The 2019 edition of the Moson Model Show is on this weekend, and we're starting traditionally with new kit news presented at the show. And not just any news - this one is likely to be the bombshell kit release of the year.
Courtesy of the Eduard staff, the iModeler crew was allowed to examine the test shots for the company's forthcoming 1/48 scale P-51D Mustang. The kit will represent an early production D-5 version (without a fin fillet), although it is absolutely certain that we can expect a plethora of further P-51 variations to follow.
What is it
Eduard 1/48 North American P-51D-5 Mustang Profipack
Forthcoming injection-moulded kit with photoetched parts
Self-adhesive masks for canopy
Decal sheet with ? marking options
Available for our scrutiny are the three test-shot sprues in grey plastic, plus a clear sprue. It's important to note that these do NOT represent the complete kit - for example, all interior, landing gear detail, propellers etc. are missing from this test-shot. Also, although some of the parts look almost production-ready quality, the Eduard representative was clear that much of the detail will still be refined before the kit reaches production.
User-friendly kit engineering
Beautiful quality of mouldings
Visible care for detail
A complete early fusalage without wing fillet is provided
Moulds are prepared to cover a wide range of P-51 variants.
Everything in the kit appears to be well-researched down to the smallest bits of this well-known aircraft
The quality of moulding and overall finesse of this kit is mouth-wathering.
Things to watch for
In my mind there are none at this point, although Eduard's design choices in the kit are bound to revive the classic debate about the puttied wings vs. rivets on a Mustang and how to best depict it on a model.
We're being informed that Eduard aims at launching the kit (presumably with the first production items being available for purchase) at the 2019 IPMS/US National Convention on 7-10 August in Chattanooga, TN. General availability in hobby stores is expected in October.
Reviewer's point of view
Do we need another quarter-scale P-51D? Having had these test-shots in my hands, the answer appears clear to me - with this quality, we do! Personally, I'm not going to resist buying the Eduard's P-51D as soon as it becomes available, even though the previous Airfix, Meng and Tamiya offerings are already in my stash and are all excellent kits. That's just how exciting this new P-51 feels...
Click on the pictures for details and further commentary.
37 additional images. Click to enlarge.
1. Available for our scrutiny are the three test-shot sprues in grey plastic, plus a clear sprue. They seem to represent around 60% of the final kit.
1. The first sprue contains fuselage halves for the D-5 version, plus a separate fin.
1. The second sprue contains wing and tail components
1. The thrid sprue features underwing drop tanks and ordnance.
1. ...and here's the clear sprue with three versions of the bubble canopy and a plethora of smaller clear parts.
1. Rather than resolving the wing fillet part through an insert, Eduard provides two complete fuselage halves for the fillet-less D-5 version. Excellent!
1. The surface detail comprises fine countersunk AND raised rivets2. Raised rivets on this panel
1. Fuselage underbelly is a traditionally tricky area to get smooth on a P-51 model. Eduard tackles the issue by providing two fairly large inserts for the cooling air outlets.2. Note the detail of the wing fillet
1. The front air intake is provided as a separate part2. Eduard will provide different types of exhaust and cooling gills to cover as many variations of the P-51D as possible.3. This panel under the nose is provided integrally with the lower wing. Once again, a clever way of providing better detail in this area.
1. The surface detail on the nose looks very refined indeed.
1. This photo demonstrates the finesse of the rivet & screw detail on the tail
1. The fin of the P-51 was fabric-covered, and here'äs the rendition of this surface in the Eduard kit.
1. All control surfaces are provided as separate parts.2. 1-piece lower wing
1. The Mustang afficionados have long debated if a P-51 model should feature any rivet detail on the wing or not. These wings were puttied at the factory. The Eduard's has chosen not to render any rivets on the wings.
1. Here's my own photo of how a puttied wing looks like on real a P-51D and indeed, the rivets are much less discernible than on natural metal surfaces. The Eduard's design choice to omit rivets is logical!
1. Lower wing... no rivets!
1. What, rivets in this panel but not the others? Yes, the lower centre wing was not puttied on a real P-51, hence this result.
1. There's a glorious amount of flash on this test shot, but this will rather surely be eliminated before this kit reaches production.
1. Hollow ejection chutes are a nice touch.2. Gun ports are provided as inserts.
1. Please disregard this short-shot. It will most certainly be eliminated in the final kit.2. Flaps
1. Raised rivet detail2. Recessed rivet detail
1. Horizontal tail
1. Three versions of the bubble hood are provided.
1. The clear windscreen is integrated with the fuselage panel to eliminate puttying and simplify painting.
1. "Paper" drop tanks
1. Metal drop tanks
1. HVAR rocket tubes. These are not needed for the D-5 version, but other boxings are coming!
1. Likewise, these finely moulded underwing rockets are provided for the future boxings of the Eduard P-51D.