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P-51B/C Mustang Gun Bay


1/48 scale



S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4243 - P-51B/C Mustang Gun Bay
Price: USD$21.46 online from Squadron
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: See text below
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Superb detail and casting; photo-etched parts supplied; clearly illustrated instructions
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aires 1/48 scale P-51B/C Mustang Gun Bay is available online from Squadron.com



Another recent release from Aires Hobby Models in their Masters Series is 4243, a 1/48 scale resin gun bay for the North American P-51B/C Mustang.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

And a nice little set it is too! It comprises 22 resin parts and 14 photo-etched metal ones. The resin parts comprise:

Port and starboard gun bays that incorporate the belted ammunition cast in-place.

Ammunition feed chutes, also with the belted ammunition cast in-place.

Six 50 cal gun barrels. You only need four so, barring accidents, the other two can be assigned to the parts bin. The casting on these barrels is excellent! All the cooling holes are there as is the stainless steel tip to the barrel itself. Even more impressive is the fact that the ends of the barrels have been cast so that they are hollow and the walls of the barrels are even.

The bodies of the 50 cal guns with open breeches.

The gun bays doors Six in all - three each for either side.

The photo-etch parts comprise:

Breech covers.

Cocking mechanism.

Catch mechanism for the bay doors.

The resin parts are cast in the light cream coloured resin that we a used to seeing from Aires and the casting of the resin parts is well up to the very high standards that we are used to seeing from Aires. The details are crisp and sharp on all of the parts. The great casting of the barrels has already been mention and the bay doors themselves are also worthy of mention. Whilst showing detail on both sides, the framing on the inside and riveting on the outer surfaces, they are commendably thin, so thin in fact that they are translucent.

The metal of the photo-etch fret is soft, which makes the pieces easy to work with and to remove from the fret. This is important as you can cut the parts straight from the fret with a sharp pair of scissors and not leave a burr that is almost impossible to remove without damaging the part itself.

A small instruction sheet is included. It is simple, and shows clear black and white exploded-view illustrations to assist you in assembly of the parts. The sheet also has a 'parts map' to assist you in identifying each part. What it lacks though are painting instructions - none are included at all.

The kit comes packed in the standard small kit packaging used by Aires and it very well packed indeed! The resin parts sit in a vac formed tray which in turn sits on top of a thick cardboard header onto which the photo etch fret and instructions are also placed. A further vac formed clear plastic cover is then slid over both the tray and the header and it both traps and displays the resin and photo-etch parts. Staples are then punched through the header card and the plastic cover to fasten them together. Great packaging indeed and it will ensure that the kit arrives in your hand with all the parts intact.

A downside? Yes, the price. Squadron lists these at USD$21.46 which is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination and even worse when you consider that the kit it is recommended for is listed by Squadron at USD$22.96.

It is however, a nice kit from Aires and the price aside, it is still recommended.


Thanks to Aires for the review sample

Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 02 May, 2005
Last updated 02 May, 2005

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