Some Ponies For Your Mustang!
Resin 2 Detail is a new, one-man-show manufacturer of resin and photo etch aftermarket parts for enthusiasts of aircraft and armor model building. Owner, Brian Watkins, does all his own research and designing of the all products offered from Resin 2 Detail. Through the use of newer technologies with 3D design and printing and good old-fashion resin casting, Brian brings three new 1/48 scale aircraft offerings to the bench for builders including a Pegasus Radial Engine, his latest B-17 replacement wheels and the Packard Merlin V-1650-7 Engine Kit; to which this review is all about.
Packard Merlin V-1650-7 Engine kit
“One man’s loss is another man’s gain!” This saying certainly applies to the story behind the Merlin V-1650 engine. After a failed agreement and cancellation from consummate auto maker Henry Ford, Rolls Royce would turn their sights to another American based automobile manufacturer, the Packard Motor Company, to fill production needs of their Merlin 28 engine (Mark XX). This engine would get an American designation of V-1650-1. Near the end of the summer of 1941, the first engines would roll off the line. These new engines would make their way into both the Curtis XP-60 and P-40 Kittyhawks. Not too long after, with continued engineering developments, the birth of the Packard Merlin V-1650-7 engine; the principal power plant behind the iconic North American P-51 Mustang.
In an effort to bring the avid ¼ scale aircraft modeler a highly detailed V-1650-7 engine, Resin 2 Detail created their Packard Merlin V-1650-7 Engine kit. Currently this kit is offered only through the Resin 2 Detail website and can be purchased for $24.99 US plus shipping. The entire kit, all twenty-seven parts, have been cast in resin and comes delivered in a small, sturdy cardboard box with all of the parts sealed in individual Ziploc-type bags with a protective barrier of bubble wrap. The more delicate parts contained in this kit, have small pieces of cardboard protecting the parts further.
Upon close inspection of the parts of this kit, I first noticed how clean the casting actually is. There are no visible air bubbles or sink marks present in any of the parts. Although there is some minor flashing present on the smaller, more delicate parts, this flash is typical with the casting process and can easily be removed with a light sanding or a quick scrape of a #11 hobby knife. On the engine block itself, the flash located under some of the piping is actually in place to protect the pipes somewhat prior to construction. Special care in this location will be needed to remove, but again, a sharp No. 11 blade will do the trick.
This Packard Merlin V-1650-7 Engine kit has a tremendous amount of detail and is comprised of a healthy balance of parts. Not so little as seen in other similar scale offerings which can soften many of the details and certainly not an overly engineered kit with so many parts the builder would go blind by the time they complete it. The bulk of the engine is of course the engine block. The block is heavily detailed with all of the surface features seen on the original engine. The major components such as the pan, head and cylinder covers are molded to the block including the airscrew shaft and even delicate oil lines. This is the area that will need some special attention when cleaning. The oil lines have been molded so there is a small webbing of resin flash between the lines and the block. The tip of a sharp No. 11 blade will easily remove the light webbing material. There is a small casting block attached to the engine block and will need to be removed prior to the installation of the supercharger.
The super charger is beautifully detailed. Installation of this part will include careful placement of two camshafts to the bottom side of the cylinder covers. Another area of special care will be needed in cleaning the protective resin webbing from under a small vacuum line alongside the intake if you choose. The line is approximately 0.5 mm in diameter and the opening below it, the same. There is a small casting block attached to this part as well and will need to be removed. Keeping with this section of the engine, the intercooler is another finely appointed part which gets attached to top of the supercharger. There is a small molded pin for aligning the part. The pin itself seems to be a little too long to seat the part correctly, however, this is easily rectified with a pass or two with a sanding stick to the pin.
Moving to the top of the engine, this kit supplies the builder with a very nice exhaust manifold. This part is to be installed on top of the intake manifold between the two cylinder covers. There is a small amount of flash located on the underside of the part between the manifolds and the tube running beneath. This is hardly seen form the top without turning the part at the right angle…in the right light. Again, cleanup of this flash is simple and quick.
Rounding off the rest of the kit is a small pile of nicely detailed and yet very delicate parts that will be needed to be added to the engine. Parts like the oil pump, nose gear box, generator and coolant pump are small but manageable and have been cast extremely well. Other parts such as the coolant lines, throttle rod, ignition harnesses and breather vents are not only beautifully rendered, but are extremely delicate. If you do not have much experience with resin part construction, it is best to take your time and take one step of the construction process at a time.
Resin 2 Detail provided an exceptional set of instructions for building this kit. The instructions are actually supplied in two formats, a paper copy is included in the kit as well as a provided link to a .pdf format version. There is also an online copy of the instructions which can be found online on the Resin 2 Detail website – http://resin2detail.com/?product=148-packard-merlin-v-1650-7-engine-kit. These Instructions are presented in an isometric configuration with all the parts being installed in a particular section highlighted in blue. There are some inset constructions on the pages to show the construction of sub-assemblies where needed. On the last page of the instructions, there is a small printable diagram to show the size and shape of the sparkplug wires and location of their installation. These wires are not included with the set as they can easily be sourced through the use of small gauge copper or soldering wire. Included in the instructions is notations for suggested colors to paint various parts on the engine.
I will have to say I am very impressed with Resin 2 Detail’s Packard Merlin V-1650-7 Engine kit. The parts have been painstakingly designed and rendered in 1/48 scale and cast in high quality resin to accurately represent the iconic power plant behind many aircraft used during the second world war and with this particular engine, more specifically, the North American P-51. The construction of the engine is straightforward and is easily followed with the supplied .pdf instructions. I like the fact that the engineering that went into designing the kit allows for folks with little to no experience using resin parts, to be able to build up this beautiful engine in no time attending a tremendous amount of detail to their models. The construction is pain-free mainly due to the high quality, easy to follow instructions. Removal of the casting blocks was a simple process using a hobby saw and clean up with a file. The parts fit well together and permanent placement was achieved through the use of super glue adhesive. One recommendation would be to substitute the supplied resin tubing lines with a wire of similar size as resin, by nature, can be rather brittle…especially in this scale.
This aftermarket engine is well-priced at $24.99 US given the level of detail and quality of the parts. If I add the excellent customer service of Resin 2 Detail, I can highly recommend the Packard Merlin V-1650-7 Engine kit to anyone looking to step up the level of detail to their next aircraft build.
The Modelers Social Club and MSC Review Connect would like to thank Resin 2 Detail for providing their Packard Merlin V-1650-7 Engine to us for this review.