While the P-51 B-, C-, and, certainly, D-models are well known and feature in plenty of references, that is not the case for the Allison-powered versions of the Mustang. SAM Publication’s new book The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang: Part 1 Allison Powered is meant to fill the void.
The first 74 pages of the book cover the history of the early versions, from inception and design, to early combat with the RAF, USAAF, and a few other minor operators. These sections pack an incredible amount of research and are paired with period black-and-white pictures illustrating the design, construction, and service of the early Mustangs. Reading these pages is very interesting, as they cover all sorts of details from armament philosophy, to the political situation within and between the US Army Corps and North American Aviation.
The next 12 pages are devoted to period pictures of the Mustang and the Apache A-36 in RAF/USAAF service. They also feature 25 color profiles.
The following 24 pages, in full color, describe how to build, finish, and weather the A-36 and early Mustangs in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales through five how-to articles. The articles cover kits from Accurate Miniatures/Italeri, Hobbycraft, Special Hobby, and Academy.
For the detail oriented modeler, there are 24 full-color pages covering walk-arounds of museum-restored airframes. These are followed by 22 pages of technical diagrams, mostly from original North American documents.
Finally, there are six appendices and a full and complete description of all the kits and aftermarket details for this airframe.
The cherry-on-top is a fold-out diagram in 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72 scale. This book is likely one of the best, if not the best, reference guide on the Allison-powered Mustang. I have never seen such a well-rounded, detailed book on the early Mustangs. Honestly, I cannot think of anything that could have been added to it. It is highly recommended.
I would like to thank SAM Publications and IPMS/USA for the review sample.