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P-51D/K Mustang
including the P-51H & XP-51F, G & J

by Richard A. Franks

Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe and Miniature No. 18

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

Valiant Wings Publishing
P-51D/K Mustang
A Complete Guide to the Cadillac of the Skies
including the P-51H & XP-51F, G & J
Airframe and Miniature No. 18
Second Edition
by Richard A. Franks

ISBN: 978-1-912932-20-7
Media: 272 pages in A4 portrait mode, many photographs and walkaround ones, colour profiles, historical manual drawings, line drawings and model details.
Price:


GBP£24.95 plus shipping available online from Valiant Wings

GBP£24.95 plus shipping available online from Hannants

and stockists worldwide.

Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Beautifully produced on quality paper, well bound so that it can be opened flat, masses of great information - photos, drawings and colour schemes - and excellent lists of all things a modeller needs to produce the next masterpiece.
Disadvantages: None noted.
Conclusion:

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every Mustang modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it whole heartedly.


Reviewed by Graham Carter


 

FirstRead

 

This is the latest in this popular series of modelling and technical books. It is a solid A4 256 page volume, well bound with a glossy card cover and printed on quality glossy paper that allows excellent reproduction of images and drawings. The cover is adorned with another of Jerry Boucher’s commissioned  illustrations, this time of Lt Col. ‘Dinghy’ Dunham’s aircraft defending a flight of B-24’s on their way to Take Island in August 1945. While primarily aimed at the modeller with around a quarter of the book taken up by kit reviews and builds, there is much to appeal to the historian and technically-minded person as well. As the publicity spiel says “Our latest book will go some way towards unpicking the different variants and colourful schemes that apply to the type.” Note that the book only covers the later range of bubble-top Mustangs, nothing is here on the earlier high-backed variants.

 

 

Following the familiar path, the volume begins with a Preface of some forty-odd pages covering the story of the development of the P-51 and its usage by both USAAF and USAF units as well as a huge number of other countries during and after WWII. B&W photos and some colour ones illustrate many of these.

Then chapter 1 covers the Evolution of the aircraft from prototype, through most of the variants and projects such as the ramjet and pulse-jet ones, followed by a chapter on the photo-recon, two-seat and lightweight variants. Must admit I did not know about the projected carrier version.

 

 

Next comes 44 pages of info on Camouflage and Markings which provides information and photos or colour drawings by Richard Caruana of the schemes worn by examples from most users. This section treats some of the special schemes associated with specific units, and a set of drawings show the location of airframe stencils. There were a surprising number of ‘foreign’ users of this plane.

The fifth chapter lists a selection of the available kits in all scales from 1/144 through to 1/24, with an assessment of the pros and cons of each, after which Chapter Six presents six builds made up of the Airfix and Tamiya P-51Ds in 1/72 by Libor Jekl , then the AIrfix P-51D, Eduard’s Very Long-Range variant and Halberd Models’ Cavalier Mustang all in 1/48 by Steve Evans, and finally there is a build of Tamiya’s P-51 D and US Army staff car by the late Alan Bottoms. All builders are well known for the quality of their modelling and their clear photos and explanations of how they produce their models are worth a detailed read.

The seventh chapter, called Building a Collection, shows in isometric drawings by Wojciech Sankowski the differences between all the different variants and showing the versions with the slightly different canopy. These clearly annotated sketches are invaluable to the modeller although I occasionally think that it would have been useful to have had some undersurface drawings as well.

 

 

The ‘In Detail’ section occupies almost 40 pages and give the reader an enormous number of colour and B&W photos from modern and contemporary sources, along with technical manual drawings and excellent notes. It covers most aspects of the airframes from the engine, propellors, cockpit, fuselage and wings, tail, undercarriage and so on. This is really a highlight of this and other volumes in the series and provides an invaluable source of information for the interested technophile or the super-detailer. 

There are then four appendices covering, in alphabetic lists by scale, all of the kits that have been available, accessories, decals and a bibliography. The work that has gone into compiling these lists is quite astounding. 

Finally, the rear of the book concludes with a fold-out double-sided four-page set of 1/48 scale drawings - eight pages in all - showing side and upper and lower views of different variants.

 

  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  P-51D/K Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
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This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every P-51 modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it whole-heartily. It brings together so much information that you probably have spread through several volumes and therein lies its usefulness.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every Mustang modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it whole-heartily.

 

Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.


Review Copyright 2022 by Graham Carter
This Page Created on 25 May, 2022
Last updated 25 May, 2022

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