Wait, Tamiya’s Doing a 1/32 P-51D Mustang?
Tamiya is releasing a 1/32 scale P-51D Mustang (kit #60322) this July!
UPDATE: I now have a copy of Tamiya’s masterful 1/32 P-51 in my stash. Check HERE for some initial thoughts, and check back for forthcoming build reports. I still have Tamiya’s big Spitfire VIII to finish up, but the Mustang’s in the on deck circle.
UPDATE: Check the bottom of the post for a link to a ton of prototype shots!
Honestly, I’m ecstatic. After Tamiya’s superlative Spitfires, there’s been a lot of speculation around their next 1/32 entry, and the Mustang always struck me as the obvious choice for a combination of reasons:
- The Mustang is one of the best-known aircraft ever. Period. I bet 90% of the population couldn’t name a single fighter, much less a World War II fighter, if they had a gun held to their head. But for those that could, the Mustang would be right at the top of the list. And name-recognition = sales volume.
- The Mustang is not well-represented in 1/32 scale. Trumpeter and Dragon both offer P-51 kits, but none are held in high esteem. Shapes are wrong, fit is poor, etc. The other heavyweights – the Spitfire, Bf 109, Fw 190 and P-47, are all very well represented, both in terms of breadth and kit quality. The P-51 is the only one that nobody’s really blown out of the water yet. There’s a definite market opportunity.
- The Mustang, like the Spitfire, could be rolled out in multiple releases. This initial P-51D will certainly be followed by a P-51B/C release, a Korea-era F-51, and probably a few RAF-service Mustangs. If Tamiya is feeling particularly ambitious, they could really go crazy with a slate of early, Allison-engined Mustangs (P-51A, A-36 Apache, etc), or the F-82 Twin Mustang.
Okay, so enough blathering. What’s going on with this kit?
There are some details up at HobbyLink Japan, but basically, it looks like Tamiya’s taking what they started with the Spitfires and pushing it to the next level:
- Packard Merlin V-1650-7
- Removable cowl panels with embedded magnets
- Extensive interior detail, including wheel wells, oil cooler, and such.
- Moveable control surfaces
- Openable gun bays
- Choice of vertical stabilizers with or without dorsal fillet
- Three marking options (dying to see what these are)