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P-51D Cockpit Floorboards and Bulkheads

Nautilus Models 1/32 P-51D Cockpit Floorboards and Bulkheads First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2007 Manufacturer Nautilus Models
Subject P-51D Cockpit Floorboards and Bulkheads Scale 1/32
Kit Number 32801 Media Laser-Cut Wood
Pros Corrects the undersized cockpit floorboard and firewall in the DML 1/32 P-51D kit Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $10.00

First Look

P-51D Cockpit Floorboards and Bulkheads
P-51D Cockpit Floorboards and Bulkheads
P-51D Cockpit Floorboards and Bulkheads

While I have not seen DML's new 1/32 P-51D Mustang kit yet, it is my understanding that the cockpit floorboard and firewall are somewhat undersized to the point of needing some serious work to eliminate the gaps between these parts and the fuselage halves.

One interesting bit of trivia - the cockpit floorboard was made from wood in the full-scale P-51D though I can assure you that the firewall in the aircraft was metal (or what's the point of a firewall?).

Nautilus Models has created a simple fix for DML's new Mustang kit - they were able to determine the correct shape that would fit inside the DML kit, develop a digital template, and use their infamous laser cutter to replicate the corrected parts out of thin sheets of wood. The thickness of the wood is very close to the thickness of the styrene parts, so this will not only be a drop-in replacement for the kit parts, it will be a major improvement in filling the gaps.

If you want to wait for a resin replacement cockpit for this kit, it is my understanding that some of the sets produced for the Hasegawa kit will work in the DML kit, but they relied on most of the stock kit parts for the firewall, floor and radio/fuselage fuel tank decks.

This is the ultimate no-brainer fix for the DML kit as it can be assembled with cyano and Zip-Kicker by the experienced modeler or Elmer's White Glue by the basic modeler and achieve the same results. Once the parts are assembled and dry, you simply add the kit parts to the Nautilus cockpit as you would have with the DML cockpit (though you'll still use the cyano or white glue for these steps).

Nautilus is currently running an introductory special - you will receive TWO complete wooden cockpits for $10.00 plus postage to US addresses. Contact the manufacturer for overseas options.

My sincere thanks to Nautilus Modelsfor this review sample!