Hasegawa 1/48 P-51K Mustang
By Kelly Jamison
|Date of Review||July 2005||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||09015||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Beautiful detail, nice fit throughout||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$34.98|
I had found this kit on one of the vendors table for 12 dollars and even though I think the Tamiya kit is better, I just couldn’t pass up the bargain. The biggest differences in the two kits are that the Tamiya kit has dropped flaps and the Hasegawa kit molded them in the up position. There are other small items but for most part that is the big difference.
This kit has been re-issued many times and there are a lot of aftermarket decals for it. It contains 120 light grey pieces and the clear parts are very well done. You get the regular P-51K canopy and the slightly different shaped P-51K canopy. You also get an Aeroproducts and Hamilton Standard propeller. There are also lots of under-wing stores to keep you happy. They include both 75 and 110 gallon external tanks, two 500 lb. bombs and the triple tube 4.5-inch rocket tubes or 10 5-inch rockets with launch rails. You can also have the exhaust shrouded or un-shrouded.
Interior detail and wheel well detail is good although the wheel wells are not completely accurate. Most of us do not know the difference. The cockpit just needs a little painting and some creative dark washes and it looks as good as any.
This kit still holds its own as far as detail and ease of build and can be found for a bargain at most model contest. I built this kit in no time and was looking for a color scheme to do. It actually became a problem since there were so many choices that I could not make a decision. I finally settled on CAM’s 48-117 “Thoroughbred Mustangs”. 385th FS/364th FG (pilot Lt. McCormick).
Painting & Finishing
The model got a coat of Alclad gloss black primer. This primer took weeks to dry and really slowed down the building process. I have heard that good old Krylon Gloss Black will do just fine. Alclad Aluminum was my weapon of choice for the natural metal scheme. I offset some colors with dull aluminum and polished aluminum. After the paint dried I put the decals down with Solva-set. They did not seem to take the Solva-set too well. The decals would not stick. The tail numbers came off a few times and getting them to snug down in the rudder was tough. I did not use a sealer because I wanted to keep that natural metal look and sealer seems to change the look too much for my taste. Anyway, I was never really happy with the decal choice. But I stuck with my plan and finished the model.
The model sat on the shelf for some time. I noticed the paint started cracking. After all that work, the paint job was just ruined by time. I guess something was up with that black primer. I have not had the best luck with the new batch of Alclad. Others have had the same problems
One day I was trying to decide what to build next. I looked into my display case to see what my collection needed and I kept looking at the P-51K. Right then and there I decided to repaint it. I took it to the bathroom and soaked it in water for a few hours. When I came back most of the decals had just floated off. The rest was taken off by a stiff bristle toothbrush.
The plane was now a bare metal P-51K. I had to find a scheme that I could cover up the cracks in the wing and top of fuselage. I went through my decal collection and picked out 3 different sheets. After a lot of checking references, I decided on a 79th FS/20th FG P-51K named “GLENGARY GUY” flown by Capt Glen Webb. It had the upper fuselage, wings and elevators camouflaged in OD green and a white nose. It fit the bill perfectly. I had a picture of it in “20th Fighter Group by Ron MacKay published by Squadron/Signal. The plane is featured in many books and it is easy to find it when researching.
My decals of choice on this plane are the AeroMaster Decals “Mustangs of the 20th FG Pt.1. Following the instructions and my research, I painted the Olive Drab areas with my old trusty Badger Acrylic OD Green Paint. I wanted a worn area around heavy traffic areas like the wing roots and around the gun panels on the top of the wings. The nose had to be painted with a black stripe and another yellow stripe. This was no problem. Some Tamiya tape fixed it right up. I had to repaint the first exhaust stacks because of overspray but again, that was an easy thing to do. The spinner was already painted white so it was just a matter of masking off the front half of the spinner and painting the back half black. This was the hardest part. It just takes time to get it right. A circle template can help you.
This time I would use a coat of Future to get the decals to adhere better. I was very happy with these decals. They reacted with the Solva-set really well and really fit the contours of the rudder very well. The plane looked great.
The spinner and blades got glued back into place. Everything got another coat of Future then I used Model Masters Flat Clear to tone down the gloss on the fuselage and outer half of the wings. I left the inner wing areas with a slight gloss look to replicate the heavy foot traffic that polishes out the rough paint. It really helps the effect.
Some pastels for exhaust and fuel spills along with changing the tone of some of the different panels gives the OD paint a real worn look. I had to mask off the canopy and repaint the frame OD green. It got glued back into place. I did lose the pitot tube which I will have to go to the spare parts bin for a new one.
The Mustang looked great. It went to just one of the planes in the collection to one of my favorite. I suggest if you have a chance to do this, you must. I am now very happy with the results. I really enjoyed repainting this model and bringing a different life to it.