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P-51D Mustang




Trumpeter's/Hobbycraft's 1/24 scale Mustang may be ordered online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: TR24401
Scale: 1/24 (Length 410mm, Wing Span 470mm)
Contents and Media: 288 parts; metal aileron and flap shaft; photo-etched fret; 3 x resin figures; 1 x acetate sheet (instruments); rubber tyres and engine wiring detail.
Price: USD$101.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: QuickLook
Advantages: High quality moulding; good detail; crisply engraved panel lines; plenty of options (propeller blades, ordnance, clear or solid engine cowling); nice resin figures included; best 1/24 scale Mustang (probably the best 1/24 scale aircraft kit straight from the box) available today.
Disadvantages: Recessed rivets all over; mould line on lower front cowl; a few sinkmarks on minor parts; clear part of main canopy separate to frame; minimal stencils on decal sheet.
Recommendation: Recommended


QuickLook Preview by Brett Green




As unlikely as it might have seemed a few years ago, we now have a third 1/24 scale P-51D Mustang on the market. It is also quite clearly the best.

In contrast to some of their braver choices of model subjects to date, Trumpeter's debut 1/24 scale release is a safe bet. The Mustang is one of the best recognized aircraft in history, and plastic versions of all scales have their own successful sales history with Monogram, Hasegawa, Tamiya and many others.

Trumpeter's 1/24 scale P-51D Mustang is highly detailed, as befits its large size. It is also very cleanly moulded, with only a couple of sink marks on the bomb racks. The only blemish on the main parts is a soft but noticeable mould line on the lower engine cowling. Could this suggest an Allison Mustang in the works? Regardless, this "L" shaped line will need to be filled and sanded.



The "Mad Rivetter" of the 1960s and 1970s, who was famous for burying wings and fuselages under lines of rivets worthy of a battleship, has been displaced in the year 2002 by the slightly more restrained "Recessed Rivetter". Most of the airframe is covered with thousands of fine, recessed rivets. They are less obvious than those on the Airfix 1/24 scale P-51D; and will be further obscured by a coat of paint. The recessed panel lines that run the gauntlet of the rivets are very crisp. Control surfaces are depicted as fabric.

Detail is quite good in the engine, cockpit and wing gun bays. I liked the plastic ammunition for the wing mounted .50 calibre machine guns. The separate wing formation lights are another nice touch. Even so, in this very large scale there is plenty of scope for more work, and any extra detailing work will be rewarded with a highly visible result.

The clear parts are thin and free of distortion. My only complaint is that the big clear section of the canopy is provided as a separate part to the canopy frame. This means that the clear part must be glued along the entire length of the join between the frame and the clear section. This almost guarantees visible glue marks between the frame and the clear plastic. I would have preferred to see a single clear moulding. In that case, the clear section could simply be masked off and the frame painted without any risk of glue marks.

A range of useful options are supplied with the kit. These include the choice of metal or paper style drop tanks; bombs, rockets, clear or solid engine cowls and different styles of propeller blades. I am a little suspicious about the shape of these blades, but I will do some more research before drawing any conclusions.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Three resin figures are also included.

A full-colour A3 marking guide accompanies the 16 page instruction book. The decals (markings for one aircraft) look good, but there are very few stencil markings provided.





Owing to the modular nature of the kit it is difficult to make any authoritative statements about accuracy. Fit is another unknown issue at this stage.

The initial impression of this big Mustang is good. If future releases in this scale maintain this standard or continue to improve (as Trumpeter's short history would suggest will be the case), we are all going to have to buy much bigger display cases before too long!

Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 17 December, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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