revell of Germany, kit number 03944, Part 1
  2. 1/32 Aviattic decals review for a Wingnut Wings Fokker D-VII "Seven Swabians"

This will be in two parts. Sadly this one is no longer being produced at the moment. All of the molds have been purchased by a new company when the parent company of went bankrupt a little while ago, so hopefully it will get in production again soon... One can only hope.

So if you are on the fence about getting one of these (if you can find one online), this may help you make a decision. They are out there for purchase, but they are getting very expensive now, even more expensive when you factor in the shipping costs.

Luckily I bought mine at the LHS and left the shop paying only a little more than $25 for mine when they first came out.

Much has been written about the I won't bore you with a repeat of history. There are also quite a few kits available for the type in all scales. So when this one was released a little while ago I came as a surprise to me. The main thing that really made this one a great purchase was the price they were originally being sold for. Granted it's not a Tamiya , but it's not bad for your investment either at the original selling point. Your money, you choice...

Recently over the past 5-6 years or so, Revell of Germany was on a roll and came out with some great new subjects in 1/32 scale. They had a Ju-88, a He-111, He-162 (and a He-219), Arado Ar-196 float plane, a few new Spitfires and 109's, a two seat Me- 262, ...all popular subjects.

and then they came out with this one. This version they released is the "early" D model bubble top Mustang that lacks the tail fillet on the vertical fin...

It comes packaged in the typical style box that we all have come to know. It opens on the ends, and has some nice print on all sides. Your typical information on various paint colors needed to complete the model are listed as are other building supplies.

It is listed as Skill 5 and has 158 parts. It measures in at 30 CM long (11.81 inches) and has a 35.2 CM wingspan (13.85 inches) .

The kit instruction booklet is nicely printed in color.

It has pictographs which are explained inside the first page... which is also explained in multiple languages.

The required colors needed to build the model are listed next. These are also listed in multiple languages and use Revel color call outs for their line of paint.

The recommended colors are carried over to the next page. On the following page, they have an illustrated parts diagram ...

Which is broken down by the parts tree and number.

This parts breakdown is carried over to the next page as well. The illustrated parts are numbered in the same fashion.

Then we start the actual construction phase. It's no surprise here, but you build the cockpit first. The nice thing is the parts are shown on the instructions in the appropriate shade they should be painted. I personally would do a little research before committing to the colors used, since there were several variations used during the production of the Mustang. The wooden floor was also painted black on some planes. The instructions have you leave the floor in the natural wood color, augmented with interior green. This looks cool when done properly...

Here you see where the early style tail is fitted against the fuselage. This tells me there were plans for later model Mustangs in the pipeline... Hopefully this will eventually happen, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

If you look closely at the fuselage side walls, you will see where the color "Interior Green" is called for.

I included this picture below, as it shows an important step in the assembly. It shows the proper positioning of the completed cockpit assembly and the radiator / duct work assembly.

If you look closely you will see there are two different variations with the radiator assembly. One incorporates an open tail wheel well, where the other has this area sealed off should you decide to build your Mustang "wheels up".

Once the fuselage is buttoned up, the wings are built next. The upper and lower wing halves are a single piece affair, and it is mated to the fuselage in one piece just like the real plane was built. The nicest thing is the wheel well... It is correctly represented just like the real full sized Mustang.

One other thing I picked up on is there are some small depressions visible inside the wings for rocket mounts. This also tells me there were plans to produce later versions of the Mustang.

It has you build up the wing spar which acts as the rear most portion of the main landing gear wells. Many companies, especially in the smaller scales have this incorrectly molded and square off the wheel wells using the door opening as the rear walls.

Here's where the model building process and the real life assembly methods coincide. A one piece wing is attached to the fuselage. Hopefully there will not be a gap problem here. I'll be finding out soon...

The Revell of Germany Mustang has the option of either raised or dropped flaps. Both sets are included so you have options here. The set that is dropped has a different end molded on it where it sits next to the fuselage. No scratch building is necessary there to show this proper detail.

This next photo shows some more interesting features of this kit. The main landing gear doors are all molded as one piece. They are as they would be if the main doors were all closed as if the plane was flying and the gear retracted. You have to cut them apart to pose the gear in the "Down" position.

The canopy can be posed "Open" or "Shut", and the tail wheel is installed late in the assembly process. I like this last tail wheel feature a lot... The main wheels are constructed using the traditional method using an inner and outer half.

The propeller is made up of various parts and is not too complicated. The prop itself is molded as a one piece unit, making it hard to goof up.

There are some under wing storage options. There are two 500 pound bombs. There are also two different style of under wing drop tank supplied. One is the compressed paper version, while the other was metal.

There are decals supplied for two different planes. First up is "LOU IV" / "Athelene". This one is a rather controversial marking choice. In the past there was a big time online argument as to whether or not this plane was painted in Blue or Green upper surface camouflage colors. Now Dana Bell has done some more research on it and it looks like it just might not have been blue OR green after all... but blue AND Green. A combination of both. This also ties in to exactly what the veterans said...those who actually worked on (and flew) these planes from this unit.

Don't shoot me, I'm only the messenger. It could have been a combination of both colors as pointed out by Mr. Bell.

The other marking choice is for a plane called the "Desert Rat"

This one has the more conventional OD Green over Neutral Gray colors...

The kit supplied decals are very nicely done. My example was printed perfectly. They include the small stencils and markings for both planes. The decals are printed in Italy, and could quite possibly be made by Cartograph.

The clear parts are molded well in my kit. I have read online where others had a canopy that was short shot. Not so on mine... thank goodness !

Only one style of canopy is included. If you want the later "Dallas" style sliding portion, you'll have to find it elsewhere... This sliding canopy looks to be proper for an early D Model Mustang.

Another nice touch is the light frosting where the frame is located. I'm hoping this will make it a little easier to mask off and paint...

I'm going to continue on with the remaining plastic parts in the next installment, so please stay tuned. From what I have seen so far with this Mustang, it seems to be a nice one !

If you're interested in how this one will build up, I've started a build journal on it. You can see how it comes together by following this link:

As always,
Comments are encouraged.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

18 responses

  1. Hi Louis,

    thanks for this (1st part) review. Nice to see really clear and large pictures of the sprues and details (there were some in box reviews of this kit in the past, but often lacked good pics). The kit looks good and seems just only second to Tamiya´s P-51.

    If you remember those old Revell instructions (black and white on recycled paper) the recent ones are a big leap forward.

    The kit is still available on Revell(Germany)´s and other online shops, too. So at least here in Europe there´s still a chance to get one for a reasonable price. And taking into account that the huge decal sheet is indeed printed by Cartograf this kit is a true bargain (the C behind the decal item no. indicates Cartograf).

    • Thanks for the comments. @wolf21379

      I have a bunch of good pictures on the way in the next installment that will show the quality of the plastic parts. They look good to me... so please stay tuned.

      We can't seem to get these kits easily here in the US. Other than finding a few at various online "auction sites". When you do, the prices are extremely inflated. Then factor in the shipping costs, this kit will cost you close to $60 when it arrives at your house.

      It was a fantastic bargain at the original price here in the US. We could get them at prices close to $25... Well worth every penny.

      Thanks again.

  2. Nice review, thanks.

  3. The good news about this kit is that a couple of good modelers were involved in developing it. The kit was designed by well-known kit designer Radu Brinzan and overall is the Mustang you wanted if you didn't want all the toylike stuff you didn't want to use in the Tamiya kit.

    There are, however, several problems with the kit. The major one is that the clear parts for the windscreen and canopy are about as clear as a coke bottle with considerable visual distortion, due to the fact they were prematurely pulled from the molds. For awhile last year, you could write Revell-Germany and get a replacement - your odds were about 50-50 whether the replacement would be better; now that the company is still being reorganized, no one knows how to get these. If you are going to pose the canopy open, the poor molding will not be a problem with seeing what you have done to the cockpit.

    One nice thing in the decals is that the various placards for the cockpit are included. Roy Sutherland did the decals and included these.

    You need to get a seatbelt - the Eduard 1/32 USAAF late WW2 belt set is best.

    Eduard has made a LOOK instrument panel for this kit that is a real knockout and really adds to the look of the cockpit when finished.

    • Thanks Tom @tcinla

      I picked up a Yahu panel for this one.

      After reading your reply about the Eduard "LOOK" series in the reviews I posted on the Yahu panels, I went over to their website and checked things out. The "Look" panel is very impressive. The nice thing is that it comes with a seat harness too. Had I known about them earlier I might have opted to go that route.

      But the majority of the IP's offered in this line are for Eduard kits. Hopefully they will expand out to other makers in the future as they really do look nice.

      I ended up getting a seat harness for this Revell kit at the same time I purchased the Yahu IP. It's supposed to be a "cloth" type harness and it takes some assembly.

      As far as the decals, I opted to build up Major preddy's "Cripes a Mighty" 3rd. I know it's been done a blue million times, but it's my favorite and I wanted to go with this set. They come with a fantastic book from Eagle Cals. All of the research has been done so it was a "no brainer"...

      This is the Mustang version I'll be doing with this Revell kit. The decal sheet has several options for various models of the Mustang, so I will be using the left overs on other builds.

      Thanks again for the comments.

      • Cripes 'A Mighty III is perfect! If you want to do it the day he scored 4, in August, the upper D-Day stripes were gone and the fuselage stripes came up even with the top edge of the arms of the national insignia.

        • I agree it is a perfect choice. The booklet that comes with the decals has a picture showing the Major sitting on the edge of the cockpit and holding up 4 fingers. It is also shown on the front cover. I'm guessing this was the day you mentioned.

          The caption in the book has it listed somewhere between 21 and 28 July 1944. Did he score two sets of 4 on different occasions ? Just curious... now I'll have to go and do some more research, which is actually just as much fun as the building part.

          The picture also shows the fuselage stripes stopping just at the lower edge of the national insignia.

          Thanks again.

  4. I bought this kit at when it first came out at my lhs for $26! It builds fast and looks great for a fraction of the cost of the Tamiya opus, which I also have. The only drawback I found was the lack of color schemes and decals for the early 'Stang. I'll post an article of my build shortly, I really liked this kit!

    • Hello Juan, @jebenite1

      When these first came out they were quite a bargain, as were the rest of the planes that were released by Revell during this era. You got a lot for your money.

      I still don't have any of the 1/32 scale Tamiya kits. I would eventually like to have a Corsair and a Mustang, but the cost is the main reason why I don't. There are not too many options out there for decals on this early version. There was a guy who mastered a new replacement resin tail for these so if you got one it would open up your options.

      Please post up your Mustang ! I'd love to see it, and I have a strange feeling I'm not the only one here that thinks this... 🙂

      I'm looking forward to building this one...

  5. Nice review buddy. And Juan Benitez I'm shocked, shocked that you build such large scale kits.

  6. The guys at club who have built it, have liked it, and say that if you want a 'buttoned up' P-51 in 1/32 this is a great kit - no need to go for the Tamiya - unless you want all the additional bells and whistles.

    • Thanks David, @davem
      I am hoping that it turns out to be as good as the reports I have heard from others about it. I will be finding out very soon... 🙂

      I have an older Hasegawa P-51D with some other resin bits for it to bring it up to speed. I may go all out on that one, but for this Revell kit, I'm keeping the additions to a minimum. Thanks for the comments and I'll keep you posted.

  7. Hi Louis. Great review.

    We can pick this kit up for $35 delivery included in the U.K. so I may have to push the button on this kit. Wasn’t really looking for a Pony but at this price and not knowing if it’ll be available much longer, we’ll...

    Your reviews are very cleverly laid out; mixing the text and photos in a way that’s very pleasing and easy to read. Looking forward to seeing the sprues. The Revell 1/32 kits are beauties; the Ju88 is a dream, the Arado too, and the Fw190.

    Thanks for taking the time to set this all out, there’s so many companies out there vying for our hard earned dough - reviews like this make it easier to connect what’s available to your modeling style.

    Cheers, Louis.

  8. Hello David @dirtylittlefokker

    Thanks for the compliments. I plan on posting Part 2 very soon, so please stay tuned for this article in the headlines section.

    I have been very pleased with the recent releases from Revell over the past 5 years or so. They were all fine examples of the larger 1/32 scale. Hopefully things will turn around for us here in the US with Revell, and we will be able to get them again in the future. Right now they are extremely hard to locate...and getting expensive.

    Such a shame.

    I would personally grab one while you can. Damn the torpedoes man !

    Always good to hear from you. Take care my friend.

  9. I bought one of these as soon as they were available, although they arrived in the US several months after the posted release date. Glad I bought one when I did! I'm looking forward to building it; still on the fence about the Tamiya kit.

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