Airfix 1/72 P-51D Mustang finished and decalled as USAF F-51D Mustang

F-51D Mustang, USAF Korea circa 1950

This Mustang was one of the pair I purchased from Aldi (see previous blog post SAAF F-51D) and was built alongside teh SAAF version.

Decals came from the same sheet as the SAAF decals. As mentioned before, I was a little disapointed with the Print Scale decals. They are very thin, which is useful as they look good once applied, but boy were they a pain to use! They would fold at the dropof a hat, in fact a couple could not be used as they just curled up in to a ball! Also, the registration/line up of the USA ‘bars and stars’ was out, so had to purchase some extras from MicroScale decals.

It is a shame about the decals, as Print Scale do some very interesting sets, but I personally will not be buying them again. Still have a couple of options left on the sheet I purchased (72-300), which I will attempt to use in another build, espcially the RAAF version.

Print Scale Decal sheet 72-300

The actual build of the Airfix kit (A68208) was quite easy, no real issues to name. The under carriage seems a little fragile, but this seems to be the case with most smaller 1/72 kits.

Painted the aluminium using Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium thinned with Tamiya X-20A Thinner which I have to say, sprayed perfectly for me. Will be moving over to Tamiya paints when I need to buy replacements. For the black areas, I used Vallejo Model Air Black 71.057, which I actaully find sprays OK.

Anyway, lets see the finished article…

Airfix P-51D Mustang (A68208), painted as SAAF F-51D Mustang

F-51D Mustang, SAAF Korea 1950

Managed to pick up 2 P-51D Mustang starter sets earlier in the year for £4.99 each from Aldi. The good thing about the P-51D, is that it was still in use during the early part of the Cold War, especially in Korea.

So after getting the 2 and adding them to my stash, the next step was to find some suitable decals for them. I came across a set by a company called Print Scale. Was so pleased to find a set that had a good mixture of options, that I did an impulsive purchase, without doing any research on the quality of the decals.

Well when they arrived, I was quite surprised to see that the US ‘bars and stars’ plus the Korean equivilent were tout of register! Looking at the photos on the small instruction leaflet of aircraft in Korea, the Korean markings do actual look out of register, but the US were not.

However, the set also included some SAAF (South Afirican Airforce) and some RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) markings, which all looked good.

Print Scale decals.

The build of the Mustang did not throw up any nasty surprises, fit was generally quite good. Only issues I had with the build were the under carriage was a bit fiddly and feels flimsy, the front windscreen was not a good fit, but that may be more down to me, and the aerial could not be removed from the spru tree without breaking.

A first for me with this build was using Tamiya acrylics for spraying, and I must admit, I was really pleased with how easy the Tamiya paints were to spary, will certainly be moving over to them when I can.

Now back to the decals, they are a complete pain to use, very thin (which is a good thing), but fold over as soon as you try to remove them from the backing sheet, so much care was required when appying them.

Hope to have a USAF version up on the blog soon.

Anyway, the result, for me, is not too bad.

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