The Late 90s release of this Twin Mustang by Modelcraft brought a new Korean War era aircraft to the 1/48th model maker community... unfortunately the kit would be a challenge to construct.
Notable Kit Features:
The only F-82 kit in 1/48th scale (enough said) ...until the Modelsvit kit makes it debut? Hold the fort fellow model builders - Late Breaking News - we have a release date for the Modelsvit kit of Q4 2021!
The Twin Mustang was an interesting aircraft which at first glance appeared to be a quick mating of two P-51s and there you have it. The F-82 was actually substantially different. The two fuselages were both lengthened by 57 in (140 cm) in order to accommodate extra fuel and equipment. The vertical tails, based on the XP-51F, incorporated large dorsal fillets for added stability and of course the new center mating section now contained the guns.
F-82s were among the first USAF aircraft to operate over Korea and the first three North Korean aircraft destroyed by U.S. forces were shot down by F-82s. The night-fighter version was most appealing to me and when I picked up this kit at a model show (very inexpensively - that was my first clue of a tough build), I was all set for a future project. My build would be of the F-82G that was credited with the first victory for the USAF in Korea, piloted by Lt. William G. Hudson with his radar operator Lt. Carl Fraser.
Photo of Lt. Hudson’s victory, taken with a malfunctioning camera by his radar operator, Lt Fraser.
This kit has all the hallmarks of a short run kit, (plus a lot of flash and mold issues) resulting in a substantial amount of work to clean up the parts and fit the pieces together
File/Sand all part halves mating edges to get a good fit
Cockpit detail is quite basic but it includes some sidewall panels at least
You may want to deviate from the cockpit assembly instructions - put the rear decking in place through the underside of the fuselage, then align the rear bulkhead, capping it off by installing the cockpit floor
You may want to deviate from the fuselage assembly instructions - Glue the fuselage halves together (without the interior parts), then build the underside exhaust. Once this exhaust box is dry, insert it in the underside opening and glue it in place
Join the cowl parts and remove the lip that is suppose to help you mate the cowl with the rest of the fuselage (it doesn't - build yourself some alignment tabs)
Sand - Fill - Sand (Rinse and Repeat)
Glass is thick, uneven, a bit dull and a poor fit (a vacu-form canopy was available from Squadron at some point - Recommended - I ended up using the kit part - Not Recommended)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
As I wanted to replicate Hudson & Fraser's F-82G with the 68th F(AW)S that achieved the first air-to-air kill of the Korean War (June 27, 1950) I had to acquire the 68th tail emblem (which I managed to find on another kit's decal sheet), paint on the proper aircraft number (FQ-383 - although I think my choice of red may be too dull) and add the Yak-7U/Yak-9 kill marking. In hindsight I should have tried to source the Squadron replacement canopies.
The After-Build Report on this kit, all said and done, is that I wouldn't recommend this venture. A lot of parts clean-up, filling and sanding will be necessary to produce a decent end result. Having said that if you want to build a 1/48th F-82... you could wait it out for the Modelsvit kit (already overdue) ***Recent Update - the new Modelsvit kit is due out this fall, maybe winter, so best wait and see***) or if you happen to come across this Modelcraft version real cheap, then you certainly can make a go this F-82G, just have a whole lot of patience going into the build.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers