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In-Box Review
132
P-51K Mustang
P-51K Mustang w/4.5-inch M10 Rocket Launcher
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by: Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

history
The P-51K Mustang was essentially a P-51D with a different propeller. With war production at max capacity in Inglewood, NAA added P-51 production at their Dallas Texas plant starting with the P-51B. The new designation of the B models built in Dallas was P-51C.
When the P-51D began production, once again the Dallas plant was needed. Unlike the B models, when the D models were built in Dallas, their designation of "D" was kept. They were identified as built from the Dallas plant with the "NT" suffix. So a -5 block of a D model Mustang built in Dallas would be a P-51D-5NT. These were identical to a P-51D-5NA, built in Inglewood, Ca.
The propeller of NAA's choice was the Hamilton Standard 4-blade version used on the B, C and D models. Wartime production of these props from Hamilton Standard were not keeping up with demand and a suitable replacement was needed. Aeroproducts was contracted to supply the Dallas plant with their 4-blade 11' diameter hollow steel propeller. All P-51K versions used this prop.
Info from www.mustangsmustangs.com
The Dallas built P-51K's also had a different hood for the canopy, but during the war canopies from the D model were frequently used as replacements. The Hamilton Standard propellers were also found on K models.

in the box
Very few 1/32nd kits have been blasted out of the sky more then Dragons P-51 Mustang, and this incarnation of the P-51K version will no doubt be the same.
Now this boxing is basically the same as the earlier P-51D releases, but with a few new parts.
The main new parts are the AeroProducts propeller and a new "Dallas"canopy hood.
The main parts of the kit are the same as the two earlier released P-51D Mustang kits, reviewed by Rowan here and by Jean Luc here.
The kit comes packed in a sturdy top opening box holding 11 light grey sprues, 3 clear sprues, 3 rubber tyres, 2 small sheets of photo etch, one bag with 2 metal springs and three thin metal rods, a set of instructions and a set of decals.
So without going over old ground, well a bit, the exterior parts still have a billion and one rivets, but to tell the truth don't look as bad in the flesh compared to pictures I have seen. Now I don't know whether Dragon have toned this down or not, but under a few coats of paint they will near enough disappear. The panel lines however are just as deep as the earlier releases.
The ailerons and flaps are all pose able, but the rudder is shown fitted in the neutral position in the instructions.
As with the previous incarnations of the P-51, the kit has a full engine made up of around 30 parts and can be shown off as the cowling covers have been moulded in clear plastic. The exhausts have been slide moulded and do look very good.
The cockpit is very detailed with P.E harness,s, a three part instrument panel, which has individual decals for the gauges. The gunsight is a masterpiece in its own right with 6 clear parts and 4 plastic parts making it up into a very detailed addition to the cockpit.
The undercarriage is well detailed, with the gear legs made up of multiple parts which include brake lines for the main legs. On previous releases the instructions show a spring going inside the main legs, but no mention of installing these parts are shown in this release.
Ok first moan time, the tyres, they are made of Dragons DS rubber, have a very nice tread pattern, are weighted and do look very nice, but they have been moulded in a peach colour. Tyres are black, not peach, and being rubber are not going to be easy to paint. Why Dragon have done this I haven't a clue, but someone needs their head examined lol.
The main gear wells have some nice detail moulded into the parts with hydraulic lines and spars. Looking at the way the wheel wells go together Dragon have the sidewalls flush with the well openings, where in fact the wells had a lip inside, as the side walls followed a structural spar.
The gear doors are nicely detailed but do lack the door actuators.
The wings have the gun bays, full slide moulded guns and ammo belts, but the upper wings are moulded as one piece with no separate access hatches, which is rather baffling.
The photo etch sheets hold parts for the cockpit, radiator and a new ventilation grill for the lower front fuselage.
The propeller for this release is the AeroProducts prop, which differs from the Hamilton Standard prop by being uncuffed, and the blade gradually widens towards the center of the length and then is narrower out at the rounded tip. The Hamilton blades and spinner are still included in the kit, but you are not given the option of using them.
The kit comes with a "Dallas" style blown hood, which differs from the standard hood by having a steeper rear. Dragon have replicated this part but the way the front of the canopy is moulded does not look right at all as it looks to tall.
The canopy is crystal clear, and can be posed open or closed.
The rest of the clear parts are for the navigation lights, gunsight, and the instrument bevel panel. The cowlings as already mentioned are clear, well they nearly are, as they are slightly frosted, but still have panel lines and rivet detail moulded into them.
External stores for the kit are two 4.5-inch M10 rocket launchers. The parts are well moulded and detailed with PE straps. The sprues still hold the two bombs, rockets and fuel tanks from the earlier kits, but they are not used in this kit.

instructions, markings and decals
The instruction are printed on an A4 size sheet and pulls out as one long sheet. I am not a fan of this type of instructions as it takes up too much room.
The build sequence is easy to follow, with internal colours given for the Aqueous and Mr Color range of paints.
One point of interest is our very own Rowan Baylis (Merlin)is credited with technical assistance on the front cover of the instructions. Rowan has pointed out he had very little to do with the kit other then telling Dragon to check the prop and canopy.
Two markings are provided, both are natural metal, and are -
334th FS, 4th FG, 1944
362th FS, 357th FG, 1944.
Both are equipped with the rockets but I would check references to see if they did.
The decals are printed by Dragon, have good register, very little carrier film and are in a matt finish. Quite a few stencils are provided.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: A nice detailed kit, with a very good price
Lows: Stupid colour tyres, billions of rivets, inaccurate wheel wells. Canopy looks too tall.
Verdict: I do actually like this kit apart from the tyres, and at around $60 it is very good value for money. Other manufactureres Mustangs might be more detailed, with more options but they cost three times a much
Percentage Rating
72%
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 3224
  Suggested Retail: $64.00
  Related Link: P-51K Mustang
  PUBLISHED: Jun 15, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Andy Brazier (betheyn)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...

Copyright 2017 text by Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Methinks Iron Ass was a P-51D not a 'K'.
JUN 15, 2014 - 04:55 PM
If the tires are made of Dragon's DS material, they are styrene not rubber or vinyl. They take paint just like regular plastic. They've been using this material for tank tracks for several years now.
JUN 15, 2014 - 05:11 PM
Oh, and that second decal option is Maj. Leonard "Kit" Carson's Nooky Booky IV of the 362nd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group (not the other way 'round as Dragon shows it). Probably the most famous P-51K. What, Dragon got something wrong in the instruction sheet? No way! Michael
JUN 15, 2014 - 05:18 PM
Hi, It says in the instructions they are DS, so let's hope the paint does stay on them, but I have never been a fan of their tracks anyway.. I still don't know what possessed Dragon to go with a peach colour though, they would have been better if they were black then all you would need to do is scuff them up a bit. Andy :-)
JUN 16, 2014 - 01:54 AM
Everywhere I look, decal sheets etc., Iron Ass is listed as a P-51D but I checked the production numbers last night and it was in fact a 'K'. P-51D-5NT 44-11153/11352 P-51D-20NT 44-12853/13252 P-51D-25NT 44-84390/84989, 44-84610/84611 built as TP-51D, 45-11343/11542 P-51D-30NT 45-11543/11742, 45-11443/11450 built as TP-51D P-51K-1NT 44-11353/11552 P-51K-5NT 44-11553/11952 P-51K-10NT 44-11953/12852
JUN 16, 2014 - 03:28 AM
Andy, once again, a very well detailed and honest review. Since the kit is basically their D with some added Goodies namely the canopy, prop, and rocket launchers. It's going to be a tough sell to the 1/32 scale crowd, unless they're dying for a K version.
JUN 16, 2014 - 01:22 PM
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