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P-51B Kit

Academy 1/48 P-51B Mustang 'Blue Nose' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2014 Manufacturer Academy
Subject P-51B Mustang 'Blue Nose' Scale 1/48
Kit Number 12303 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $55.00

First Look

P-51B Kit
P-51B Kit
P-51B Kit
P-51B Kit

There are a number of write-ups on the history of this famous aircraft. You can read one here.

Academy Models is continuing to reissue kits from the Accurate Miniatures tooling and here is the first Merlin-powered Mustang, the P-51B. I remember when Bill Bosworth of the 'first' Accurate Miniatures released this kit. This tooling was one of the best P-51B kits on the market and despite a similar release from Tamiya, this tooling still holds its own.

The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. You'll see a few parts that don't really belong there such as the three-bladed propeller, but Bill and his team designed this kit to maximize the tooling investment from their earlier Allison-powered Mustangs. After all, what is a P-51B but a Merlin-powered P-51A.

Like the Tamiya kit, this tooling does share one bug that plagues nearly every Mustang kit on the market - boxed-in wheel wells. What Tamiya did get wrong and Accurate got right was the cockpit floor.

I've build a number of these kits (here's one) and this is one of those kits that simply falls together. Bill's folks really did magic with their Mustangs!

What kind of features/options are inside this box?

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Positionable radiator exhaust flap
  • Choice of Packard Merlin exhaust stacks
  • Choice of 'standard' canopy or Malcolm hood (Malcolm hood is positionable, the standard canopy can only be posed closed)
  • Optional drop tanks
  • Flight control surfaces are all molded in the neutral position

What is new in this box are the decals. Markings are provided for one aircraft:

  • P-51B, 43-6500, 486 FS/352 FG/8 AF, RAF Bodney, UK, June 1944

The decals provide the national markings, D-Day stripes, distinctive and personal markings, and a nice set of maintenance stencils.

It's nice to see this kit back on the market and while this release provides a Blue-nose D-Day example, there are a significant number of aftermarket decals for this subject to allow you a wide variety of possibilities with this nice tooling.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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