In 1973 Monogram
thrilled the modeling world with a brand new 1/72 F-82 Twin Mustang
. Monogram made the model with two options, the F-82E day fighter and a all-weather F-82G (night fighter).
Modelers who want to build and detail a F-82 should know a real one is being restored. Please see XP-82 Restoration Project
via the link Click here for additional images for this review
Over the years the kit has been reissued at least four times by Monogram and, after Monogram merged with them, Revell. Monogram may have provided it to other model companies. Whether it was licensed or not, Hobbycraft kitted a 1/72 that was exactly like Monogram's, except it had horrible molding. I built it but soon discarded it.
What are the kit numbers? According to oldmodelkits.com, the original was 7501-0175
, Monogram's 1973 original "White Box" issue. Also in 1973 Monogram named corporate owner Mattel in a release as 7501
. In 1984 Monogram put it out in their Heritage Series as number 6063, F-82 Twin Mustang Heritage Edition
. The number of this review sample is 85-5257
. Hobby Craft numbered theirs HC1301
. Then in 1994 the kit was re-released under Revell's brand as item 04336
. I haven't researched if there are any more kit numbers out there.‡
So the box is Monogram but the decals and internal fuselage engraving states Revell. Companies merge or are absorbed or experience take-overs. Brands change. Monogram and Revell were merged and yet both assumed the Revell banner. I prefer to identify a product from its progenitor; to me the F-15 and F-18 are McDonnell Douglas, not Boeing. Thus I will refer to this model as Monogram and only invoke Revell where appropriate.
According to the National Museum of the USAF;
The F-82 was the last propeller-driven fighter acquired in quantity by the U.S. Air Force. It appears to be two P-51 Mustang fuselages on one wing, but in reality it was a totally new design. The Twin Mustang carried a pilot and co-pilot/navigator to reduce fatigue on long-range bomber escort missions. Production deliveries did not begin until early 1946, too late for World War II. After WWII, Air Defense Command flew radar-equipped F-82Gs as replacements for the P-61 night fighter. During the Korean War, Japan-based F-82Gs were among the first USAF aircraft to operate over Korea. On June 27, 1950, all-weather F-82Gs shot down the first three North Korean airplanes destroyed by U.S. forces.
Of a total of 273 F-82s produced, 20 were F-82Bs. The F-82B on display, Betty-Jo, flew from Hawaii to New York on Feb. 27-28, 1947, a distance of 5,051 miles, the longest non-stop flight ever made by a propeller-driven fighter. Betty-Jo came to the museum in 1957.
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns, 25 5-inch rockets and 4,000 lbs. of
Engines: Two Packard V-1650s of 1,380 hp each
Maximum speed: 482 mph
Cruising speed: 280 mph
Range: 2,200 miles
Ceiling: 39,000 ft.
Span: 51 ft. 3 in.
Length: 38 ft. 1 in.
Height: 13 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 24,800 lbs. maximum
Serial number: 44-65168†
A detailed source of Twin Mustangs information is 456FIS.org. Excepts from it follow;
Also ordered were 91 examples of the P-82F (Model NA-149), a night-fighter version with an APS-4 or APG-28 radar set installed in a large bulbous pod mounted underneath the central wing in such a way that it protruded beyond the forward edge of the propeller spinners. The starboard cockpit was modified to carry a radar operator's position. The armament consisted of six 0.50-inch machine guns mounted in the center wing just above the radar set. Serials were 46-405/495.
The first P-82F flew on March 11, 1948. Surprisingly, the additional weight and aerodynamic drag caused by the large radar pod had only a slight degrading effect on performance. Maximum speed of the P-82F dropped only five mph to 460 mph at 21,000 feet. Normal range was 2200 miles, with maximum range being 2400 miles. Service ceiling was 38,500 feet, and the initial climb rate was 3690 feet per minute. Weights were 16,309 pounds empty and 26,208 pounds maximum. Dimensions were wingspan 51 feet 3 inches, length 42 feet 2 inches, height 13 feet 10 inches, and wing area of 408 square feet.
Serials of P-82F:
46-405/495 North American P-82F Twin Mustang
Redesignated F-82F in 1948.
59 examples of the P-82G (Model NA-150) were also ordered. The P-82G was basically similar to the P-82F, but had a SCR-720C radar set. This included nine planes that were originally ordered as P-82Fs but were completed to the standards of the P-82G. The SCR-720C radar set was somewhat lighter than the APS-4 or APG-28 radar of the P-82F, so the P-82G had a slightly better performance. Maximum speed of the P-82G was 461 mph at 21,000 feet. Normal range was 2240 miles, with maximum range being 2495 miles. Service ceiling was 38,900 feet, and the initial climb rate was 3770 feet per minute. Weights were 15,997 pounds empty and 25,891 pounds maximum. Dimensions were wingspan 51 feet 3 inches, length 42 feet 5 inches, height 13 feet 10 inches, and wing area of 408 square feet.
Serial numbers of P-82G:
46-355/383 North American P-82G Twin Mustang
Redesignated F-82G in 1948.
46-384/388 North American P-82H Twin Mustang
Redesignated F-82H in 1948.
46-389/404 North American P-82G Twin Mustang
Redesignated F-82G in 1948.‽
In the Box
Monogram molded it in silver. I have read that there was one issue with three black parts, too. There are 66 silver parts and 4 clear parts, plus a decals sheet.
Molding was good with generally crisp detail, minimal flash, no visible sink marks or ejector circles, although there are some visible mold seams. As was the fashion in the early 1970s, exterior detail is predominately raised lines and/or rivets defining major structural areas, and access panels. A surprising "old school" feature are exhaust ports molded into the fuselage halves. Also, some components are simplified, such as each spinner and propellers unit molded as one part.
Monogram mainly engineered the parts conventionally, but there are a couple of oddities. The bottom of the noses are made with separate parts that are the plates for the propeller mounts and sloping down along the chins.
I have built three of these (including the abominable Hobbycraft model), one in 1973, one in the mid-1990s, and one about 10 years ago. Those molded by Monogram go together well. Not seamlessly, but well. I did use filler along the wing roots. Otherwise, I recall that liquid glue could fill in the seams wear the parts mate together.
Finally, the canopy parts are clear with no distortion, with fine raised framing detail.
Years before Monogram tooled this kit they made several models with trend-setting 3D interior detail. They had also kitted models with basic low-relief engraved interior detail. For some unfathomable reason, they made this model with both of those characteristics.
The cockpits are basic with low engraved outlines of side wall detail, featureless instrument panels, one-piece floor/seat pieces, and yet each cockpit has its own separate radio, joystick, and headrest. Seat harnesses are also engraved outlines. Two well-detailed pilot figures are included, one with a separate arm.
Impressive detail filled the main gear wells although they are much too shallow. The gear door interiors were detailed, too. The gear struts have brake detail and the wheels feature good hub and tread detail.
Conversely, there was no detail inside the machine gun bay. That is forgivable as the machine gun battery filled the space. It is viewable due to a removable access panel. That panel has some interior detail. The .50-cal. machine gun battery is nicely detailed with ammo feeds and other surface items.
At the time, models were often made with some "action" features. These canopies are made to slide open. Monogram made that feature with a tabbed canopy frame to slide through a race. It is a rather clumsy design.
As mentioned, two versions can be built: the F-82E fighter-bomber; F-82G all-weather/night fighter. The latter has a big radome pod that attaches under the wing center section. Bomb and rocket pylons are included for the fighter-bomber version. The rockets are configured in the "Christmas tree" mount. Both can be equipped with drop tanks.
Just like this piston-engine fighter was in the early jet age, Monogram's F-82 featured characteristics of "something old, something new".
Instructions and Decals
My kit lacks the instruction sheet. I recall that it was typical of Monogram instruction sheets, well laid out and illustrated, perhaps with a few images.
Look at that decal sheet. Full of color and data stenciling. Keep in mind that these decals are marked as Revell. Monogram's decals were almost always very good. (Except for my early-1990s P-40B decals, which required gallons of Solvaset to settle around the detail.) They are opaque, fairly thin, well registered, legible, and are not surrounded by excessive carrier film. Remember the low cockpit side detail? Decals are provided to detail them with white lines.
I think each release featured different decals. This release has decals for two fighters:
1. F-82G, FQ-377 (s/n 46-377), 449th AWS
, Ladd AFB, Alaska. (FQ-377 was last operational F-82 and was officially retired Nov 12, 1953 at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.)*
2. F-82F, FQ-414 (s/n 46-414), 52nd AWG
, Mitchell AFB, New York.
Modelers have long struggled with the problem of putting carrier film decals over NMF (Natural Metal Finishes) and silver finishes. Monogram tried to help by printing the "buzz numbers" on a base of aluminum color.
When I built my last F-82, Monogram's decals worked well but I damaged some of them. A friend gave me his decals from the Revell of Germany release. Those suffered with carrier film that dried with a rough semi-fogged finish. (That also happened with my RoG Arado 196 decals. I have no recent experience with RoG decals.)
Monogram's F-82 was a a sensation in 1973. Overall molding is sharp. The clear parts are clear. Even though it has simplified parts, inconsistent cockpit detail and raised exterior surface detail, I don't think those are serious drawbacks. I think the visible landing gear and gun bay detail compensates for that. The decal sheet is exceptional, too.
I do not know how many other model companies have released their own 1/72 F-82. Regardless, I still consider this kit to be a good model. It is not a 21st Century model, but it can still build up into a good looking model OOB. Eventually, I will build this one and I am sure I will enjoy it.
Sources & Resources
‡ Old Model Kits (Thanks to OMK for the use of their box tops!)
* USAF Serial Number Search Results. Description Criteria: F-82
. [http://cgibin.rcn.com/jeremy.k/cgi-bin/gzUsafSearch.pl?target=&content=F-82]. 15 Mar 2016, 09:25:04.
‽. Joe Baugher. 456FIS.ORG. The P / F-82 "Twin Mustang"
. [http://www.456fis.org/F-82_TWIN_MUSTANG.htm.] 10 Feb. 2014.
†. National Museum of the USAF. North American F-82B Twin Mustang
. [Web.] May 29, 2015.