P-51 D-5 Mustang Profipack Edition
Eduard has for a long time been releasing excellent aircraft kits in many forms- but the Profipack editions are easily my favorite ones as they usually include extras including color PE frets, masks, and sometimes bit of their Brassin products as well. This newer edition of their Mustang line contains no Brassin, but the included masks and color PE add immeasurable amounts of excellent detail to the kit build as we will soon see.
What’s Inside the Box
The kit contents come in a nice sturdy box and includes the following well-packed bits:
- 1 round clear sprue with three different teardrop canopies
- 5 grey sprues with one containing loads of extra wing tanks, rockets, and bombs to ass to your spares box
- 1 PE fret with color and clear metal parts
- Masking set
- Decal sheet featuring stencils and markings for six ETO schemes
As usual, construction begins with the cockpit “office”. The pilot seat, floor, and radio set take up step A and we continue to the sidewall assemblies. Most of the included PE is added in these first few steps between panels, seat belts, and placards. The color bits get added to panels and look great. I didn’t add every single switch from the PE as some of them are a bit fiddly and my fingers are “fumblesome”. After adding the rear tailwheel compartment to the fuselage sides, the two sides get put together. No real fit issues here and it all looks great with no real seams to deal with.
Step E is a very instricate assembly of the main wheel gear wells. It is a multi-piece assembly that looks great but is cumbersome to build. Fifteen parts later and it gets attached to the lower wing. I took care and seated everything as well as I could. However, as I tried to add the two upper wing halves to the lower wing assembly I could not get things to settle in. Only with some clamping and praying could I get things to look right, but I have no idea what went wrong. The flap attachments were a bit challenging as well as they didn’t sit flush easily. After adding the guns and ailerons, it was time to bring the wings and fuselage together. Tail assembly followed with no real issues.
Back to the office with the instrument panel assembly. Plastic parts are in the kit for those who want to go that route, but I was happy to use the PE color panels. The gauges even have a raised drop of clear to simulate gauge faces. After adding the rudder pedals and the hood panel, everything drops down into place. After this is all those great fiddly bits- tailwheel assembly, radiator vents and covers, exhausts, and landing gear. Gear parts look great but in all cases, the attachment points are either very shallow or difficult to locate. I found myself guesstimating where to place the tailwheel strut as it didn’t seem to fit any specific place and look right.
From here, we apply masks to the clear parts and get ready for painting. I waited to attach the gear and doors and hatches until after painting so as not to knock them off. Same with the propeller, exhausts, and drop tanks- which were dutifully applied after painting and with that, construction came to an end.
Painting and Weathering
The six included schemes include:
- A.- 44-13318 flown by Lt. Colonel Thomas L. Hayes- this is the OD over gray scheme for “Frenesi” with D-Day stripes
- B.- 44-13606 flown by Capt. Claude J. Crenshaw- “Louisiana Heatwave”- an NMF scheme with green nose and D-Day stripes
- C.- 44-13859 flown by Lt. Walter Mullins—an unnamed NMF plane with nude noseart—a unique scheme of NMF with OD wing tops and patches on the fuselage
- D.- 44-13321 flown by Capt. John M. Simmons Jr.- a Checkertail Clan scheme called “Devastating Dottie”
- E.- 44-13321 flown bt Maj. George Preddy Jr- well known blue nosed scheme “Cripes A’Mighty 3rd” with D-Day stripes
- F.- 44-13321 flown by Maj. George Preddy Jr. – same plane with altered paint scheme—only bottom side D-Day stripes and sharkmouth wing tanks
I chose scheme C because I wasn’t feeling the D-Day stripes and while I love a Checkertail Clan scheme, the nude nose art just won out. That and the neat OD over NMF was different enough for me to try. I used AK Interactive Xtreme Metals line for the NMF—alternating between polished aluminum and white aluminum. For the top side OD, I used Vallejo Model Air. There are extensive charts showing the different color panels for the metal finishes, as well as another showing stencil placement (and there are a lot of stencils!).
The decals look amazing but are very delicate and thin. More often than not, as I went to place them, they curled up on me. I had to place them back in the water to unfurl and then retry with success most often. Just take your time!
I thoroughly enjoyed building this kit. Not an overabundance of PE, but enough to set the build apart with excellent detail. The masks did quite well with no bleed through at all. The decals look great but needed lots of care and attention to avoid issues. The only part of the build I had trouble with was step E with the gear well assembly and their placement as the wing tops were attached to the lower wing. I haven’t seen others with this issue so I am assuming that is mostly my error, but novice builders should take care to avoid the issues I had. Other than that and the tricky gear strut placement, I am pleased with the results and heartily recommend trying one of Eduard’s Mustang kits out if you haven’t as they are of great quality.
My thanks goes out to Eduard and IPMS-USA for the review sample.