1/48 P-40F/L Merlin Engined Warhawk/Kittyhawk II
product #489202
by Steve Bamford

This kit from AMtech is of the P-40F/L Merlin Engined Warhawk/Kittyhawk II. It includes 4 sprues of light gray styrene, one of clear styrene parts, a replacement resin nose made by HiTech and enough decals to make one of four different P-40's.
The first thing I always consider when buying a kit is quality of the moulding. This kit has delicate recessed panel lines.
Open shell ejector chutes on the bottom side of the wing for the machine guns. The wheel well detail includes ribbing molded to the underside of the upper wing sections.
Canopy parts include 4 different pieces.....windshield, sliding canopy and windows on either side of the fuselage behind the canopy. The detail on the clear parts is very well done and the clarity of the glass is quite good.
The cockpit is the other area that really matters to me and this kit out of the box will provide a very decent cockpit. I'm sure the aftermarket resin guys could do better, but for a plastic kit cockpit...this one is quite decent just the way it is.

The seat lacks seatbelts, but these can be added by the modeler from foil, masking tape or Photo Etch.

The instrument panel has raised detail that is quite good and should respond well to drybrushing. The detail is not as pronounced as some 1/48 kits such as the Hasegawa Spitfire, but I am confident drybrushing will work just fine here for bringing out the raised detail on this instrument panel.
The resin nose is cast well with very good detail that matches the kit panel lines in depth and look. This resin nose also has very nice grill detail on the front side. You will have to cut off the respective parts on the styrene fuselage halves to fit the resin nose, but the kit plastic is thin and somewhat soft so cutting it should not be a problem.

The decals will permit you to build one of 4 different P-40's including 3 American fighters and one RAAF P-40. The original printing of the kit decals didn't have the correct shade of color for some of the decals, but a sheet of replacement decals is provided.

The first plane is a P-40L-15-CU flown by 1/Lt Herman "Ace" Lawson of the 99th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group of the "Tuskegee Airman" out of Italy in early 1944. The "Tuskegee Airman" are the famed Black American pilots that never lost a single bomber they were entrusted to escort. Markings on this plane include nose art that says "Ace and Pearls". Camo is desert camo colors. This plane is featured on the boxart.

The second plane is a P-40L-5-CU flown by 2Lt Erwin R. Silsbee of the 86th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group out of Italy in early 1944. This plane includes 2 different paint schemes. The first plane includes 2 Swastika kill symbols and the name Veronica under the canopy. Colors are dark green on the fuselage and desert colors on the wings. The second has nose art of a charging Native American Warrior. This plane was painted in Desert camo colors.

The third plane is a P-40F-20-CU flown by LtCol Robert Baseier of the 325th Fighter Group out of Tunisia in September 1943. This plane has nose art of an Ace of Spades playing card with the word "Stud" above it. This plane was painted in Gloss Black with insignia red on the nose and a Black and Yellow checkered tail.

The fourth plane is a Kittyhawk Mk. II flown by S/Ldr Brian Eaton of No. 3 Squadron of the RAAF out of Italy in 1943/44. This plane has nose art of a shield for No 3 Squadron. This plane was painted in different shades of Green.

I did some dryfitting of the major parts and the fit at critical areas such as the fuselage-wing root joint was very good and will require little if any filler and I expect this kit to build up quite easily.

The instruction sheets includes 8 pages of instructions. Line drawings are clearly laid out and include painting instructions. Also included are 4 extra pages of instructions for the resin nose conversion.

This is a very nice kit and will build up to a very good model of the Merlin engined P-40.

"Stud," the well-known all-black P-40L from the 325th Checkertails. "Stud" was built by Steven Eisenman, a well-known name in the internet modeling circles.
P-40L-2-CU, "Veronica", ac of 2/Lt Erwin R Silsbee, 86FS/79FG, Italy, 1944. Unique scheme painted by the pilot himself. Found green paint on the base, either British or Italian, and repainted the fuselage for better camouflage from the sides when flying ground attack missions in the deep Italian valleys. Black canopy and rails.

Kittyhawk II, S/Ldr Brian Eaton, 3Sq RAAF, Italy, 1943. Aircraft repainted in the very rare (for P-40F/L's) scheme of Dark Eath/Dark Green/Sky Gray. Kit built by Jon Bond, armor modeler extraordinaire, taking a shot at building aircraft kits. Great job!

I'd like to thank AMtech for the review sample.

Ed. Note: Many thanks to Steve for giving me permission to use his review from his site, Aircraft Resource Center (ARC). Check his site out for great models and walk around section
© Steve Bamford 2003