Scarlet Kate and Little Joe
I built these two 1/72 P-51Bs to compare the Academy and Revell kits. I enjoyed both builds, although the Academy kit – finished as ‘Scarlet Kate’ – was perhaps the easiest of the two in terms of fit and ease of construction. I also liked the surface detail a little better.
I installed a True Details resin cockpit interior but virtually nothing can be seen of it through the thick, distorted canopy. In fact the canopy is one of the main issues with the Academy kit. The Malcolm hood seems too high or too short, and the nose contours/chin intake also look a bit suspect.
The Revell kit (Little Joe) was moulded in softer plastic and the fit wasn’t quite as precise as Academy’s, but it was still a stress-free kit and was built out-of-box. Again, it’s let down by the canopy which is slightly too low in profile and has overly-heavy framing. The nose profile looks better to my eye though.
Both kits were finished with Alclad Aluminum, and decals for both were custom-made, back in the days when I had a working ALPS-printer. There are obviously accuracy issues with either kit, but I’m not really a rivet counter and am happy overall with both of them. Still, it would be really nice if Tamiya would scale down their 48th kit…