Tuesday, June 11, 2013


David Jefferis: Official Tamiya photos reveal details of the company’s 1:32 scale three-in-one combo kit of the North American Mustang.

Tamiya is on something of a roll these days, with 1:32 scale aircraft leading the charge. A unique feature introduced not so long ago was a set of ultra-thin engine cowling components, with tiny magnets supplied to allow them to be attached or detached at will.

And this kit has the same feature, allowing the engine to be shown at will. The three Mustang versions to choose from are the P-51D, P-51K, or the F-6D recon version. The only major difference between the ‘D’ and the ‘K’ was the propeller, for which Tamiya has supplied the two types used by the original aircraft, a Hamilton Standard for the P-51D and an Aeroproducts prop for the P-51K.

The F-6D makes an interesting option, as it replicates a camera-equipped reconnaissance Mustang. Parts for this are supplied (camera port shown below) and it should make a fascinating build. The model camera is something of a history lesson in the advances of photographic technology, as the functions of the F-6D’s gun-sized optic could be replicated today by something small enough to put in your pocket.

The engine (below) is a work of art, and well worth spending time on, especially as the detachable cowlings mean that you can show it off properly. Tamiya haven’t skimped on other detailing either, with internal ducting and a cockpit area packed with convincing work.

Feature list includes:
* Cowlings: Attached by magnet, can be detached for engine display.
* Guns: Six 12.7mm machine guns complete with ammo belts.
* F-6D: Fuselage camera port, K-24 camera, loop antenna included.
* Radiator flap: Moveable open or closed.

* Ordnance: M10 4.5-inch rocket launcher, 500lb bomb, plus optional 75- and 110-gallon drop tanks.
* Propeller: Aeroproducts and Hamilton Standard props supplied.
* Cockpit: Interior includes the F-6D intervalometer.

* Engine: Packard-built Merlin V-1650 features vaporizer, supercharger, intercooler.
* Stand: Enables in-flight display with lowered landing gear.
* Superdetail: Photo-etch parts for seat harnesses and oil cooler.
* Handy helper: Masking sticker sheet assists in painting canopy details.

You might think I am a fan of this kit, and you’d be right - this P-51 is excellent, and topped off for me by the inclusion of a pair of decently sculpted pilot figures: one sitting, one standing. Well done Tamiya, especially as the kit outpoints the Dragon 1:32 scale offering just about everywhere.

Scale: 1:32
Assembled length: 308mm (12.2in)
Assembled wingspan: 354mm (13.9in)
Manufacturer’s reference: 60323

The kit is available here.