Kit preview: Pegasus Hobbies’ 1/48 P-51B

The first time I saw one of Pegasus Hobbies E-Z Snapz kits, I picked it up right away. It was new, it was different. And I liked it. A lot. It was their Hawker Hurricane. And despite it’s snap-together title, it was a fine build, and looked every bit a Hurricane.

Best part? It was less than $10.

I showed it to a few of my modeling friends, both online and in the “real” world. And they built them. And they liked them.

I think it’s because these kits get back to what modeling started out for all of us as kids or teens… it’s just for the fun of it. No sweating with after-market, over-engineering, or a million parts. You build it, you fly it around the room making engine and machinegun sounds, and you land it on your shelf and stand back and smile.

So you can imagine my excitement when Larry Thompson from Pegasus emailed me and asked if I’d like a look at their latest release, a red-tailed P-51B. Would I? Are Mustangs fast? 🙂

There is a “kit profile” I really like…. no more than 50-60 parts, simple engineering, decent detail, and an ease of build that is relaxing and fun. And, oh yeah, don’t empty my bank account.

Pegasus Hobbies’ P-51B delivers on all counts!

You won’t have to worry about a lot of parts- the box has 33 in all. They’re cast in an odd but pleasing gray plastic with silver “sparkles”…. it’s kind of retro-70’s, very cool. Panel lines are recessed, and if you’re used to Tamiya or Hasegawa type kits, they may appear a bit wide. However, I don’t think it’s fair to evaluate this kit that way. It’s a snap-tite kit, remember. It’s meant to appeal to kids and experienced modelers alike.

Interior detail is “thick” but more than adequate- think Revell or Airfix. Out-of-the-box is perfectly acceptable, and if you’re into scratch-building, it’s a great “palette” for that too. Seat, control columns, IP and rudder pedals- they’re all there.

There are parts for a wheels-up  or wheels-down build, though if you want to build it wheels up, you’ll need to cut off the tail-wheel doors and close them up. Or not…. the kid in you wouldn’t!

When it comes to fit, if this kit is anything like the Hurricane, it should be excellent. On that build, the fit was closer to Tamiya standards than not- very impressive. Do be careful about snapping parts together to tightly in test fitting- they did engineer the connecting points to be very tight. I snapped the fuselage together to test fit the Hurricane, and had to pull pretty good to get it apart.

The canopy is thick, but very clear. The framing detail is a bit more raised than other kits, but quite honestly, I like that. Nothing can be more frustrating than to have to hassle with masking a kit that has “scale thickness” framing. Again, that’s certainly a personal preference, but if every kit I built had a canopy like this one, I’d certainly never complain.

The decals certainly highlight the E-Z Snapz name… both water-slide and peel-and-stick decals are included. It’s a simple set- a single set of markings for a Red Tail Mustang… “Ina the Macon Belle”. No stencils are included, but to be honest, I usually don’t bother with those anyway. The quality of the Hurricane decals was amazing- they sucked down to the surface so tight that no decal setting solution was needed. These don’t look to be any different.

Do yourself a favor- buy this kit. Get the Hurricane too…. and the Spitfire and any other Pegasus kit. (And more are coming!) Build them for fun… find that kid in you that started building airplanes simply because it fired the imagination. Keep a few  in the stash- when your nephew or grandkid or some other kid is visiting and they’re staring wide-eyed at your shelf full of airplanes, and they see your cool stash of kits, pull one of these kits off the shelf and give it to them. You’ll feel good, and you’ll get them into this wonderful hobby.

And they’ll have a great time putting it together, courtesy of you and Pegasus Hobbies.

A very, very specail thanks to Larry Thompson and Pegasus Hobbies for this review sample. Look for a build report very soon!