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Eric Berg
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Modelsvit 1:48 P-51H ANG

June 26, 2020 · in Aviation · · 19 · 2.5K

The was the last and a completely different version of the , redesigned in an effort to reduce weight and increase speed. Tom Cleaver built this kit back in January and has the P-51H's history down plus some good construction tips here.

First thing you need to know is that this Modelsvit P-51H is a limited run kit from the Ukraine using cost effective short run technology. Which means even though the engraved detail and box contents look every bit as good as the new Eduard P-51D series, it isn't as far as ease of assembly goes. Nor is removing the ultra fiddly parts from the sprues without breaking them a stress free experience. The multi-part wheel well detail is amazing but it's like working with a delicate resin set.

The secret is: TAKE YOUR TIME! This is not a weekend kit. Make sure you test fit every darned part several times before gluing and be careful not to force anything. Parts flash cleanup, a dab of filler, light sanding here and there is all that's needed along the way. Go super easy on the sanding as the plastic is very soft and thin in places so the detail will vanish before you know it.

The kit includes very good vinyl canopy masks but I didn't care for the chunky looking supplied PE seat belts so I used Eduard instead. For decals I went with Caracal Models excellent new P-51H sheet printed by Cartograf. Modelsvit's engraved detail is impressive but very petite so again, watch that sanding. Overall fit is good enough considering it's a low injection kit. Still, test fit everything multiple times before gluing. If you've ever built anything along the lines of Sword or Special Hobby, then you will have no trouble with Modelsvit. This really is a super kit that includes everything one needs to build a killer looking H model.

As long as you don't goof up like I did.

From start to finish, I doomed myself with a series of self-inflicted disasters, mistakes and bad luck, some caused by overthinking this kit's abilities. All went smoothly at first including the cockpit installation and then I botched the initial black primer job and troubles continued right down to the very last second when the carpet monster inhaled one of the navigation lights. There were a couple of moments when I even experienced Classic Airframes flashbacks!

Modelsvit has delivered a really good kit here and I intend to build another one. Next time it's going to go like a cool breeze.

So here it is - my stab at a California Air National Guard P-51H circa 1952.

Reader reactions:
13  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Well done Eric! Fantastic work with this kit, it really is a nice addition to the 1/48 scale Mustang lineup. Your recommendation to take careful, measured steps is right on par.

  2. Very Nice build, but looking at it, it seems the designers of in the effort to make a the plane perform better ruined its lines from all angles. Not a dig at your work, you did a great job and my hats off to you for overcoming those self inflicted problems! Usually those are harder than anything the kit throws at you.

  3. Beautifully done!

  4. Nice looking model!

    Your experience sounds a lot like my experience with the kit. I'm still trying to remove a liquid glue imprinted thumbprint on the almost pristine (sob) NMF on mine.

  5. Nice job on the P-51H, Eric. Very clean job. I live in Fresno, where the 144th Fighter Wing (and the 194th Fighter Squadron) is located; the unit is now equipped with F-15C's, which is a far cry from the P-51H.

    IIRC, the 144th has been equipped with the P-51D, P-51H, F-86A, F-86D, F-86L, F/TF-102, F-106A/B, F-4D, F-16A/B ADF, F-16C, and now, the F-15B/C (I',m sure that I have left off a few aircraft types, but this is most of them) . Throw in a few trainers like the T-6, and T-33, as well.

    The 144th Fighter Wing has always had a NORAD commitment, and is the only USAF-associated fighter unit responsible for defense of the entire state of California. Also, at times, the 144th has had the enormous responsibility of protecting the entire coastline, from Mexico to Canada, when other units were stood-down. The 144th has also provided alert aircraft, remote-deployed at George AFB and, later, March AFB.

    At one time the 144th Fighter Interceptor Wing was the parent organization to fighter groups located as far east as Michigan (others being located in Idaho and Montana). Reorganization has since changed this arrangement).

    The California Air National Guard's 144th Fighter Wing has always been a fighter unit, and has proudly protected California, and the west coast since being established in the 1940's. More recently, the 144th has served a world-wide commitment, with a variety of missions from air policing in Iceland, to "show-the flag" missions in Romania, and active combat missions in "the Sandbox". All this, while at the same time protecting the west coast from Russian "Bears", that occasionally make it as far south as California!

    Your P-51H is a fitting tribute to an excellent ANG unit...good job!

    • Thanks for the ANG info. I recall seeing a static P-51H at an airport entrance somewhere in the Central Valley down your way or am I confused with the one that was parked for years at the Hayward Airport?

  6. Excellent model, Eric!
    You did a great job with this limited run challenging kit!

  7. Hey Eric, you coulda fooled me if you'd kept your boo-boo's to yourself. It looks great!

    Definitely a nice result when you treat the kit with respect, as you point out.


    • Like you once said “If you don’t point out all the mistakes, everyone will think you’re a genius” or something like that. Thanks Tom.

  8. Nice work with the 'H' model Rick. Take your time indeed and enjoy the build! Reading your post puts me a great ease, every time a piece snaps out of of tweezers or when ever a I mess up my paint mixture I know that I am not alone.

  9. A beautiful build Eric.
    Taking your time always pays of.

  10. Nice work! You did the Cal ANG, Andrew did the Texas bird, I guess I’ll do the New Hampshire ANG option. Well done.

  11. Well done Eric, nice to see several P-51H's post here on iModeler. All look great

  12. Beautiful work Eric. You persevered through the difficulties to produce a beautiful model.

  13. Nicely done! Regardless of the "errors," she built into a nice Pony.

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