Roy Sutherland has released a comprehensive set of 1:48 P-51D cockpit stencils and placards as part of his BarracudaCals range.
To be honest, calling the contents “comprehensive” hardly does justice to the set, which is designed by Chris Busbridge. “Phenomenal” might be more appropriate - but that would risk accusations of sensationalism. But, to give some idea of just how detailed this set is, there are around 70 individual decals to apply - mostly destined for an “office” around the size of your fingertip, plus a few to go in the area behind the headrest for good measure!
The decals are custom printed by Cartograf, so you can be assured of excellent quality, with thin, glossy items and minimal excess carier film. On subjects like these, any poor registration will stand out like the proverbial sore thumb and actually render the some items useless, but that's certainly not a worry on the sample sheet - checked under the strongest magnifier I have, the registration on the tiny items almost beggars belief - it's that precise.
This kind of detail really demands high quality instructions to back it up, and Barracuda Studios don’t disappoint. As well as a 9-stage step-by-step best practice guide on how to apply the decals successfully, Roy provides excellent full-colour shots of a restored “factory standard” cockpit, with the position of each placard and stencil indicated.
The instructions recommend the recent Meng and Airfix P-51Ds, along with the classic Tamiya kit, but the decals will obviously bring any quarterscale Mustang cockpit to life - although, depending on how much detail there is in any given kit, you may need to make a few compromises or indulge in some scratchbuilding to make the most of the set. Alternatively, of course, the decals will also provide the perfect icing on the cake for an aftermarket cockpit.
With so many decals to apply in such a small space, you’re probably wisest to spread the job over a couple of sessions - partly to avoid accidentally moving items - and also simply to give your eyes a rest! Needless to say, there’s a fair chance that anyone who’s impatient or clumsy may struggle a bit, but the end result will undoubtedly be worth the effort for those who go the course. Highly recommended.
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Highs: Decals boasting superbly fine detail, backed up by excellent instructions.Lows: None, beyond being a tad daunting - which is obviously a plus point for many of us!Verdict: If you’ve got good eyes and a steady hand, the resulting cockpit should look exceptional with every placard and stencil reproduced painstakingly in miniature.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...