This iconic plane has not only fascinated aviators and modelers for nearly 70 years, but the darned thing continues flying to this day. So it’s understandable that propeller-heads around the world were excited by the release of the new Tamiya P-51D Mustang in 1/32nd scale. It’s a strong candidate for “kit of the year,” but it isn’t completely perfect. Mustang geek Jerry Rutman has been obsessed with getting the Mustang in 32-scale right for years, to the point of releasing his own resin kit of the P-51B razorback variant. He likes the new Tamiya kit, but has come up with a series of after-market resin goodies to make a great kit superior, all on behalf of Grey Matter Figures in the UK. I have already reviewed the resin front tires, hooded wheel bay & strut, and the Aeroproducts propeller and spinner for planes not sporting a Hamilton Standard prop.
Most Mustangs (98%?) were equipped with Hamilton Standard cuffed propellers. The “cuff” is a small raised band around the base of the blade (see photo at right from Aero Details’ North American P-51D Mustang reviewed by me here on Aeroscale. But one of the big problems for modelers is all the restored aircraft out there. In many cases, they have not been restored to period-correct condition, with things left out, changed or “upgraded,” especially those planes still in flying condition. Working from an un-restored aircraft at the Swiss Air Force Museum in Dübendorf, he has aided Grey Matter Figures in putting out a series of upgrades intended to recreate the bird as she flew in World War II.
That includes a correct spinner; the Tamiya kit’s spinner has incorrectly-shaped holes for the prop blades.
what you get
Grey Matter follows a refreshingly “bare-bones” approach to modeling:
A Zip-lock baggie containing a spinner and backplate.
I agree with Jerry’s position that “when you are building a kit that was produced with such superior attention to detail and shape, why not go the extra mile?” And with most modelers likely to build the Hamilton-Standard version, getting the right spinner is all the more crucial. The set is a direct replacement for the two-piece spinner supplied with the kit, and has the correct “peanut” shape for the prop blade holes (see photo at right referred to above).
The casting has no flash or “beards” to deal with and no visible pour plugs. The crucial detail here is the “peanut” shape to the holes. The kit’s spinner has round holes. The set requires no more than washing it in something to remove the mold release, followed by fitting the kit blades into the spinner/backplace combination.
After that, it’s paint it and you’re done.
There’s not much you can say about perfection. If you’re going to build the Tamiya Mustang and want the highest level of authenticity, this is the ticket. This upgrade covers the majority of Mustangs issued during the war. I can’t imagine spending upwards of $100 for the Tamiya kit and not having the correct spinner. Thanks, Jerr!
Thanks to Grey Matter Figures for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed on Aeroscale when ordering.
Highs: Accurate, clean casting with the corrected spinner missing from the otherwise excellent Tamiya kit.Lows: None, really.Verdict: If you want an accurate P-51D Mustang with the