Merit 1/24 P-51D Mustang First Look
|Date of Review||October 2007||Manufacturer||Merit International|
|Kit Number||81302||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Excellent finish and weathering, a very nice display model||Cons|
|Skill Level||Novice||MSRP (USD)||$55.00|
This is my first up-close look at one of Merit International's 1/24 scale models and I am impressed to say the least! These are not working toys like the larger aircraft from other sources, the only two things that can be manipulated are the sliding canopy and the turning propeller. These are intended to be serious display models.
In this particular case, this is the North American P-51D Mustang wearing the colors of Don Gentile's 'Shangrila' wearing the ID code VF-T signifying an aircraft assigned to the 336 FS/4 FG/8 AF. Look at that paint job!
An AMS modeler might note the mad riveter detail on the wings not unlike DML's 1/32 P-51D release, and if you look really close, you can see a few seam lines, but you really have to look and you really would rather sit back and take in the whole model. This is some very nice work for a mass-produced model.
What is really interesting to me is how these models can be produced pre-assembled and pre-finished with such good quality and at a price much less than the equivalent kit!
Merit International offers this aircraft in two schemes so far, Shangrila and Eagleston's Eagle. There are also two new Bf 109G-6 models in the line as well.
I would hope that Merit International would consider offering these aircraft in kit form as well. This has lots of promise for super-detailers while the finished models will provide some much-needed eye-candy for those modelers who just don't have time to model these days.
Also note that you can render your own favorite P-51D in 1/24 scale by purchasing either of the available Mustangs, making whatever airframe updates you'd like, then priming and painting the model in yourself. With paint masks available from companies like Montex and some of the available aftermarket decals in this scale, you can 'do your own thing' easily.
This release is definitely recommended. Also note that while this aircraft is listed at $55.00, I've seen a variety of online retailers that offer these aircraft at lower 'street prices'.
My sincere thanks to Merit International for this review sample!