The P-51 had an unpromising debut that didn’t improve until it was fitted with a Merlin engine manufactured by Rolls-Royce that allowed its design to reach full potential. The plane eventually became the escort fighter that the Allies had been looking for, one that could take bomber flights all the way to Berlin and back, protecting them from the hordes of Luftwaffe fighters that until then had wreaked devastation and death on the 8th Air Force in its campaign of daylight precision bombing.
The new Tamiya P-51D Mustang in 1/32nd scale has been possibly one of the most-anticipated models in recent memory. While the kit seems to be perfect OOB, the front tires are actually vinyl, which both limits weathering and raises the specter of eventual disintegration. While there’s no guarantee vinyl tires will degrade, contact with solvents has been known to turn them mushy and prone to distortion.
Jerry Rutman, who has had something of a career seeking the perfect Mustang, has come up with the answer: resin replacement tires (“tyres” for you Brits) that pop right onto the kit landing gear.
what you get
This is a bare-bones approach to modeling:
A Zip-lock baggie with two resin weighted tires.
Not surprisingly, Tamiya’s successes in 1/32nd scale, first with its Zeros and then later with two Spitfire kits, had modelers on the edge of their seats once a Mustang kit was announced. The results are unusually fine, but vinyl tires? Let’s face it, no serious modeler is going to want vinyl tires on a kit of this quality and price.
Modeler Jerry Rutman recently folded his resin After Market business, only to have portions of it resurrected by Grey Matter Figures, a UK-based concern known previously more for its Sci-Fi and Fantasy figures. The company has re-issued a number of older Rutman upgrades. But with the launch of the Mustang, Jerry has stepped in and sculpted six castings just for the Tamiya kit, including this tire set (four of them will be reviewed here on Aeroscale). The parts allow you to keep the kit’s landing gear and wheel base, with the resin replacement items slipping right onto the kit’s wheels.
The quality of the casting is simply superb with no flash or “beards,” and only a tiny pour plug left on the bottom of the weighted wheels. The set requires no more than sanding off the pour plug remainder, then washing in something to remove the mold release, followed by painting. Then you’re done.
There’s not much you can say about perfection. If you’re going to build the Tamiya Mustang, I can’t imagine doing so without having a set of these tires. The price is more than reasonable, too.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Superb, sharp casting that replaces the vinyl tires supplied with the kit.Lows: None, really.Verdict: A must-have for any 'Stang jockey.