Eduard 1/72 P-51B/C Zoom Photoetch for Hasegawa/Hobby 2000 Kit
The Hasegawa 1/72 P-51B/C is an older kit, but still builds up into a decent Mustang despite its flaws. Like most Hasegawa 1/72 kits, though, a major failing is the simplistic cockpit. These generally consist of little more than flat surfaces with decal details. The P-51B/C kit is no exception, although there is some shallow sidewall detail. This set lets you easily fix that error with Eduard's usual high quality pre-painted photoetch.
The majority of this set is for the interior, which is what needs the most work in this kit. You will have some removal duties, though, removing the raised portion of the instrument panel and all the raised sidewall details. The box behind the seat will also have to go, although that might work as a base for the replacement photoetch part so perhaps don't remove all of it.
With all that work done, it's time to use up the bits & pieces. This is a fairly easy set to use, as there's minimal folding & bending. The instrument panel has three pieces, with the main panel having a smaller panel resting on top. While on the front of the cockpit, there are two replacement rudder pedals that are probably the most fiddly parts for bending up. They'll glue straight to the plastic ones, though, so applying them is easy. The radio box behind the seat is another part to fold up, but that's a simple box, easy to do, and by leaving a bit of the kit part in place, it'll fit easily in place.
For the sidewalls, the right side is very simple, with just the main sidewall piece getting three additional flat pieces added to give some extra relief. The left side is probably the most complex assembly out of the whole set. The sidewall has a separate box piece that has a curved corner to it. On that goes a second piece, which also needs to be curved, and into that goes a lever. There are two other levers that fit on the front of that piece, and three additional discs. With that subassembly in place, you also get to assemble the throttle piece, which has one piece folded up and an additional little handle added. For all the small handles, the set provides extras, which is nice because we all know that at least two of those are going to ping off into the unknown.
Finally, the seat gets the usual seatbelt treatment, which looks great on the photoetch fret but I always find challenging to get to look right sitting in the seat. There are four belts, two lap and two shoulder, with one of the lap belts getting an extra piece to fit under the buckle. The seat also gets additional braces that go along the sides.
The last bits cover the exterior, and these are the fuel filler caps. These are really nice, as you just have to drill out a matching hole in the various filler locations and drop these in. I would actually recommend finding a plastic rod the same diameter and attaching the photoetch to the rod, then glue the rod in place. That would make for a much easier application. You get caps for the wings, the fuselage, and for the wing fuel tanks.
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to spruce up your Hasegawa P-51B, this is the perfect photoetch set. It provides all the detail you'd need for the cockpit in an easy-to-apply manner and it makes for a huge improvement over the kit parts. My thanks to Eduard for the review sample.