Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

P-51D Mustang Engine Set

1/48 scale for Tamiya




S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4252 - P-51D Mustang Engine Set
Price: listed as around £15.00 / AUD$38.00
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Grey and cream coloured resin, acetate film, photo etched metal
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent detail and casting;
Disadvantages: No painting instructions
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aires' 1/48 scale P-51D Mustang Engine Set  will be available online from Squadron.com




Aires Hobby Models is 4252 is a 1/48 scale mixed-media engine detail kit for the Tamiya kit of the North American P-51D Mustang. 

And what a kit it is!  It is very comprehensive and comprises a total of thirty one resin pieces as well as a single strand of copper wire.  The parts are a mixture of brittle light cream coloured resin and the newer mid grey resin that Aires seems to be adopting more and more. 



The casting really is great.  A few years ago, you could expect at least half of the parts in resin detail sets to have pin holes and miscasts but that is no longer the case.  Aires really have got resin casting down to an art.  There is not one single blemish on any of the thirty ones parts.  The details that have been cast into the parts have to be seen to be believed.  The detail is crisp and sharp and judging by comparing the kit parts to pictures of the one-to-one-scale example, is correct.  I don't count myself among the Mustang experts but the engine looks to be a Packard Merlin V-1650 to me.  Some of the highlights include:

        The inclusion of both shrouded and un-shrouded exhausts with hollowed out stubs. 

        A complete set of thin cowlings (they are actually translucent, that is how thin they are!) with details on both sides which is great as it saves you from separating and modifying the kit ones. 

        The breather holes in the lower cowling have been cast in the open position Ė saves you drilling 80 tiny holes!

Flash is existent, but minimal and will easily be removed with a sharp blade. 

The removal of the parts from the cast plugs has been made a whole lot easier too as Aires has cast a clear distinct line between the pour plug and the part itself. 

As nice as all of the casting and detail is, this is not a project for the newcomer to resin detail sets or the faint hearted!   A glance at the illustrations on the construction guide reveals that you will have to perform major surgery on your Tamiya kit if you take the leap.  The whole forward fuselage must be removed and you need to be aware of the warning contained in a corner of the construction guide, and I quote "Warning:  Thinning of the plastic parts and dry-fitting of the assembly needed!"  This is sage advice indeed as I have yet to find an Aires detail set that did not require extensive "Thinning of the plastic parts and dry-fitting of the assembly".  Stick with it though and you will be amply rewarded. 

A small instruction sheet is included.  It carries 'exploded views' of the suggested assembly sequence as well as a 'parts map' to assist you in identifying the tiny resin parts.  Be aware that there are a few parts included in the kit that are not on the 'parts map'.  As Aires have produced a whole range of P-51 detail sets my guess is that these (they look to be the wing's gun bay covers) belong to one of these other sets. 



A down side is that there is no colour guide provided apart from a colour photograph of the painted and assembled kit on the box top, you are on your own here! 

The parts are packed in a zip-loc bag which is wrapped in a small piece of bubble wrap.  This sandwich is then placed into a flimsy cardboard box sealed with heat shrunk plastic.  So what you say?  Well in this the age of internet hobby shop, your set is more than likely going to come through the post and as such there is a fair chance that it will be damaged.  I just donít understand why Aires packs their detail kits in this fashion when they already have an excellent packaging system available to them as evidenced in their 'Masters Series'. 

Hannant's is listing this set at £15.15 which is nearly $38 Aussie dollars and just over $27 US Dollars.  Not cheap by any means.   Still, given the work that has gone into producing this kit and the stunning model it will produce, it is worth it. 




A friend of mine here in West Oz, Mr Peter Jones, has just about completed a dazzling Aussie P-51 project using various Aires detail sets, including this one.  I have included a couple of photographs of his model that show the kit pieces assembled and painted as well as one that shows the required modifications to the kit's  forward fuselage.

Thanks to Aires for the review sample.

Text and Images Copyright © 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 04 July, 2005
Last updated 04 July, 2005

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page