Wednesday, January 18

Review – Dutch Profile A Modeller’s guide: P-51D/K Mustang Photo File (ML-KNIL/RNEAAF)

The very interesting book and decal makers Dutch Profile from the Netherlands bring us a new addition to the realm of products that have come out for the 1/32 Tamiya Mustang this year. Their new book (and the separately sold accompanying decals we will look at in another review) certainly look like a worthy addition to further uniquify (is that a word?) your new masterpiece P-51 – to make it a standout from everyone else’s with such a different bunch of schemes – first you need someone to do the research when doing such exotic subjects - Let’s look at this book detail to see if the promise is as good as the outcome…

Dutch Profile
A Modeller’s guide:
P-51D/K Mustang Photo File (ML-KNIL/RNEAAF)

Written by: Max Schep, Tim Van Kampen, Luuk Boerman
Dual English& Dutch text.
Pages: 28
RRP: €13 - €15 within Europe & outside Europe at cost
Limited to 350 copies
 Available from: Dutch Profile’s Website

This is the second modeller’s profile – with updated text and information it is a much needed insight to the mustangs of this area and era (some of the P-51’s served until the New Guinea conflict in 1962)

Firstly the pictures and information are first rate – Messer’s Schep, Van Kampen, and Boerman sure do know their stuff and the research is thoroughly done here. On meeting him again at the Telford IPMS the knowledge I gleaned on just talking to Mr Boerman was so helpful, this knowledge though is told in a  “just the facts” style here that cuts through the many extra pages of information that isn’t particularly needed in a modeller’s profile such as this. If you are interested in the Mustang, especially the post war and South-East Asia conflicts this is the book to get - I will explain why.

This is an A4 book of only 28 pages – with only a few pages of solid text to them – and filled with lots of black and white pictures as well as three pages of colour profiles and several pages of text on the evolution of NEI markings. Not a lot of pages to squeeze it all in you may think but this book has the devil firmly contained in its details -

The first part of this reference book explains in dual Dutch and English text (as is continued throughought the book) the make-up of the Mustang units – their trip from Australia (ex USAAF) to the area and the conflicts in which they served in an essential brief run down.

This is the definitely “need to know” information of history of the ML-KNIL/RNEAAF, and it is laid down in the block text in two pages of an introduction of sorts at the start of the book – invaluable for those who have a limited knowledge and/or want to know more about the conflict especially, and it is the best starting point to understand the rest of the book. Explained in a simple way is how the Mustangs were requested, delivered, in what numbers, how they were assigned and used (and what variants) and the livery they wore through the time in the conflict in Indonesia.

After the introduction pages at the start of the book the publication turns into a photo essay with a proper time line of the history of the Mustangs of the NEI – explained in detail are the evolution of the markings worn by the aircraft and the history of where they were and what was happening. Special attention is taken to explain the little subtleties like the propeller (patrol) colours and the peculiarities of each aircraft in shot. Rare pictures showing colours and markings only adopted for a short time (like the excellent 122 squadron emblem) are highlighted so I can imagine how many pictures did not make it into this book.

Eighteen of the aircraft from these actions are also shown in full colour side profiles – with pictures usually inside to back up the accuracy. You can tell that this book has had many contributors as the information is all encompassing. The smallest details which could be easily missed. Indeed there are many details like colours that the layman (me) could well have missed but are picked up on. The knowledge from first-hand accounts fleshes out much of the narrative as well.

These is a good explanation of how the numbering of the aircraft changed through their service and how the livery and national markings evolved into the “Classic” roundel and markings that is common with Dutch aircraft even now. Special detail is taken to explain how and when these markings evolved and why. Ground crew and equipment are a feature of many pictures in the book. Ordinance and photographical equipment is well illustrated in many pictures which show a great amount of detail for the modeller. There are many underwing and close ups and lovely ideas planted by this book you start to think that “I could do that” and I suppose that is the whole point of a good modeller’s guide. It takes the mystification out of the subject and makes it real to the modeller. If it inspires you it is doing the right thing. This book has inspired me!

The last few pages explain the camouflage and the exact nature of the national and unit markings on these mustangs throughought their use in this theatre down to precise measurements on each machine which will greatly help with the decal placements on your kit. As well as this there is a comprehensive list of the aircraft by serial number which served as well including its pilot and the nature often of its demise

Check out the decals too which available separately from their sister site Dutch Decal ( this is to keep costs to a minimum if you want either the book or the decals by themselves) if you have the Mustang in 32nd scale. They are to be applied to a plastic in a separate review – Here is the link to this article with us applying the decals for you to look at.

Dutch Profile are known for making very Netherlands- centric releases  and for following that market very closely and sometimes are missed out by people who do not have an interest or don’t know anything about the Dutch armed forces – well I was interested in this publication as I sat down to read it thoroughly – I think if you are a fan of the Mustang this will appeal – whether or not you like the fact that it focuses on one counties conflict it covers an interesting period of time in our history much overlooked by others so a great addition to historians but more importantly modellers who are interested in this subject and period of history.

Thanks indeed to Dutch Profile for supplying us with this decal and book combo