For reasons which defy logic, 1/72 scale modelers have never had an accurate P-51B/C Mustang until now. All previous releases have had one fatal shape error or another which was impossible to un-see and difficult to correct. Arma has hit this one out of the park, and it should be a license for them to print money well into the future without any of the inflationary consequences when the U.S. Government does it. The kit is accurate, well-detailed, and provides all the optional parts the average modeler could ever want. Sticklers for detail will want to fill the panel lines on the wings, just like the original. The engineering is superb, the only fit issue I encountered was a step at the forward edge of the windscreen which needed sanding.
My boxings were the “Expert Set”, which include a fret of photoetch and a set of masks, and here is where I will pick a nit. The PE fret adds little, I used the radiator parts but they are impossible to see without flipping the model over and using a flashlight. I used the PE seatbelts too, but nothing else from the fret.
The vinyl masks were a disaster. I understand there were supply chain issues when Arma released this kit and they were a victim of the global Kabuki tape shortage, but the vinyl masks tried their best to ruin an otherwise excellent modeling experience. They (mostly) stuck fine to the flat panels, but pulled off of anything with a curve. In the end the PE and vinyl masks were a mixed bag and significantly raised the price of the kit. Masks ARE a good idea however, I sincerely hope Arma includes a set in future boxings – this time using Kabuki tape, including inner and outer masks for the open panels, and (here’s a thought) making the seatbelts out of Kabuki tape instead of PE.
I understand Arma’s Ki-84 kit is currently selling even better than their P-51B/C Mustang. I have a batch on pre-order, and am looking forward to building those as well!
Finished model photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/05/31/arma-hobby-north-american-p-51b-of-major-james-h-howard-in-1-72-scale/