“Big Ed” Nollmeyer was the Commanding Officer of the 26th Fighter Squadron 51st Fighter Group based at Kunming, China. Nollmeyer was an ace with five victories. The model represents his personal aircraft serial number 42-9768 displaying her ultimate set of markings. Decals are from the kit with the exception of the blue-bordered national insignia which came from the spares box, I felt the red-bordered insignia were less likely to be accurate during the period when the shark’s mouth and five kill markings were carried.
Here is the Curtiss P-40K-1 serial number 42-46040 of 1LT Robert “Jay” Overcash of the 64th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group operating from Hani Main airfield in Tunisia, May 1943. Overcast was an ace with five victories over the North African desert. There are a lot of markings on this aircraft, the decals all came from the sheet supplied in the Special Hobby kit which were printed by Cartograph.
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?
This is an American Volunteer Group “Flying Tigers” Hawk 81, with the markings of Robert Neale of the First Pursuit Squadron. Neale was the AVG’s leading scorer, credited with 13 victories. There are many subtle differences in the markings carried by AVG aircraft. The tigers were decals provided by Disney but the other markings were unique, and often were changed and repainted on the same airframe. Pay close attention to your references, and check each decal. These markings are a mixture of the Airfix kit sheet and an aftermarket sheet from Kits World. The Kits World sheet is quite small for the money and the tigers can’t be used because they are oversized. The Airfix Chinese roundels are much too light, but have the correct mouth style for Neale’s aircraft (but not Older’s 68 as illustrated). Between the two sheets you can piece together proper markings for a few different AVG aircraft.
This is the aircraft of 1LT Ken Taylor. Taylor was one of the few US airmen to get airborne during the Pearl Harbor raid, and was credited with two victories and two probables. After the war Japanese records confirmed that the probables also failed to return to their carriers. Markings are from Starfighter Decals sheet 72-135, and went on without difficulty.
All told, the Airfix kits are nice. The panel lines are excessive, but can be dealt with. The clear parts were disappointing, I filed down the side rails, removed the mysterious ridge at the rear of the sliding portion, and fabricated the armored glass in the front – and I still don’t like the appearance. Any future builds will get a vacuformed canopy right from the start.