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Tamiya 1/48 scale
RAF Mustang Mk.III

by Roland Sachsenhofer

North American Mustang Mk.III


Hobby Boss' 1/32 Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop is available online from Squadron




Given the long operational history of the P-51 Mustang, it is not surprising that a number of air forces have exploited the great potential of this type. Apart from the USAAF, however, it is above all the British who have used the P-51 on a large scale from the very first versions. 

The close connection between Great Britain and the development and shaping of the P-51 I can take for granted. The B-series was powered by the British engine legend Rolls Royce Merlin, in British services there was another peculiarity: the middle part of the cramped and complex "birdcage" cockpit fairing was often replaced by a strutless sliding cockpit, which, according to its manufacturer, became commonly known as the "Malcolm hood". 



The special feature of this canopy part was a fully rounded shape, which considerably improved the pilot's visibility. The advantages of this modification were so obvious that the "Malcolm canopy" was soon to be seen at some Mustangs of the USAAF. 

My model, the second Mustang of a small parallel "doubles", shows an aircraft of the Royal Air Force's 315th (City of Deblin) Squadron from 1944. This 1941 formed Polish squadron, which was used within the RAF, gathered some of the most famous names of exiled Polish pilots in their ranks. Men like Eugeniusz Horbaczewsk, Janusz Zurakowski or, for a short time, Francis S. Gabresk, who had become a legend in the service of the USAAF, flew in this unit. 



The content of the kit confirms the most flattering prejudices one can have about Tamiya products. The parts' accuracy of fit and construction are of the accustomed best quality, the surfaces have fine deepened structures and make an excellent impression in combination with the convincing "fit" of the parts. 

Tamiya is also expected to provide good, but not outstanding, details of the cockpit or landing gear. Here I helped myself with the corresponding Eduard etched parts, whereby the harness and the design of the instrument panel were especially important to me. Nevertheless, I can say that a construction purely from the box would have led to a very satisfying result. 



The only point of criticism are the decals. Some of them are printed with a disturbing offset, which also interferes with the larger decals like the cockades, the Polish squadron badges and partly also with the manufacturer badges of the propeller blades and makes time-consuming retouching necessary. 

Apart from that I enjoyed this relaxing and interesting construction very much. This is probably due to the fact that with a model like this, the strengths of the Alclad metal colors can be played out well and without much effort. As a conclusion I can recommend the P-51B from Tamiya as an excellent kit, it really gave me a lot of joyful hours of model building. 


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If you are interested in the building process, please have a look here on Scalemates: https://www.scalemates.com/profiles/mate.php?id=10148&p=albums&album=49925





In summary, I can say that this double project was unbelievable fun for me. ...and with Italeri I am reconciled again 

Here is a really attractive kit with spectacular decal versions! Who knows, maybe I'll build the two still open versions sometime!

If you are interested in the building process, please have a look here on Scalemates: 


As ever, remarks will be appreciated: ro.sachsenhofer@gmx.at

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2019 by Roland Sachsenhofer
Page Created 11 October, 2019
Last Updated 11 October, 2019

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