Lifelike Decals 48-047 P-51 Mustang Pt3

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 17cm x 13cm
  • 1 decal sheet 16cm x 9.5cm
  • 1 decal sheet 4.5cm x 7.5cm

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 smallest sheet is loosely attached to the large sheet with a piece of tape to stop it moving around in the bag too much, which seems like a good idea to me.

The sheet covers 4 aircraft:

  • P-51B-5-NA 43-6819 Debden, England April 1944
  • P-51K-10-NT 44-12147 Ansbach, Germany May 14, 1945
  • P-51K-1-NT 44-11419 Liuchow, China Jul to Aug 1945
  • P-51D-10-NA 44-14676 Wormingford, England, 1945

Three of these aircraft are well known, but number 3 ‘Oklahoma Kid’ is new I think. I did some Googling and can’t find a kit or another decal sheet that has a P-51 called Oklahoma Kid as part of its options.

There’s one complete set of stencils, although you will have some left over. If you choose to to option 4 then you will have a few more of the main decals left over, but you won’t have enough in this set to do 2 complete aircraft. However, saying that, if you use the stars & bars and stencils from a second, third or fourth kit, and a bit of painting, you can make all 4 of these options if you wish.

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. It appears that the top of option 2 is also the top of option 3 and the bottom of option 3 is also the bottom of option 2 – this isn’t explicitly clear from the diagrams. This page also lists the 16 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 part views of the starboard side of the nose of 2 aircraft where a visual description is needed. There is also a short description of each aircraft as well describing the paint schemes, special instructions and which of the 16 references are used for a particular aircraft. The extra information will come in really handy in getting your aircraft right. 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, depending where you live.

A highly recommended set of decals for P-51B, D and K. The choice of designs is good with 1 previously unknown design and a couple of the designs produced with the aid of photographs from private collections. The instructions are 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


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