Aires continues to produce some highly detailed and attractive sets for
the modeller who wants to build more than just out of the box. This set
has been produced for the Tamiya P51B/C kit to display a full exposed
Rolls Royce engine, gun bays and cockpit. The set combines Aires P51
Engine set, Cockpit Set, Wheel well and gun bay detail sets. The engine
set contains 27 crisply cast resin detail parts. The set contains the
engine and ancillary parts as well as all of the mounting assembly and
cowlings. The parts have easy to remove moulding blocks but care will be
needed when handling so as not to damage the fine detail.
First of all some extensive surgery is required to remove the kit nose
area and this has been explained on the instruction sheet with the area
to be remove shaded. Fortunately this falls along heavily recessed panel
lines, so no rocket science is needed in measuring for the cutting. Some
thinning of the kit is required where the firewall is to be located. The
lower rear cowl remains as a part of the kit and this will need some
internal thinning and cleanup. Enthusiasts may want to add some extra
detail here as some of the inner cowl will be visible when the engine is
The engine is made up of 3 major parts the block, sump and supercharger.
To this are added some smaller components such as the oil filter, main
propeller drive shaft and various plumbing. The detail on the engine is
excellent with all of the detail crisply moulded, even the ignition
harness stands proud and looks three dimensional.
The engine firewall is similar and abounds in detail. The prominent
features being the glycol coolant reservoir and associated wiring. The
main engine bearers mount directly to the firewall encasing the engine
onto two sturdy mounting points on each side. The supercharger inlet
ducting mounts directly from underneath to the engine and engine bearers
and captures all the detail of the wiring harness, oil and coolant
plumbing. The oil reservoir and front plate fit onto the front of the
engine bearers completing the main assembly of the kit.
To complete the full assembly some plumbing and wiring detail needs to
be added before fitting the two upper cowling bearers and supports.
Finally the modeller needs to select which type of exhaust pipes are
required from the two options and fit them into place.
At this point the whole assembly is fitted into the model and glued in
place. I think that this is the easiest process rather than try to build
the assembly after the firewall has been fitted to the kit.
Last of all is the cleanup and display of the cowls. These have been
provided with full internal and external detail that has been crisply
moulded in full relief.
The cockpit is a full replacement of the kit cockpit. The cockpit set
contains 7 crisply cast resin detail parts, 30 etched metal parts and 1
photo image for the instrument panel. I remember reading somewhere that
the Tamiya kit cockpit floor was incorrect as it represented the curved
floor from the early P51A which was the top of the fuel tank. The floor
provided by Aires is the flat floor of the later Mustang. The instrument
panel is a real treat made from resin with an etched metal insert and
photo backing for the instruments. The pitch control and throttle levers
are etched metal add ons as is the seat belt harness. The Tamiya control
column is retained as it is very highly detailed and a resin replacement
would be identical. Some minor thinning of the kit sides is required to
enable the set to fit easily.
The Wheel well replacement is a single piece affair and represents the
correct depth and extensive detail in the real thing. Some minor cutting
of the kit parts is required to make this item fit.
The final detail is the gun bay areas. The modeller needs to carefully
cut away the gun bay panels on the upper surface of the kit wings and
some thinning down of the internal surfaces. The resin bays are then a
direct drop in with some minor assembly of the guns and barrels. The gun
bays engine set contains 14 crisply cast resin detail parts and 18
etched metal parts.
Overall this is a very extensive detail set and some advanced modelling
skills will be required assemble and install the set into the kit. For
those modellers who wish to expose the innards and working details of
the Mustang this is a must get detail set.
Modelling Skills required- Advanced
Thanks to Aires for the review sample
Text and Images Copyright © 2005 by Mick Evans
Page Created 16 December, 2005
Last updated 16 December, 2005
Back to HyperScale
Back to Reviews Page