P-51D Clear Vacuum Canopy (Platz/Eduard Kit)
So, we have a 1/144 Mustang out there from Platz/Eduard, and an interior detail set from Eduard as well, available on in their own release. The canopy on the basic kit is closed, and within the limits of thickness which can be successfully injected. It fits and looks nice (and the Eduard kit has a masking set to go with it.
Insane? Yep. But an open cockpit requires an open canopy. HEAVY insanity. I had to try it. Tweezers: yep. Magnifier for vision: Mandatory Ham hands: Standard.
Here is where Brengun excels! They provide a set of four canopies in a clear plastic envelope which allows (with careful, NEW scalpel or #11 blade work) an open canopy!
First off: I’m no wizard in Lilliputian scales. These guys who airbrush complicated schemes on small fighters have my admiration. I found the Eduard interior on my mustang fit well, and looked good. (Although I have NO idea where the control stick flew off to). The kit is well designed and proportioned. But the canopy is closed as provided, and would be extremely difficult to modify to open, much less look realistically “in scale”.
I dutifully assembled the kit in 1 hour. Interior and details included. Not much there!
Brengun’s canopy was cut off the sheet, and the windscreen and bubble released by endless careful cuts. (I used a digital caliper on the clear sheet, and it came out paper thin,
Painting was by hand on the first attempt; then I used an Eduard mask on the second attempt. You can see which was more successful on the second version, which I FINALLY decided to airbrush overall aluminum to avoid the brush marks. MUCH better appearance, dust on the aluminum after the black framing. The kit canopy was used to close off the cockpit during painting the actual model, after which I installed the Brengun item using Elmers Polyurethane white glue (gator grip works too).
I found this set worthwhile, and if there is one nit, it is the packaging; every one of the canopies was smashed in a bit. I used a pencil point to push them back, but the plastic still had scarring. Recommendation is (if to be shipped) to enclose the canopies in a small box. The package envelope does not protect from direct contact with other items, and as the canopy plastic is so thin it is easy to damage. (Just for fun, the plastic miked out with a digital caliper at .002” thick).