Finally it’s here, the Arma Hobby P-51 B! It turned up right before the New Year but a family holiday came between and I got to start it a few days later after returning home.
I have avoided checking the reviews already online until now in order to be able to enjoy the parts on their own merits. Brettt Green has done both an unboxing-video and a written review, the last one released very suitably on Christmas Eve !
Even if many of you have already checked out the other reviews, here’s my take on it:
Box art. As usual with Arma a good looking one!
A nice mix of alternatives, covering both the P-51 B/C and the photo reconnaissance variant F-6C. There is also some bonus markings in the form of the second from top but in Japanese hands, test flown with Hinomarus and all!
All parts come on two sprues…
…a big one with the main parts of the aircraft…
…this shows the other side of that sprue…
…and a smaller one with different variants av drop tanks, bombs and a bunch of details that ended up here I suspect because they are common to the P-51 D/K… It was written (more or less in passing) in the latest newsletter that we can expect a D/K later in 2022 !
This shows the level of surface detail, not bad at all! Hard to tell from the photos but there is even a hint of oil canning in the panels, a really nice touch.
And this is the rest of the stuff from the box: a big decal sheet, clear parts for both the ordinary “birdcage” canopy and two different blown Malcolm-canopies (one each for closed vs. open position), a small fret of PE and a sheet of masks, oddly enough cut from masking film as opposed to the usual yellow tape! If I understand it correctly, these masks are a temporary solution in order to be able to ship the kits before Christmas, later on there will be tape masks (which I greatly prefer) as usual. I am however sure that these will work just fine as well!
Close-ups of clear parts are difficult but anyway, here they are! They are good but not Hasegawa-level, especially the blown canopies aren’t as optically clear as I would have wished. I will probably find a substitute in an old set of Falcon canopies when I come to building one of these!
It seems like ALL P-51 B variants known to living man are covered. There are different lower nose panels, different fins (I had no idea that some B/C-Mustangs came with the dorsal fin, I thought it was for only the D/K in order to compensate for the loss of keel area when the rear fuselage was cut down) and also two different kinds of seats (another first for me ). Finally there are three (OMG) different radio arrangements (yes, it is true) and of course the photo reconnaissance specific parts…
I have just started but have already realised that the model isn’t that complex, the instructions are however! I know it is against all modelling principles but it is worth studying the instructions and making notes of where to drill and what parts to use or not for your specific choice of subject!
One final photo right now, this is what goes into the cockpit and behind the seat, this is what I call a bunch of stuff! I’m sorry that I have turned the instrument panel upside down, there will be more photos of it later on!
This is what I call a good start to 2022! And I promise, I will return to my Messerschmitts in due time!