by Floyd Werner, Jr.
The heaviest of the P-40 family
the P-40K came in three varieties. The first looked exactly
like the P-40E. This was followed by the K-5 version, which
has the characteristic large rounded tail section. To add to
the confusion, this tail could also be retrofitted to the P-40E.
The final version of the K had the extended tail like the P-40F.
How the Curtiss and field units ever kept track of what parts
were interchangeable is beyond me. Originally designed as an
intermediate aircraft the P-40K was produced in great numbers
with most of the aircraft being in North Africa, Pacific and
For those interested here is
a link to my P-40F article.
Obviously many of the things mentioned in this review are the
same as the P-40F so I will not go into it unless something
The contents of the kit are
P-40E kit, including the replacement fuselage, a tan resin tail
and set of colorful decals for three airplanes. The instructions
are clear and concise on where and when to cut the old tail
off. The instructions have you place the fuselage on the instructions
and cut off the tail. The downside to this kit is that it currently
a very limited availability kit being marketed through Hobby
Lobby in the US only. Box artwork by Jerry Boucher shows one
of the decal options to great detail. The resin tail is cast
by Black Box and is beautifully detailed.
Cutting Edge Cockpit
The kit cockpit is actually
very nice, but I had a Cutting Edge set that was beautiful so
I just had to use it. The fit was perfect. The construction
is very straightforward and presented no problems whatsoever.
I preshaded the cockpit with flat black and then used Humbrol
Bronze Green. A wash of Burnt Umber in the recesses accentuated
the shadows. I dry brushed the cockpit with zinc chromate and
highlighted the worn areas with a dry brushed with some silver.
Some color of Apple Barrel acrylic paint was used on some for
detail painting. Finally, some touches of a silver pencil made
the whole thing come to an end.
Nothing different from the P-40F
except that I removed the guns and replaced them with hypodermic
Fuselage and Tail Conversion
Prior to adding the tail, I
recommend that you clean out the excess resin from the rudder
hinge line. It is very thin and easy enough to do. This allows
the see through effect so prominent on the K.
The instructions provide you
with a drawing, which you then lay, the fuselage halves over.
Then you cut the tail off. I must admit that I cut my first
set of fuselage halves too short. You receive two fuselage halves
per side, so I got another shot at it. I cut long and sanded
it flush with a BAF (Big Ass File). I then followed the instructions
and had no problem with the fit. I used Superglue and accelerator
to set the resin tail in place. The superglue filled any seam.
I then sanded it smooth and had to rescribe any panel lines,
but they were no big deal as they were all straight lines. The
horizontal tail planes fit great to the resin tail.
The rest of the construction
went great with no real problems encountered anywhere. The only
thing I did do that differed from the normal construction was
cut an index card to fit into the openings for the back of the
engine and the inlet on top of the engine. These were colored
with black marker and they only served to prevent a see through
I'll let you in on a little
hint. The prop spinner does not have a panel line. The panel
line can be easily scribed with a straight pin held in a pin
vise. This is then elevated with post it note pads to the proper
height, hold it tightly in place and spin the spinner. This
ensures that the line is straight and the same height throughout.
I used Black Magic CEBM48336
for the P-40K canopy. These fit perfectly and simplified a job
I hate. They stick perfectly and prevented any bleed. Highly
I used Polly-S US Khaki for
the tan. I used Black Magic camouflage masks (CEBM48153), which
are actually designed for the P-40B/C but easily modified for
the complex painting. After the masks were laid down I used
Gunze Dark Green for the top camouflage colors. Model Master
Enamel RLM 63 substituted for the bottom side. I liked the tonal
qualities of these colors.
Cutting Edge Decals
Once dry, a coat of Tamiya Clear
from the spray can prepared the surfaces for decals. The kit
decals are very nice, but I wanted to do something a little
different. I used the Cutting Edge Decal sheet CED48171 P-40
Warhawk Part 3. It contained a large sharkmouth for "Old
Hellion" from the 18th FS in China. The decals reacted
well with MicroSol and MicorSet. For the sharkmouth I decided
on Solvaset because of the complex curves. I caused the only
problems experienced. I touched up the offending area with Apple
Barrel paints. The decals were sealed with another gloss coat
of Tamiya spray gloss and then a coat of Model Master Acrylic
Weathering is done in layers.
First chip the paint with silver pencils, pens, and a dry brush
of silver paint. Particular attention is paid to the high traffic
areas. Next, I like to use Burnt Umber artist oils on all the
panel lines. While I'm doing that I also "streak"
oil stains. Next I like to add the gun stains with pastels.
I think pastels give me more control for this area. I start
the exhausts with Tamiya Flat Black heavily thinned. This was
built up slowly. Once happy with the results I used a Model
Master Grey and applied it in irregular patterns. The P-40 has
a distinct way the exhaust streaks because of rain and handling.
I took a long soft bristle brush and lightly dipped it in Turpenoid.
I then took the almost dry brush over the grey in a vertical
pattern. I was very happy with the exhausts. I then took a very
thin coat of Tamiya Buff and sprayed streaks from front to back
on the wings and top to bottom on the fuselage. Everything was
sealed with another coat of Model Master Acrylic Flat.
The new P-40K is more accurate
than the previous offering by AMT/Ertl. Because of this it is
the best available P-40K on the market. Some will ask if the
tail will fit the Hasegawa kit, yes it will fit. A little sanding
will allow for the resin tail to be inserted in the Hasegawa
kit. If I had to find something wrong with the AMtech P-40K,
I would say that the limited availability is my biggest beef.
Ask your people from the South to look for them at the local
Hobby Lobby. You may be able to order them online as well. While
comparisons between the Hasegawa and AMtech are inevitable,
I think this kit from AMtech is up for the match. The detail
is not quite as good and the plastic is a little soft, but when
built it looks every bit the P-40. You don't have to fill all
those plugs in the Hasegawa kit. I wouldn't sell off my AMtech
kit to get the Hasegawa, but if you do, I will be there scarfing
them up. My hat is off to AMTech for making the most of their
molds. I highly recommend this kit to everyone but the beginner
I'd like to thank AMTech
for the review example.
Cutting Edge P-40E Super Detailed
Black Magic P-40K Canopy/Wheel Hub Masks CEBM48336
Black Magic P-40B/C Camouflage Masks CEBM48153
Cutting Edge P-40Warhawk Part 3 CED48171
World War 2 US Army Fighter
Modeling, Jerry Scutts & Brett Green, Osprey Publishing,
2003, ISBN 1-84176-061-7
P-40 Warhawk Walk Around #8,
Lou Drendel, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1996, ISBN 0-89747-361-2
Curtiss P-40 in action, Ernest
R. McDowell, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1976, ISBN 0-89747-025-7
P-40 Warhawk in detail, Bert
Kinzey, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1999, ISBN 1-888974-15-X
P-40 Warhawk in World War II
Color, Jeffrey L. Ethell, Motorbooks International, 1994, ISBN
Werner, Jr. 2005