Lifelike Decals 48-051 1/48 P-51 Mustang Pt5

This 1/48 decal sheet from Lifelike Decals is designed for Tamiya’s P-51D 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 18cm x 13 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 16 cm x 7 cm
  • 1 decal sheet 10 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 6 aircraft:

  1. P51D-5-NA 44-13923, Wormingford, England August 5, 1944
  2. P51D-5-NA 44-1392, Leiston, England Nov to Dec 1944
  3. P51D-20-NA 44-14292 Duxford, England Mar to Apr 1945
  4. P51D-20-NA 44-14292 Duxford, England Mar to Apr 1945
  5. P51D-20-NA 44-14292 Duxford, England May to Jun 1945
  6. P51D-20-NA 44-14292 Little Walden, England Jul 1945

The “Big Beautiful Doll” decal option has been done many times in box decals and aftermarket. However, I can’t find one complete decal sheet given over to all the various decal variations of “Big Beautiful Doll”. This decal option was actually carried by 2 different aircraft, in 6 different versions, flown by John D Landers in 1944/5.

There’s one complete set of stencils, although you will have some left over. You have enough stars & bars for option 4 and 1 of the other options. If you have stencils and stars & bars from the kit box you can easily do all the 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 are an adequate size for the few large decals that would be positioned using these views, but I can see myself looking closley to get the placement correct. This page also lists the 18 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 a starboard nose view to indicate decal placement on the starboard side.  There is a short description of each aircraft as well describing the paint schemes, special instructions and which of the 18 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 particular 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 on 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 they post it there and where needed, offer correction sheets if you contact them.

The large decal sheet and the stars and bars are printed by Microscale and the smallest decals sheet was printed by Cartograph. 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 $20.00 or less, depending on where you live.

A highly recommended set of decals for P-51D. The “Big Beautiful Doll” decal option is known to be popular and putting all the variations on one sheet is a sensible move.  The decals and instructions are excellent 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

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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