|PRICE:||Out of Production|
|NOTES:||Eduard seat belts|
Arguably the best known American fighter of WWII, the P-40 was a mediocre performer that was fortunately available in large enough numbers to hold down the fort until better equipment was available. It was used to great advantage by the pilots of the A.V.G. who exploited its strengths of rugged construction, excellent dive speed and superior firepower to combat the Japanese forces in China. The P-40 saw service in every theater of WWII as a fighter, fighter/bomber and an advanced fighter trainer.
The copyright on this example is 1996. AMT’s P-40 series is notable for its soft plastic, engraved detail, low parts count and fit that is iffy in spots (engine covers). It is molded in soft white plastic and this being a “Made in Mexico” boxing carries an enormous amount of flash on most of the parts. The level of detail is adequate, but there are more detailed/accurate P-40 kits out there. The only aftermarket items used were Eduard pre-painted seatbelts for the pilot. The kit decals are thin, opaque and in register. I used a fair amount of “modeling skill” to turn this kit out.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I wanted to model Major Ed Nollemeyer’s plane circa 1943. I have seen way too many interpretations of this scheme, and I wanted to give it a go to see if I could get it somewhat close to right. There are several color photos of this plane and the markings on it evolved over time. I wanted to model it as shown in the picture with a C-46 on final approach in the background. Notable in this photo are: five kill markings, sharkmouth with reindeer, yellow stripes on nose and fuselage, three small white stripes on the upper nose, pinwheels on the wheel covers, red surrounds on the national insignia, yellow Mae West stuffed in the window behind the pilots head, DF loop antenna with natural metal base, nose foreward of the prop is the darker camo shade.
I used the kit decals for most of this one with no major problems. I had to pirate the red-bordered insignia from another kit. I made many small relief cuts in the shark mouth decals to get them to wrap nicely around the tapering nose. Micro Sol settled things down. I did have to go back and touch up these decals with paint once they were dry. The rest of the markings and stencils were added with minimal fuss. I was fortunate to have several good color photos of the plane I modeled. Other than being a bit oversized, the markings are correct. I hand painted the pinwheels on the wheel covers. After weathering the decals, I gave the plane a final flat clear coat. The landing gear and other final bits were added at this time. Final detailing was then completed.
As simple and crude as they look in the box, the AMT P-40s look good when finished. They are very easy to build and respond well to a bit of extra effort. I’m sure that the Hasegawa is nicer in every respect, and it is priced accordingly. The level of detail and accuracy on the AMT P-40s O.O.B. is okay and it is hard to argue with the price ($5.00 at a swap meet). Recommended for modelers of all skill levels.
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