by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
As part of their wide range of upgrades for Revell's recent new-tool 1:32 P-51D, CMK have released a trio of resin "Quick & Easy" sets to replace the kit's radios, control column and rudder pedals.
Each set arrives in a simple clear bag on a card backing with a small sheet of instructions enclosed. The casting is largely flawless on each of the sample items, although I noticed the control column leans to the right slightly - something that I can't see in any reference shots (but it's easily fixed with hot water).
Q32 315 P-51D Mustang - Radio SetCMK's radio sets are massively more detailed than the Revell parts, added to which they need almost no cleaning up beyond removing them from their casting block. I say "almost", because there is a wafer of flash in the gap under the moulded-on cables on the larger of the two sets. You could trim this out (being a glutton for punishment, I will...), but I suspect many modellers will leave it alone because, especially by the time it's painted black, it probably won't be visible.
Price: - 5.70 Euros
Q32 316 P-51D Mustang - Control ColumnI must admit to being less convinced by the control column - partly because I'm pretty happy with the kit part (maybe I shouldn't be?), and also because the resin alternative looks a bit spindly to my eyes. However, it does has extra detail in the form of two tiny switches moulded on its left side - but I haven't been able to confirm them yet in a reference shot.
Price: - 4.20 Euros
Q32 317 P-51D Mustang - Rudder PedalsThe replacement pedals do look very neat, with separate parts for the pedals themselves and their mounting. Clean-up should actually be simpler than the kit moulding and, of course, you've got the option of positioning the pedals correctly if you want the rudder offset.
Price: - 4.20 Euros
ConclusionObviously, I'm in the privileged position of having received CMK's upgrades as samples, but I'd still say they are affordable alternatives for the Revell Mustang - a kit which almost invites the addition of a little "eye candy" through its low price.
But if you're on a strict budget and it's a choice of just one of the three upgrades here, I'd go for the radio sets without hesitation - they are in a different league to the kit parts and will be a clearly visible improvement.
I haven't given an overall rating because my take on each of the sets differs.
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