Data Decals Early P-40's

by Mark Proulx

Data Decals has just released two new 1/32nd scale decal sheets for the Trumpeter P-40. This is a review of the first sheet titled Early P-40's.

This new decal sheet provides markings for five American P-40's. The first aircraft carries the yellow number 91 on the nose. The instructions indicate the aircraft was assigned to the 31st FS, 6th Air Force in December 1942. The plane was finished olive drab on the upper surfaces with white undersides.

The next subject is numbered X-804. Identified as a P-40B, it was assigned to an advanced training unit at Luke Field Arizona circa 1943. Other references state the aircraft is a P-40A. The aircraft is finished in the standard scheme of olive drab and neutral grey. This aircraft displayed heavy weathering and was finished with colorful yellow and black bands on the nose. Photos of this aircraft seem to show that no guns were installed as the gun fairings have been removed. Some modifications to the Trumpeter kit will be required.

White 300 is a P-40B from the 18th Pursuit Squadron. It was flown by Captain W.R. Clingerman from Bellows Field, Hawaii on Dec. 7th 1941. The standard scheme of olive drab and neutral grey was applied.

The fourth P-40, a C variant, displayed the number 127 on the nose painted in black. It also carried some very unique skull and bones nose art identifying the name of the plane as Poison. It flew from Iceland in 1942 with the 33rd FS. The standard scheme of olive drab and neutral grey was also applied to this aircraft.

The final aircraft is the P-40B or C flown by Lt. George Welch from Wheeler Field on December 7th, 1941. As there are no known photos of the aircraft numbered White 160, other period photos of P-40's in the same squadron make the identity probable. Alternative markings are supplied for modelers to chose from for the six digit on the fuselage side. This aircraft was finished in the standard olive drab and neutral grey scheme.

The instructions provide complete details for each aircraft including many of the changes to the national insignia. Data Decals provide a complete listing of all references used in the creation of these markings. Modelers may consult with these books so as to formulate their own opinions. Single side, upper and lower views are shown for each of the subject aircraft. Colors are referenced FS standards. Individual paint companies are not identified.

There has been some debate about the color of the U.S. Army decal that is supplied. My references indicate that the letters were first applied in black and then changed to insignia blue in October 1940 as identified with Spec 98-24105-P. Color images in my reference library also identify the large U.S. Army stencil was not applied to the undersides of X-804 at this time.
Modelers would be advised to check their references carefully so as to make their own interpretations.

The decals are printed with a minimal amount of carrier film. The color registration and density is very good. The markings appear to be very thin and I would anticipate little difficulty with them, although I have not had an opportunity to try them.Data Decals continues to expand their product line for the 1/32nd scale modeler. These decals will be a welcome addition as the subject matter is very colorful and important for its historical context. They also offer something different from many of the sharkmouth schemes that are presently available. I recommend these decals to anyone with an interest in P-40.

Review Sample Compliments of Data Decals

© Mark Proulx 2004