by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Accurate Miniatures has acquired a formidable reputation over the years for the sheer quality of it's releases. The Mustang 1A is part of the series that began it all, way back in 1994. This review is of an original example, but the kit is still available.
The main parts are beautifully moulded in pale grey plastic. All panel lines are engraved and the fabric-covered rudder and elevators are subtley depicted. The overall quality is superb, with next to no flash and no sign of sink marks.
Parts breakdown is a little unusual, with separate nose pieces to allow for the various versions in the series.
Detail is excellent; the cockpit is very good, with a curved floor (actually, this was the top surface of the wing on the original aircraft), whch is appropriate for Allison-engined Mustangs and nicely detailed seat and sidewalls. A US-style control column is supplied, but some of my refs state that RAF aircraft were fitted with "spade-grips".
The wheel-wells are impressive - deep and finely detailed. Also noteworthy is that there isn't a single ejector pin mark on any visible surface... believe me, I've looked hard!
Clear parts are nicely moulded, with a choice of both standard and "Malcolm" hoods, plus a rear window with a cut-out ready for the reconnaissance camera. The canopy parts are really too thick to display open.
A clear instrument panel is provided, so the builder can paint the front, leaving the instrument faces unpainted, ready for a decal backing.
Instructions & DecalsThe instructions are an odd mixture, combining "old-style" full-text explanations with what can best be described as "sketch drawings". The style is distinctive... but thankfully AM changed the type of illustrations for their later kits...
The text is very clear and informative, and Accurate Miniatures supply an excellent paint cross-reference chart.
"Disaclear" decals are provided for two RAF aircraft, with a full set of Invasion Stripes. The registration on my example is a little off and the Dull-Red is maybe a bit too dark. No stencilling is included, but the aforementioned instruments decal is neatly printed.
ConclusionLooking at Accurate Miniatures' Mustang 1A, it's hard to remember this is a 10 year old kit. The overall quality can easily stand up alongside present-day releases.