|KIT:||AMtech 1/48 P-40K Warhawk|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin tail section included|
Initially, the P-40K was an aircraft that was identical externally to the P-40E, but with a more powerful engine. To help to compensate for the additional torque of the engine, a fin fillet was added to the existing tail starting with the P-40K-5 variant. This did not cure the situation and eventually, the entire tail section was extended, resulting in the more usual 'long tail' look that we associate with later P-40Fs and N models.
The K was intended to be the last of the series, however, development problems with its replacement, the P-60, were such that the P-60 never passed out of development, leaving the P-40 to soldier on until the end of the war. The P-40K saw extensive service with US forces in North Africa, the CBI and Southwest Pacific. A goodly number were also used by the British in their North African campaigns. It was eventually replaced by the P-40N or other, more advanced types.
If you have built the AMtech P-40E, then in all intents and purposes, you have built this kit. What you have is the older, but still nice AMT-molded P-40 with the shorter fuselage. The kit is nicely engraved with a fairly well detailed cockpit, full wheel wells and stores that include bombs and a drop tank.
I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the kit was devoid of flash, a situation that I'd found with some of the earlier kits on the sprue that has the instrument panels (lower left in the photo). I'm sure that little else has changed in terms of what I'll find during construction and I'll leave you to glean that info from the many AMtech P-40 reviews.
What is new in this kit is a new tail section by Black Box. This part is very well cast and once you follow the instructions and cut the old tail off, it is basically a replacement. There are slots for the plastic tailplanes so no huge alterations are needed.
The instructions are really excellent. AMtech has basically used the ERTL instructions and enhanced them with sections that specifically apply to the tail conversion. The conversion section is all photos of the actual parts being prepared. A full size diagram is included showing exactly where the kit's fuselage has to be cut, so it is a simple matter of laying the fuselage down on the instructions and cutting. Color information is provided throughout the construction diagrams and is given in generic terms so you can use whatever paints are locally available.
Markings are given for four aircraft. #1 is the box art aircraft from the 57 FG in Egypt during late 1942. It is in Sand over Neutral Grey. #2 is a 450 Sq RAAF Kittyhawk III also from 1942, but in the European colors of Dark Earth/Dark Green over Sky Grey (or Sky Blue). #3 is an OD over Neutral Grey aircraft from an unknown training squadron in the US and the final scheme is for a second 450 Sq aircraft, this time in MiddleStone/Dark Earth over Azure Blue. The decal sheet is superbly printed by Microscale and you also get the full P-40E sheet (not shown) to use for the British Insignia and a few other common markings.
The info sheet that came with the kit stated that this is a very limited availability kit and will only be available from Hobby Lobby. It is due for distribution in about a month so you need to be on the watch for it.
I know that this will make into a very nice kit of the P-40K. I've built a number of AMtech P-40s and enjoyed every one of them. This one will be just as nice and will provide a version that is a bit different from the mainstream.
Thanks to for providing the sample.
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