Just arrived on my front porch
Just arrived. Tore into it like a ravening wolf.
A more detailed review will be up at M2 next week. But right off, the surface detail is amazing, more petite even than the recent Fw-190 and Tempest, if such is possible. For those who say “yeah, but it was flush riveted” I can say having been around P-51s up close and personal since 1972 that yes, it is flush riveted, but when the sunlight is on it from the right angle, and you’re about 6 feet away, you can see the riveting, just like this. It’s so petite that under the proverbial coat of paint, you’re going to have to hold the model to the light to see it.
Everything is in the box to do everything from a P-51D-5 with field-fitted dorsal fin, to the P-51D-30 with the postwar prop, and the P-51K. Those with extensive collections of aftermarket P-51 decals can have a field day.
It even has the early “tear drop” canopy that was on the P-51D-5 and was replaced by the later canopy because it didn’t give enough headroom. That canopy is little known to other than Serious Mustang Props, er, I mean Fans.
Decals are first-rate and provide options that have definitely not been “done to death.”
As to the wings, when I have seen a P-51 with the wing puttied, you can still see a bit of the panel lines, so you could get away with leaving it alone and just painting a different shade. Alternatively, purists will only need to run some Mr. Surfacer in the panel lines to get a smooth wing.
Some of the “there’s medication for that” crowd wonder if the shape is right. I put a Tamiya fuselage half against the Eduard part and there was “perfect congruence.” Ditto the wing.
A fellow denizen of iModeler commented to me the other day that “The Airfix P-51 is the good Chevrolet I can afford, the Eduard P-51 is the restored XK-E I deserve.” That pretty much says it. The kit does not make the Airfix “obsolete,” since that is half the price of this, perfect for those who want to do some of the myriad of great markings the airplane carried. It does however (along with the Airfix kit) make the Tamiya kit obsolete – correct gear wells, flap, etc. It’s what’s possible now with CAD.
Bottom line: Buy. In. Confidence.