Photographs taken at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
This is the excellent Special Hobby P-40E Warhawk kit with markings from DK Decals Aleutian Planes sheet 72030. The aircraft is one of those assigned to the 11th Fighter Squadron 343rd Fighter Group seen at Adak, Alaska in the Summer of 1943. I added some detail to the cockpit and installed the canvas dust covers in the wheelwells using masking tape but other than that did very little to the kit. The P-40s in the Aleutians suffered an extreme amount of paint wear at the wing roots. One problem with the camouflage is this particular aircraft did not have the Medium Green spots on the upper surface, an error on my part.
The Special Hobby P-40 family are great kits. The fuselages and wings are separate tools where required to represent the different sub-types, and alternate detail parts are provided to accommodate the more subtle differences. Two different styles of drop tanks and a 500-pound bomb allow for the most common stores load outs. The kit decals are excellent and the marking choices are good ones and there is no end to alternate schemes available from the aftermarket. The kits have good cockpit detail and build up well straight from the box which will make them a perfect choice for contest modelers looking for an OOB entry.
The only real fit issue is at the instrument panel cover and windscreen joint (parts B14 and G1). I recommend attaching the cover to the instrument panel first and then inserting the assembly into the fuselage rather than waiting until the end of the build to fit the cover. You will still need to remove some material to get the front windscreen to seat properly so don’t skip the test-fitting here.
The wing / fuselage joint is a tight fit and can be easily thrown off by mold seams. This is one joint which should be glued with MEK-based “thin” cement as this will dissolve any minor imperfections and result in a good seamless fit.
If you follow the kit instructions the radiator assembly will sit too far back in the nose, it needs to be move forward a bit.
The kit tires are smooth treads, most P-40s had variations of diamond or block treads so check your references. If such things are worth your money there are resin replacements available in several different styles.
If I could change one thing it would be for Special Hobby to include Kabuki tape canopy masks. Eduard makes some for these kits, but they are $7 – $10 per set, which is roughly three times what Eduard charges for their P-40 mask sets meant for kits from other manufacturers. Not sure what the problem here is but I hope it doesn’t become a trend.
Sell your 1/72 scale Hasegawa P-40 kits. The leading edge of the Hasegawa wing sits 2-3 mm too high up on the fuselage on these kits and there is no way to “unsee” this once you figure it out, and no practical way to fix it.
Bottom line is these are great kits and fun builds. And who doesn’t like the P-40?