Arma Hobby 1/72 scale
North American P-51C Mustang
by Brett Green
North American P-51C Mustang / Mustang Mk.III
Here is my first completion of 2022 - Arma Hobby’s brand new 1/72 scale P-51B/C Mustang.
The finesse of surface textures and high level of detail is really impressive, with almost no concessions to the small scale.
Arma supplies a modest photo-etched fret in this “Expert Series” boxing. This provides harness straps, radiator faces and a few other small details.
Extensive use of stencil and instrument decals is made in the cockpit. They really add a lot of authenticity to the front office.
Once the cockpit is painted and assembled, assembly proceeds very quickly.
Flaps are separate parts and they appear to be designed to fit in the lowered position only.
Fit is generally excellent throughout. The wing to fuselage attachment needed some careful test fitting but was good once the front join was taped as the glue dried.
I was a bit concerned about the multi-part open canopy but I had no trouble at all obtaining a gapless and smear-free assembly. I glued the rear quarter windows and the windscreen in place before painting, fitting the supplied masks. These are translucent grey vinyl masks. In general I prefer the more flexible yellow Kabuki paper masks but Arma’s vinyl masks settled down nicely and worked perfectly. I used the “closed” version of the framed canopy tacked in place with a few spots of Gator's Grip acrylic glue to effectively mask off the centre canopy section during painting.
The main undercarriage legs have some play, so check your references to determine the correct rake and be prepared to hold the legs in place while the glue sets (I used small balls of Blu-Tack for this job).
This is undoubtedly a great model but it is not for beginners. There are a few fiddly parts and there are a number of large sprue attachments, especially on the leading edges of the wings and the mating surfaces of the fuselage halves. You’ll need to take due time and care removing these.
I managed to gouge a couple of chunks out of the leading edges of the wings and the fuselage spine. These were filled with Milliput.
I have been looking for an excuse to use one of DK Decals’ excellent decal sheets for a while now. This is a Czech company but to my eternal gratitude they offer a surprisingly large selection of Australian WWII aircraft subjects - some quite obscure.
These markings represent RAAF Group Captain Brian Eaton’s Mustang Mk.III. He is an Aussie with a remarkable combat record and a long streak of good luck with the Desert Air Force in North Africa and Italy.
The unique markings are found on DK Decals Item No. 72099 – DAF Mustang RAF, RAAF and SAAF Squadrons Over Italy.
Both the DK Decals and the kit decals were a little bit sticky but they work fine as long as you use plenty of water or decal setting liquid under the decals to ensure that they will slide on the surface of the model. DK Decals are printed by BOA Agency in Brno in the Czech Republic.
I’ll be writing this one up in detail for Issue 200 of Model Airplane International magazine (Happy Birthday MAI!)
Thanks to Arma Hobby for the sample.
Model, Images and Text
Copyright © 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 4 January, 2022
6 January, 2022
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