Lifelike Decals 48-048 P-51 Mustang Pt4

This decal sheet from Lifelike Decals is designed for Tamiya’s P-51B & D kits. The set consists of:

  • 2 A4 sheets of single sided colour instructions
  • 1 half A4 sheet showing black & white stencil placement.
  • 1 decal sheet 20 cm x 13 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 12.5 cm x 12.5 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 15 cm x 8 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 5 cm x 6 cm
  • 1 masking template 7 cm x 6 cm

The decals arrived in a padded envelope from the manufacturer. Your supplier may package differently. The set is inside a zip-lock style bag and the bag has plenty of space so it is easy to get the sheets in and out.

The sheet covers 4 aircraft:

  • P51B-5-NA 43-6913, Debden, England April 1944
  • P51D-30-NA 44-75025, Wright Patterson Field Oct 1945
  • P51D-10-NA 44-14292 Debden, England Sept 1944
  • P51D-15-NA 44-15103 Luzon, Phillipines early 1945

The first aircraft in the list has been done before by several companies, and is quite popular. I can’t find any other decals produced for 44-75025. I can find 44-14292 done in other scales, but not previously in 1/48. Finally, 44-15103 was done in 1/48 once before by Superscale. The subjects of this decal sheet are all colourful and interesting from an aesthetic point of view.

There’s one complete set of stencils, although you will have some left over. You have enough stars & bars for 2 kits, but if you have stencils and stars & bars from the kit box you can easily do all 4 options in this set.

The 2 A4 sheets are folded in half to make a small booklet. The cover shows a port side view of each of the aircraft and the other half of this sheet shows top and bottom of each aircraft. These views could be a little larger, but for the few large decals that would be positioned using these views the information is enough. This page also lists the 25 references that were used in producing the sheets. This is a very good idea and points you in the right direction if you want to find out more for yourself. The second A4 sheet gives you port side views of the aircraft and decal placement with brackets to indicate decal placement on the starboard side. There are also part views where needed. There is  a short description of each aircraft as well describing the paint schemes, special instructions and which of the 25 references are used for a particular aircraft. The extra information will come in really handy in getting your aircraft right and goes into a lot of detail about the aircraft and pilot and also the peculiarities of a partcular aircraft at a point in time and even mentions such things as when parts of the aircraft changed colours. The half A4 sheet shows top, bottom, port and starboard views with the stencil placements clearly indicated. Propeller stencil placement is also shown in this sheet. Some of these you might have to research the orientation for yourself as it’s not clear from this sheet.

Another thing I like is that Lifelike Decals have updates to sheets on their website. If further information is found out about a particular aircraft the post it here and where needed, offer correction sheets if you contact them.

The main decals are made in Japan and printed by Cartograf and the stars and bars are printed by Microscale. The carrier film is minimal and the colours are clear and everything seems in register. The decals with text are all readable apart from the smallest ones, which is to be expected in this scale. Overall, the decals seem to be everything you would expect from the likes of Cartograf and Microscale.

This sheet will cost roughly $18.00 or less, depending where you live.

Conclusion
A highly recommended set of decals for P-51B and D. The choice of designs is good with 1 previously unknown design and an extensive list of references given for you to refer to. The instructions are very good overall and excellent in places and Lifelike Decals backs up their products on their website and encourages you to let them know what you think. It’s nice to see a manufacturer who is trying to engage with the modelling community and actively researches their products.

Many thanks to Lifelike Decals for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
Scifiantasy


Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.

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