P-40 Warhawk Aircraft Pictorial #5
Classic Warships Publishing
By Dana Bell
Reviewed by
Brad Hagen

Soft Cover
72 Pages
Landscape format
ISBN 978-0-9857149-4-9

This is the latest book published by Classic Warships Publishing who are branching out to aircraft books. This book covers the development history and early variants of the P-40 of the US Army, it does not cover the differences of the export variants.

The author dug through the records at the National Archives and the National Air and Space Museum uncovering the never before told story of the development of this aircraft. Other books I have read just skim over the development history and early use of this fighter by the US Army, generally focusing on the export version which saw much more use during the war.

This softbound book is 72 pages and contains 113 black & white photos, 13 color photos, and five line drawings. It is in the same format as the In Action books and the photos are large and for the most part very clear, the author stated that some detail photos just were not available and were taken from technical manuals, but even those are clear enough to make out the detail. Many of the other photos give a wealth of internal and external detail and the vast majority of photos I had never seen before. Of particular interest were the photos of the development of the fillets and leading edge of the wings. Most of the photos were very large taking up the width of the page and the color photos are crisp and take up the entire page which makes searching the detail much easier.

This book covers the following variants, the XP-40, the P-40-CU, the P-40A, the P-40B & C, and the P-40G. I compared this book to what I considered would be its equivalent, the Detail & Scale P-40 #1, that book spent the first half covering the P-36, skimmed over the early development history of the P-40 and focused more on the export variants, and as stated early in the Detail & Scale book, the photos in that book were mostly of two different restorations.


Following a comparison of this book with the Detail & Scale book, this book easily wins hands down in both text and photos. In both books, the text is sparse as the meat of the books is detail photos, but the text of this book easily and quickly walks you through the differences of the variants in the development. The photos in this book also follow the development and show much more detail and will allow a modeler to put an incredible amount of detail in their models. It will also allow a modeler that wants to do a unique P-40 to do one of the early developments, some of the developments wouldn't take too much work, some would require some major surgery.

If you are looking for a long and detailed written history of the early P-40, you probably wouldn't be happy with this book as the text is sparse, but where this book shines is in the detailed photos of the development and detailed areas. If you love the P-40 and want to know more about the development history, or a modeler looking to really detail out your early P-40, or to build a unique one, then you will love this book. I learned a lot I hadn't found anywhere else.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Dana Bell and Classic Warships Publishing for the review copy.

© Brad Hagen 2013