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.