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Revell 1/32 P-51B Mustang Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2007 Manufacturer Revell
Subject P-51B Mustang Scale 1/32
Kit Number 4773 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Only P-51B in 1/32 scale Cons Molds are showing signs of flash
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


As most Mustang-lovers know, this aircraft was designed and paid for by the British government. Delegates from Great Britain came to the US to acquire combat aircraft (among other things) to stave off the oncoming Nazi threat. While the US was still neutral, its production lines were made available. Having signed a production deal with Curtiss for the P-40, the delegates came to North American Aviation to enlist them to co-produce the P-40. Instead, North American designers convinced the delegates that they'd have a superior aircraft ready to fly in less than a year, and so Mustang I was born. It was powered by the Allison V-1710 engine. While these were great at low level, they could not carry the fight up to medium altitudes due to the limitations of the Allison's mechanical supercharger.

The RAF took one of their Mustang Is and hung a Merlin 61 on the nose. They were astonished at the vast improvement in performance of the aircraft in low and medium altitudes, and even able to reach 40,000 feet. North American transitioned production to incorporate the license-built Packard Merlin V-1650 engine, and the P-51B/C were born.

Here is an old classic from Revell. This is the only injection-molded P-51B/C Mustang to be produced in 1/32 scale. The kit is molded in dark green styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. When you look closely at the molded-in surface detailing, you can see as many rivets on the wings and fuselage as the recent DML 1/32 scale P-51D. The difference is that the Revell kit's details are all raised and these can be quickly cleaned off with a Scotchbrite pad.

The kit is simplicity itself. A simple cockpit, optional pilot figure, flaps and flight controls surfaces up/neutral. The kit does provide a usable V-1650 engine that can be dressed up, and a removable upper cowling to reveal the engine.

The landing gear can be posed up or down.

The canopy can be posed open or closed, and when the molds were newer, these were actually workable/movable.

With a little bit of work, this kit can be super-detailed into a show-stopper. The subject is small enough, even in 1/32 scale, to make scribing of panel lines rather easy. If you can find some aftermarket parts for the cockpit and other areas you'd like to tweak, this model is simple enough to be modified without any serious challenges.

The only real down-side to this kit is that the molds are getting tired as there are signs of flash appearing on the parts. Nothing major, but one other thing that will need to be cleaned up.

Markings are provided for one aircraft:

  • P-51B-5-NA, 43-6815, 334 FS/4 FG, 'Bee'

In addition, the decals provide the white ID stripes and a basic set of maintenance stencils.

At the moment, this is your only option to a 1/32 P-51B or P-51C. The basic modeler will have fun with this kit while the AMS modeler has lots of potential in there to really have some fun. Until something else comes along, these kits have been re-released by Revell/USA and Revell/Germany enough that they're still readily available at kit swaps and even on eBay for reasonable prices.