1/48 P-40F/L Merlin Engined Warhawk/Kittyhawk II
by Steve Bamford
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.
first thing I always consider when buying a kit is quality of
the moulding. This kit has delicate recessed panel lines.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
the well-known all-black P-40L from the 325th Checkertails. "Stud"
was built by Steven Eisenman, a well-known name in the internet
"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
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.
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