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Air Vanguard 1
Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang

By Martyn Chorlton

Osprey Publishing


S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number, Description and ISBN:

Air Vanguard 1
Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang
Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-78096-151-4

Contents & Media:

Soft cover, 64 pages, English text; black-and-white and colour photographs; colour profiles.


£9.59 plus shipping available online from
and speciality book and hobby shops worldwide.

Review Type:

First Look


Readable text and excellent illustrations




Highly recommended to anyone planning to model an Allison-engined P-51, or who wants to understand the type’s early history and variants

Reviewed by Brad Fallen

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com


The early Allison-engined P-51s are, to an extent, famous for being less famous than the Merlin-powered versions that followed.  They were also highly competent military aircraft in their own right, and operated with distinction in almost every theatre of World War 2.

Modelers are now well served in relation to these early P-51s, with reasonable kits available in all three major scales.  But as I discovered when planning to build my Accurate Miniatures 1/48 Mk.1A Mustang and A-36 Apache kits, one Allison-engined P-51 isn’t necessarily the same as the next.  There are a number of differences between variants, some of them subtle, which need to be identified if you want an accurate Allison Mustang model.



The first title in Osprey’s new Air Vanguard series, “Allison-Engined P-51 Mustang”, will assist greatly in this task.  At 64 pages in length it doesn’t pretend to be a definitive study of early Mustangs, but it is a very handy introduction and guide to these aircraft.  Author Martyn Chorlton’s text is divided into the following sections:

  • ‘Design and development’, which charts the evolution of Allison P-51 variants from the North American prototype onwards;
  • ‘Tech specifications’, which describes key features of the early P-51 airframe and engine; and
  • ‘Operational history’, which concisely explains the wartime contributions of Allison-engined P-51s in RAF and USAAF service.

The book concludes with a short bibliography, a useful index and a foldout cutaway illustration of a Mustang Mk.1A.


  • Osprey Air Vanguard 1 - Allison-Engined P-51 Mustangs Book Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Osprey Air Vanguard 1 - Allison-Engined P-51 Mustangs Book Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Osprey Air Vanguard 1 - Allison-Engined P-51 Mustangs Book Review by Brad Fallen: Image
  • Osprey Air Vanguard 1 - Allison-Engined P-51 Mustangs Book Review by Brad Fallen: Image
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The text is easy to read and, in my view, strikes the right balance between detail and pace.  However the real stars of this book are the illustrations.  The black-and-white period photographs are well chosen, and backed up by a number of useful colour profiles and detail illustrations.  There are also two dramatic pieces of digital artwork, one showing a formation of A-36s peeling into an dive, and the other a low level attack by RAF Mustangs on a Luftwaffe airbase (which is also reproduced on the front cover).





I highly recommend this book to anyone who is planning to model an Allison-engined Mustang, or who wants to navigate the early history and variants of this famous aircraft.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample.

Review Copyright 2013 by Brad Fallen
This Page Created on 7 April, 2013
Last updated 7 April, 2013

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