I’ve had this kit since the late 90’s, at that time the Eduard F-82 cockpit photoetch set and Squadron’s F-82 Twin Mustang vacuum form canopy were available and until very recently, Print Scale F-82 Twin Mustang decals. Not many F-82 references were readily available back then as well except Squadron’s F-82 Mini in Action series. But now there’s a number of XP-82, 44-83887 photos undergoing restoration.
Starting off with the cockpit, the Eduard photoetch parts goes in without much problem. Added in oxygen hoses and wiring for both cockpits. Both cockpit seats were replaced by modified resin versions followed by Eduard photoetch cockpit set seat belts.
I rebuilt the cockpit aft deck and canopy rail & frame. Thereafter added various radio boxes according to the respective cockpit. At a closer look, pulleys and controlling cables for canopy operating mechanism can be visible.
Before closing the fuselage, the tail wheel well will need some attention. The tail wheel strut was refashioned with brass rods but retained the original tyre.
Various sizes of photoetch mesh were used to represent radiator grills. Only the kit’s radiator intake grills were not changed.
Slots were marked and cut out beneath the outer wing. The measurement for the aileron operating mechanism cover was taken from another kit. Another small cut was made under the outer wing for landing lights with the lights made from clear sprue.
Like all P-51 Mustangs, the flaps are lowered when the aircraft is parked. The flaps were cut out along the wing lines, the outer wing are plain flaps while complicating the build in the mid are Fowler flaps,
Majority of work done was on the gun bay, I managed to obtained some reference pictures of the gun bay from a in progress XP-82 restoration. Aftermarket resin .50 cal MG complimented with resin .50 cal rounds and .50 cal photoetch pre-painted rounds. The photoetch rounds set comes with guide chutes which I trimmed down to the required length.
Using the original gun ports as a reference point, I measured out the positions for the 6 MGs. Then position the various wing frames and spars. With the wing gun bay structure and ammo boxes assembled, during dry fitting of the .50 Cal MGs I discovered that the case ejector do not lined up with the kit’s lower wing ejector slots due to the staggered position of the 6 MGs. The kit’s case ejector slots needed to be corrected. The slots were relocated, marked and cut out after filling up the kit’s original slot.
Joining surfaces for all parts revealed serious alignment and gap problems. All were rectified with a combination of (a lot of) plastic sheet shimming and plenty of gap fillers.
The main undercarriage is a modified whitemetal SAC P-47 and a resin A-1 Skyraider wheel set with a reduced wheel diameter, with some parts and wires added to the brake calipers. Brass rods and tubes added to represent connecting rods & hydraulic jacks for the undercarriage gears and doors.
Navigation and tail lights are fashioned out of clear sprues.
0.2 mm wire for the tail warning antenna
Comparison between the pictures, the kit’s radar pod shape is off. I increased the height dimension by 6mm turning it oval from round and reshaped the pod’s tail.
I used an aftermarket resin uncuffed, paddle blade propeller for the P-51. However the rotation of F-82 propeller rotates inwards, therefore the pitch of propeller blades on one side needed to be reversed. To confirm that the pitch of the propeller blades were set to the correct angle, I placed the model in front of a electric fan to ensure a smooth rotation.
Once all the surface blemishes have been dealt with, Mr Color black with midnight blue is used followed by decals sealing it with Future and a wash with grey oils.
Most reviews on this kit were not very favorable, they weren’t kidding. This kit has its issues, but with adequate references and patience it is possible to produce a decent model.