Arma Hobby North American P-51 B/C Mustang Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part V

After painting, I applied a layer of Testor’s Glosscoat to protect the paint and provide a nice, smooth surface for decaling. The kit decals provide the markings for Major James Howard’s “Ding Hao!” which was high on my list for subjects. I left the broom markings and crew name decals off to depict an earlier version of his aircraft. The decals performed flawlessly. The kit’s stencils and national insignia were used for all twelve builds, the wing insignia needed a little extra Micro Set & Sol to pull down over the raised details but that was it.
Here is part of the P-51B/C decal stash. Remember the good ol’ days when Squadron would send out their monthly fliers and actually mark down prices on things? This is where the trouble began. The Eagle Strike and AeroMaster sheets were likely picked up for just a couple of Dollars and thrown in with the rest of the order, and I’ve been waiting ever since to use them.
Props-Are-Us was also having a sale! Props are a lot of work, I did the blades early in the build and painted the spinners along the way.
All the models got the dangly bits under the wings. There is no positive attachment point for any of the options, so they were all pinned in place using bronze rod. The drop tanks will also need the plumbing as this was external, here represented by beading wire and solder.
Late in the build I discovered the vinyl masks had bit me again. This time, one of the transparent vinyl masks had popped off one of the quarter panels unnoticed. The transparent part had received the brunt of all the airbrushed layers from primer to gloss. Gently stripping it fogged the plastic, so it was sanded back, buffed out, and re-painted. If there is any doubt remaining, I hate vinyl masks!
What’s better for the modeling mojo than finishing a model? Finishing twelve! It’s very efficient to build in batches, the major downside is it delays the gratification of seeing your project completed.


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!

Build posts Part I here:

Finished model photographs here:


5 thoughts on “Arma Hobby North American P-51 B/C Mustang Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part V

  1. Outstanding Jeff!
    I really must go to Hobby Lobby and look for some beading wire.
    While I am tickled to see the Ki-84, since I am a fan of Japanese a/c of WWII, I am shocked to hear it’s selling better than the P-51 B/C. As we’ve all said, making a good Mustang (or Bf-109 or Spitfire) is a license to print money, but a Ki-84? Wow. Great news all the way ’round though. The more they sell, the more money they make, and the more kits they’ll produce for us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am still holding out hope Arma kits a Ki-43-II, it would be another hot seller! Here’s the quote from Arma’s site concerning the Hayate sales: “Ki-84 Hayate kit boxes are already going to customers who bought them in pre-orders. The kits are selling like hotcakes – customers have bought more Hayates than the whole Mustang’s first run! ” Incredible! I’m becoming an Arma fanboy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh! I’ve been a gushing fan boy ever since I laid eyes on the FM-2. Like our buddy David says, if marooned on a desert island, I’d want Arma Hobby kits. 🙂
    I’m tickled that the Ki-84 is selling like it is, and I’d buy a bunch of the Oscars if they’ll produce them. I think it’s time for me to really clean out my stash! 🙂
    I do remember the good ol’ days of the Squadron flyer, and like you, I bought cheap decal sheets with abandon, sometimes getting the same one twice.
    Now, if only Arma would kit some D through J model P-38’s. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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