Hasegawa 1/72 Mustang Mk. IV
I've only ever seen two tiny photos of this aircraft so there are a couple of details I may be wrong about. One is the canopy. My understanding of the P-51K was that it differed from a 'D' by it's Aeroproducts propellor and the "Dallas" style canopy - a slight bulge at the rear as opposed to the smooth taper of the standard bubble canopy. It's very hard to tell from the pics I've seen, but it looks to me like this aircraft didn't have the "Dallas" canopy which is how I've modelled it. It did have the Aeroproducts prop however. The Brits made no distinction between a 'D' and a 'K' - they were both Mustang IVs, so I'm not sure if this was manufactured as a 'K' or was one of the 'D's that was retrofitted with the different prop. Or perhaps it did have the "Dallas" canopy and I just can't tell from the miniscule photos. And then again, does it really matter all that much?
There was a letter in a fairly recent issue of "Scale Aircraft Modelling" from a fellow who claims to have actually seen this aircraft at the end of the second world war. He states that he recorded the colours at the time and that the horizontal blue stripe and canopy surround were actually yellow. This is the only reference I have seen to claim that and I have to wonder why he waited over 50 years to dispute the colour scheme of this well known aircraft. Again, it's hard to tell from the tiny b & w photos I've seen, but it really looks to me like the stripe is the same as the blue of the spinner and chequered nose band (documented as squadron colours) and a different shade from the yellow on the leading edges of the wings. In other words, I'm not going to rush to repaint this on the basis of one comment of dubious authenticity. As Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson) said in "Tora! Tora! Tora!", "Confirmation dammit, I want confirmation!".
Hasegawa's original Mustang kit is fairly awful by modern standards but it does have one thing going for it: nice deep wheel wells. Hasegawa then released this Mustang from completely new moulds. This is on par with any of their later releases and features an accurate shape and fine recessed panel lines. It also features wheel wells that are so shallow you'd be hard pressed to retract a sheet of paper into them let alone the landing gear. Fortunately their old Mustang is still quite easy to find and at bargain prices and this can serve as a wheel well donor, which is what I did here. I cut a section out of the wings on both kits from the leading edge back to the panel line just behind the wells and swapped the shallow wells for the deep ones (or is that vice versa?). A bit of filler is neccesary to match up the shapes and some plastic will have to be removed from the inside of the top wing piece in order to get the new (old) wheel wells to fit but it's a fairly easy job. The fact remains however, that I shouldn't have to do this! If their old kit has deep wells, then why doesn't this new one?!
Back to 1/72 Aircraft Main