While the new Tamiya P-51D Mustang in 1/32nd scale is a strong candidate for “kit of the year,” it isn’t completely perfect, at least not to Mustang geek, Jerry Rutman. Jerry has been obsessed with getting the Mustang in 32 scale right for years, and has come up with a series of after-market resin goodies to make a great kit superior. I have already reviewed the resin front tires and hooded wheel bay and strut. Now I will tackle the propeller and spinner issues.
According to Jerry, one of the big problems for modelers is all the restored aircraft out there. In many cases, they have not been restored to period-correct condition, with things left out, changed or “upgraded,” especially those planes still in flying condition. Working from an un-restored aircraft at a Swiss museum, he is helping Grey Matter Figures put out a series of upgrades intended to recreate the bird as she flew in World War II.
Most Mustangs (98%?) were equipped with Hamilton Standard cuffed propellers. A minority had uncuffed props made by Aeroproducts. This review is for the Aeroproducts upgrade.
what you get
This is a bare-bones approach to modeling:
A Zip-lock baggie four propellers, a spinner, hub and backplate.
Jerry’s position is that, “when you are building a kit that was produced with such superior attention to detail and shape,why not go the extra mile?” I couldn’t agree more. While most modelers will likely build one of the H-S versions, those that want the Aeroproducts version now have a beautiful casting to handle that option. While Grey Matter Figures, a UK-based concern, was known previously more for its Sci-Fi and Fantasy figures, this line of Rutman products is establishing it as an important resource for accurate builds.
The set is a direct replacement for the prop and spinner supplied with the kit (parts R2, R6, R20, R22-3 and R28). The casting has no flash or “beards” to deal with and no visible pour plugs. The set requires no more than washing it in something to remove the mold release, followed removing the excess from the blades and fitting them to the hub.
After that, it’s paint it and you’re done.
There’s not much you can say about perfection. If you’re going to build the Tamiya Mustang and want the highest level of authenticity, this is the ticket. This upgrade covers all Mustangs issued during the war (the final review in this series will be the replacement spinner for the Hamilton-Standard prop in the kit).
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Crisp, superb casting.Lows: No guide for the prop Verdict: If you want an accurate P-51D, you'll want this set.