P-51 (Accurate Miniatures) after-action report

Total time building 421.0 hours (that’s about 17.541 24 hour days, 10.525 work weeks).

Begin date December 12, 2015; work suspended August 20, 2016; resumed work September 20, 2020, end date November 11, 2020.

Vendors:

Accurate Miniatures

P-51 Kit #3400 1/48 scale

Elementy

Photo Etch Set #S48-111

Verlinden (out of production)

P-51A Cockpit & Moving Surfaces #1789

Model Technologies (out of production)

American WWII Seatbelt Buckles and Mounting Hardware (PE)

MMD-Squadron Products

Vacuformed canopy #SQ9553

Ultracast

A-20 Havoc Props & Spinners #48242

EZ Line

Fine black

AeroMaster Decals (out of production)

Early Mustangs #48-106

My Opinion

This kit was produced in 1994, about the time that recessed panel lines were becoming the standard and not the exception. If you want to build this Out Of Box, don’t count on having a show-winner. There are a few inaccuracies, notably the guns (way out of scale and inaccurate) and the almost-standard landing gear bay that follows the opening of the landing gear doors instead of the main wing spar. The cockpit is also dated and the canopy needs to be cut open if you want to display it open. There is an enclosed Malcolm hood but it doesn’t fit. The tail wheel is molded as a single piece (lazy, in my unasked for opinion). The flaps are molded in the up position so unless you want to cut them free, that’s what you’re stuck with. Still, if you want an Allison Mustang, this is the only game in town. Yes, ICM has a kit but it’s a re-box of Accurate Miniatures so that won’t help.

At 421 hours, this was a long build for a small model. A large bulk of that time was spend scratchbuilding a correct landing gear bay and then making molds of it and casting the parts in resin (I have other Allison Mustangs I want to do, all of them Accurate Miniatures). There was also a four-year hiatus taken due to me screwing something up that I didn’t know how to fix. Once I figured out how to fix it, the finish was relatively quick.

It feels good to have this finally done. I had wanted an Allison Mustang since 1991. I started with a resin conversion of the Monogram P-51B that replaced the fuselage with resin modifications. I scratchbuilt the cockpit just before I noticed that the cowling around Allison engines was much different than the cowling around Merlin engines. Whoever had built the masters for the resin copies didn’t correct the engine cowlings; I had Allison carburetor scoops on a set of Merlin cowlings. Before I could figure out how to fix that, I found the Accurate Miniatures kits but before I could get back to the build, I moved and lost space for my shop. Then, life took me off in different (sometimes very different) directions. So now, in my twilight years, I finally have the early Mustang I wanted 29 years ago.

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