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In-Box Review
Mustangs over Europe, Part 1
Mustangs over Europe, Part 1: No's 303 & 309 Squadrons.
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by: Mecenas [ MECENAS ]

Mustangs over Europe, Part 1: No's 303 & 309 Squadrons.
Authors: Maciej Góralczyk, Janusz Światłoń.

Item number: KD 3 (48003) for 1/48 scale; KD 3 (32003) for 1/32 scale

Item page on Kagero website – 1/48 scale.

Item page on Kagero website – 1/32 scale.

The decals for the "Red Series" is one of the youngest product lines developed by Kagero Publishing. It is simply a short softcover booklet in the A4 size (205x275mm) with usualy three painting schemes of the title plane, few reference photographs and drawings and a sheet of decals with all the necessarry markings for machines depicted inside the booklet. Up till now Kagero have issued just two volumes of this series: Pacific Mustangs and Heinkels He 111P's, both reviewd on Aeroscale. In the third volume we get the chance to finish our 'Stangs in the colours of the Polish Air Force in Great Britian.
Painting schemes presents three P-51's as seen in the last days or shortly after World War 2. Three machines depicted in this issue are:
  • Mustang III, FZ111, coded WC-V, pilot: F/L Mieczysław Gorzula; No. 309 (Polish) Squadron, No. 133 (Polish) Wing, stationed at RAF Andrews Field, Great Britain, May 1945.

  • Mustang IV, KH663, coded PD-L, pilot: W/O Leszek Bisanz; No. 303 (Polish) Squadron, 3rd Polish Fighter Wing, stationed at RAF Hethel, Great Britain, 1946.

  • Mustang IVA, KM112, coded PD-D, personalplane of S/L Witold Łokuciewski; No. 303 (Polish) Squadron, 3rd Polish Fighter Wing, stationed at RAF Hethel, Great Britain, 1946.

The booklet is not very thick. On just 12 pages authors have presented each of these planes on two profile views and one view from above. There are separate drawings of the bottom wing surfaces, including possible optional placement of some markings which are not yet confirmed in known references, and enlarged drawings of a nose-art and particular emblems. In the footnotes under each plane we can find a short list of reference literature and websites.

Drawings are supplemented by five archive photographs, including one printed on the whole page, which nicely present individual planes characteristics, weathering or the "panel lines accent" made by real dirt.
Decals are printed by an Italian subcontractor - the now famous Cartograf. As usual, it is a class itself. Absolutely no flaws from the technical point of view. Decals enable the modeleller to fully decal each of three planes, there's no need to choose your one favourite option as you can make all of them. Amongst basic markings like RAF roundels and individual planes code letters you can get there are also Polish chequers, squadrons badges, victory markings and stencils. There are also two options of propeller producer logos. As mentioned before Kagero provides two options of individual code letters for KM112 which were painted on the lower wing surface. It is not known how these letters were painted: with or without an error in position of a digit "2", as available sources and photos do not anwer this question definitely. Kagero provides two types of "2" so it will be only up to the modeller to make the decision, however we are provided neccessary information about the problem.

On the last page of the booklet we get a quick pictorial tutorial of the best way to apply the decals on your model. This description in short but informative, there's no need to add anything more.
This product of Kagero is a good source of great quality decals for not very common but attractive painting options. It's a great alternative for a hackneyed painting options from the kit boxes given in a great quality "boxing" with detailed, colour painting options and reference photos. What's not to like?

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Great quality of decals, attractive and unpopular painting options, useful references.
Lows: None for me.
Verdict: Very warmly welcomed and highly recommended product, especially for the enhusiasts of Polish and RAF aviation.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: KD3 (48003), KD3(32003)
  Related Link: Mustangs over Europe, Part 1
  PUBLISHED: Nov 24, 2013

About Mecenas

Copyright ©2021 text by Mecenas [ MECENAS ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


I'm still jealous that the Kagero Corsair book didn't include any decals. ;-) Joel
NOV 25, 2013 - 02:58 AM
Hi Joel! As far as I'm aware none of the "monographs" series contains decals. Kagero puts decals into a lot of their titles and product lines but not into this one. The series without decals are: "Monographs", "Monographs 3D", "Monographs Special Edition", "Photosniper", "Legends of aviation", "Air battles" - if I remember correctly.
NOV 25, 2013 - 07:29 AM
A decal sheet with a lavish instruction sheet is what it really is. It seems that Kagero's strategy is to offer schemes not previously offered in the past. For me that is certainly the main incentive to buy and they have given me a few examples that were on my 'wish list'. As far as Polish subjects are concerned there are still a good deal of 'interesting' machines that deserve a chance to be modelled. Hopefully Kagero will continue to provide the connoisseur with the goods. I ordered my copy on 20th September. There was a long delay of several weeks as Kagero was having problems getting the decals from Italy. What really hurt was the price. Shipping is getting extortionate these days, the total came to Ł24.38. Be warned it maybe better to buy it locally if possible even if it seems expensive. 303 Squadron's Mustangs have remained virtually untouched so far. AJ-Press Modelmania 3 included a decal sheet for KH865 RF*P in four scales from 1/72 to 1/24 and recently Polish Mustang Units from the same publisher included KM112 PD*D on the decal sheet that came with it. Personally, for this reason, I would have preferred Kagero to have found different subject than KM112, perhaps KH855 RF*A. KH663 is the easiest subject, a P-51D-5-NT built as 44-11255. Originally code was RF*M changed to PD*M in August 1945. On 15th September it had an accident whilst taxiing and received the new code PD*L on return after repairs. From that time it was usually flown by W/O Leszek Bisaz who logged around forty sorties before disbandment of the squadron in 1946. All that needs to be added to make a model of this subject are the louvred intake covers. If you do not want to make them yourself, resin examples are obtainable from Red Roo. KM112 was a P-51K-10-NT built as 44-11965. Initially coded RF*D until the unit codes were changed in August 1945, it was was first flown by S/Ldr Bolesław Drobiński (41 sorties) until he handed over command to S/ldr Witold Łokuciewski (50 sorties) and it is his scoreboard that appears on the Mustang. As it was a P-51K, a model requires in addition to the louvred intake covers, a so-called 'Dallas Hood' and Aeroproducts propeller. The Tamiya Korean War boxing has the Dallas Hood and an aftermarket Aeroproducts propeller is not difficult to find, e.g., Ultracast. FZ111 was built as P-51B-5 43-6411. Jean?, sometimes called the 'girl with a question mark' was mostly flown by F/L Mieczysław Gorzula, but also by other pilots. He applied his personal motif himself which he had applied to other Mustangs. On 9th April 1945 he shot down a Me 262 with this aircraft. It was a bad day for the Me 262 as other members of the squadron also scored victories; W/O Antoni Murkowski, FB385 WC*B, destroyed one, damaged one, F/Lt Jerzy Mencel, KH516 WC*F, one destroyed, F/O Jan Lewandowski, KH484 WC*H, shared damaged, F/Lt Jan Mozołowski, SR420 WC*M, shared damaged. The problem with a model of FZ111 is that it was fitted with a fin fillet. If you do not feel able to manufacture this yourself the easiest option is the Accurate Miniatures P-51C kit. However, this seems difficult to find now. I was not able to locate one, perhaps E-bay. Loon Models list a conversion in their No Cut range. Simply it is a replacement fuselage (two halves) for the Tamiya P-51B kit but you can use the ICM kit as a cheaper alternative or the just released Revell kit. Unfortunately, this is also hard to come by these days. Red Roo included it in a conversion set for an Australian Mustang but the set is no longer seen on their web site. I managed to find and buy the only remaining example from The Aviation Megastore. Ouch! Total price Ł40.61. Once again it was the shipping charges that substantially increased the cost. This hobby is becoming very expensive.
NOV 26, 2013 - 12:11 AM
For you, I would recommend: AJ-Press Fighting Units in Color No 3 VF-17 'Jolly Rogers' Early US Navy Corsair units: VF-12 and VF-17 and No 4 VF-17 'Jolly Rogers' Part 2 Early US Navy Corsair units: VF-17's second tour. Lots of photographs and high quality art work. Subtle differences in the markings explained. Both have a decal sheet included.
NOV 26, 2013 - 12:15 AM
In the past Monographs, Photosniper, Legends of Aviation/Famous Planes, Topshots have included decal sheets, sometimes paint masks. At the moment Kagero are selling off some of the decal sheets at reasonable prices. Then you have the shipping charges! LINK
NOV 26, 2013 - 12:20 AM

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