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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date
5-18-05
VIEW ARCHIVE
 
 


GMP 1/35 Mustang P51D “Missouri Armada”
GMP 1/18 1967 Ford Fairlane GT

 

GMP 1/35 Mustang P51D “Missouri Armada” GMP 1/18 1967 Ford Fairlane GT
 
     
 
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley
 

One of the reasons I got this job (outside of my obvious good looks) is my complete and total inability to focus my model collection. I like everything with wheels. However, I had been successful in focusing in at least one regard: none had a propeller - until now. Oh well, focus is over-rated anyway. This week’s First Peek takes off for the wild blue yonder! Buckle up (and hang on to your wallet!)
 

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  GMP 1/35 Mustang P51D “Missouri Armada”

Ever thought you’d see a Mustang with a Packard engine? Now you have.

The legendary P-51 Mustang was initially brought to life following a British design specification. It combined a whole range of features that enhanced its aerodynamics. The most notable Mustang advance was the laminar wing, which conducted the air with such efficiency it made the plane highly maneuverable and able to fly extended combat missions. The P-51D version introduced a bubble canopy and new dorsal fin to control the stability problems experienced in the initial versions.

The latest in GMP’s series of P51 Mustangs is the P51D “Missouri Armada” – a plane flown by Captain John England to such a great renown that there is an Air Force base named for him. The eighteen historically accurate swastikas on the port side of the plane are testimony to his ability.

The model arrives packaged like a museum piece. Inside the styrofoam enclosure you find two clear boxes, the first contains three varieties of ordinance. These can be switched out – or you can display the plane with no ordinance at all. The other box contains various accessories, such as blocks for the plane’s wheels. There’s also a small hook tool that’s used for digging out the rear landing wheel from its compartment. The model comes with gloves so that handling is worry-free in terms of leaving a trail of fingerprints. Gloves are always a good idea when handling any model: natural oils from your skin can damage models over time. In my case, these GMP gloves replaced a big brown pair of knit gardening gloves I had.

Once you’ve donned your gloves, attach the jewel-like propeller to the plane’s front. The miniaturized detail on this piece is reminiscent of the level of detail we see frequently in GMP’s model cars. The plane comes with the Packard V-1650-3 in-line engine completely exposed. There’s not a lot of detail to see, but such was the real thing. Cover up the engine compartment with cowling parts in the accessories box. Pick an ordinance to display (these attach easily and seat amazingly well) and set the model up in a position where you can admire it.

The model displays with quiet majesty. I found myself watching it on the turntable for a good twenty minutes. There are details that fight for your attention, from the finely articulated wheels to the plane’s insignia and markings. All of this contrasted against the flat olive paint. The seam between the engine and the cockpit seemed more noticeable than it should be, but some reference photos indicate this might not be inaccurate.

Picking the model up, I had a load of fun playing with various wing and rudder configurations and ordinance loads. The canopy slides back, exposing even the smallest items such as belts and gauges that are punctiliously executed. Open a compartment on the wings and you’ll find the 50 caliber machine guns armed and ready. This caused me to make the machine gun sound effect so loud my wife came downstairs asking if “something was wrong”.

Nothing wrong here. That is, unless you’re piloting a Messerschmitt.

I’m not a military model collector (yet), so there may be details of this model that probably escape my grasp and knowledge. What I can tell based on the research and the reference photographs I can find, is that GMP has done a great job on this piece. The edition is limited to 1,000 pieces and should fly off dealer shelves, so to speak.

Legacy Motors Military & Aircraft Scale Models stocks many P51 Mustangs including those of GMP.


 

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  GMP 1/18 1967 Ford Fairlane GT

Most diecast manufacturers seem to have those one or two model platforms that just keep producing great variations. A shining example is Highway 61 and their Dodge Dart variants.

GMP‘s 1966/67 Ford Fairlane represents this type of model platform. When it was first released in that wicked flame-throwing red, it was one of the most talked about releases of the year. It had a few design quirks, but the vast majority of collectors who purchased one were thrilled with it. Now, after four impressive Fairlane variants have hit the streets, GMP unveils this beautiful maroon 1967 GT version.

First let’s start with the sheer weight – the model checks in at a hefty five pounds. GMP doesn’t use screws when packaging non-window box models and you really appreciate it with a heavyweight like this model. You never feel like you are in danger of forcing it as you uncrate it. It also comes with the antenna to mounted, not always a given with high end American Muscle cars.

The maroon color is an absolute show stopper. The paint shimmers in sunlight, the metal flake seemingly right-sized to scale for this model. In normal room lighting, the paint exchanges its metallic accent for a tone that is deeply rich in color. Lustrous chrome accents each bumper and trim point. Nifty feature of the week: the front license plate is stamped chrome with your model number in this limited edition.

Opening the hood, you find the best engine detail available on a model of an American street car – certainly the best Ford 390ci right down to the Autolite branded battery. The engine block is painted blue, with gray headers and chrome valve covers and air filter (including sticker). The engine is fully wired. Even the grooved struts holding the radiator wall to the front grille have a look of unnatural realism.

The hood moves easily on intricate hinges and is sculpted accurately both on top and underneath. The hood (and trunk) seal to a shut lines as tight as the Minnesota Vikings payroll. The front grille is vented faithfully to the original design, and contains the famous GT insignia. It sits yoked between the famed stacked headlights, all of which to me are instantly nostalgic.

Ride height might seem a bit high to the modern eye, but the unique forward slanting stance looks dead on accurate – “I dare you” aggressive. Tires are well detailed unmarked period white walls on typical five spoke wheels.

The doors have chromed handles and locks. The driver’s side the rear view mirror is mounted at a somewhat odd angle. Open either door and you find the correct sills. [If you open many of your model’s doors, you’d probably be surprised how often this detail is missed.] The soft, padded upholstery is snow white and gorgeous. Trim is molded. The interior seems to have every possible accoutrement executed flawlessly from the shifter, to the deep pile carpet and chrome-trimmed, foldable bucket seats with textured belts. In this price range it’s somewhat surprising that the visors aren’t foldable but I have to admit the only reason I really noticed this was because everything was so well done, I figured there had to be something that could be improved so I went looking for trouble. (How often have you ever actually thought to change the appearance of a folding visor on a hard top model?). An area glossed over on some models is the rear window sill which here is carpeted and features speaker mounts.

Then you get to the real golly-gee-wow feature of this car – the front windows roll up and down. No kidding. Turn the handle gently and the windows rise and fall. Those of you that own a GMP Fairlane know this but for the rest of us this is a minor miracle. Something between Moses parting the Red Sea and being able to say “decent” and “Motormax” in the same sentence. The doors on the review model did not seat exactly correct, being a slight bit off at the door jamb. I noticed this mainly because there’s a slight blip in the side panel GT striping. Given how exquisite the piece is overall, this is a minor issue at best and a far cry from the droopy door syndrome that affected some of the initial red models.

The trunk is very cool with its soft natty plaid interior and spare. The underside of the trunk lid is as well articulated as the hood. The chrome molding is well done though it should extend to the rear tail light housing. The trunk lid needs to be held open. [If you wish to display the model open, it’s not anything a black toothpick won’t cure.] The undercarriage has every nook and cranny imaginable meticulously replicated so much so this car is begging for a display space with a mirrored bottom. All logos and brand lettering elements are crisp and spot on.

Overall, this model is as impressive as other Fairlane subjects in the GMP line – maybe more given the rich color option. As much as I like red or black, the maroon offers a splash of fresh color on this head turner. There’s also a spectacular dark blue/white version coming soon. This model is a treat for anyone and a must for the muscle car collector.

Legacy Motors stocks the GMP Ford Fairlane GT in maroon.

 

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  Bonus Photographs!

Enjoy!

How To Get your Models Featured in First Peek If you are a representative of a diecast manufacturer and wish to get your products featured in First Peek, please contact me directly at rhurley@mn.rr.com.
 

Next week:

 

Two Legends in Silver from Minichamps!

 
     

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