North American P-51 IVa (K) – British Camouflaged Mustangs
I was drawn to this decal set for two reasons:
One, I thought that camouflaged Mustangs are not seen as much as the bare metal US aircraft.
Two: I had to do the Aussie Southern Cross marking being an Aussie!
LPS Hobby is a decal manufacturer from Brazil. The decal sheet, instruction sheet and cover page are contained within a generously sized zip-lock bag.
This small decal set contains marking for three British camouflaged P-51K Mustangs from Royal Canadian, South African and Royal Australian Air Forces:
- KH608, Y2, “Edmonton Special”, PO John Mallandaine, 442 Sqn RCAF, Hunsdon, England. May 1945
- KH673, GL-N, “Sweetpea”, 5 Sqn SAAF, Udine Italy, January 1945
- KH676, CV-A, F/Lt 'Dusty' Lane, 3 Sqn RAAF, Cervia, Italy, April 1945
The recommended donor kit is the Tamiya 1/72 P-51D Mustang, however the newer Airfix, or any other manufacturers P-51D/K could also be used.
The cover page shows a left side profile of each aircraft and a description of the aircraft, who flew it, where it was operated and the year.
The instruction sheet is very detailed showing each aircraft’s particular camouflage scheme, colors (ANA and FS color numbers), and decal placement. Above each left side picture, an image is shown in red of the right side decal placement. The top three side profiles match the dimensions of the Tamiya P-51 kit fuselage, assisting in decal placement.
As I already had a 1/72 Tamiya kit, I decided to do a full build and present the decals on the real model. No explanation of the kit is needed, as most will agree these Tamiya models fall together (almost) effortlessly. Two things I did not correct on the model were the different Aero Products un-cuffed propeller that the British aircraft had and the louvered carburetor intakes. There are aftermarket options available for the correct propeller. The decal sheet includes stencils for the correct prop blades. The louvers would have to be scratch made.
I painted the model with the recommended ANA and FS colors using Model Master Enamels, followed by two coats of Model Master Acrylic gloss clear.
The application of these decals went fairly quickly. I found the roundels and fin flash were fairly thick and I needed several applications of setting solution to help bed them down, as well as a gentle run through panel lines with a sharp blade. The upper wing roundels put up quite a fight while trying to get them to conform over and around the raised aileron control rod covers.
The clear backed decals containing registration numbers and letters, and the Southern Cross stars were much thinner and care needed to be taken when handling them. While they are sturdy, I almost wrecked one of the Southern Cross decals when it folded over on itself.
These LPS Hobby decals showed absolutely no silvering after I applied a gloss coat to seal them, and then a flat coat to finish the model.
I thoroughly enjoyed applying this decal set, and they played a big part in me winning First Place at the recent Branson, Missouri, IPMS competition.
My sincere thanks to LPS Hobby and IPMS for the opportunity to review this great little decal set.