Mauve 1/48 P-40N Warhawk






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The most prolific early war US Army aircraft was without a doubt the P-40 Warhawk. It was the most modern fighter available in any real quantity and so was seen in nearly all theaters of operation in which the US was involved in the first year of the war. This was particularly so in the Southwest Pacific where they helped to stem the tide of  Japanese advance toward Australia.

As rugged as these P-40 variants were, the plane was having a real problem with weight as more and more equipment was added to the airframe. In an attempt to make a lighter version, of the aircraft, Curtiss developed the P-40N. Early aircraft had only four guns as part of the weight saving program, but it was later realized that most pilots would rather have the extra guns than the extra speed so they were replaced.

The P-40N can be distinguished from its predecessors by the new rear section of the canopy. This was redesigned to allow greater rear vision, though it's real usefulness was mostly negated by the pilot's armor plating! The N also had a higher horsepower Allison engine, making it one of the fastest P-40s built.

Thanks to the weight saving program which also resulted in many features being simplified, the P-40N could be built quickly and was by far the most numerous of the P-40 variants. The P-40N was also the last production version of the Warhawk and the last one came off the lines in mid 1944, effectively ending the Curtiss dynasty when it came to fighters and the US Army. 


The Mauve kit is not exactly a new model, however, it is still probably the best P-40 in 1/48 scale. Even though the AMT P-40s are newer, the Mauve kit is a much cleaner and easier to build kit. Molded in a dark olive plastic, the kit has very nice finely engraved panel lines, something that is expected from modern kits. 

The interior is quite complete with floor, rudder pedals seat, control stick and flap lever. In addition there are side panels which fit into the fuselage halves, that have good detailing on them. The kit has separate exhaust ports that take a bit of work to get properly installed and there are also separate prop blades. While this later feature helps when it comes to painting fancy spinners, I would personally rather have the prop blades as one piece as it simplifies alignment.

The only real option is whether or not to carry the drop tank. No bomb or other options are carried. The canopy is nice and clear as well as being a three piece affair. I have found out from building this kit that you cannot easily portray the canopy open as it was not designed in this way. The kit canopy part is too thick and will not ride at the proper height. Smash forming a new sliding section is the best way around that.

If this kit can use any updating it is in the cockpit area. While the kit one is quite nice, it falls way short of the kind of detail that can be provided by an aftermarket resin set. Fortunately True Details set 4851 was specifically designed for this kit and at $4 is well worth the investment.

Instructions are adequate, giving the usual pictorial steps, however any useful information is lost to me as it is entirely in Japanese! There is one decal option, that being for a training aircraft with a large red parrot for nose art. The aircraft itself is OD over Neutral Grey with Medium green blotches along the wings, tailplanes and fin. I have tried to use this decal sheet on the one I built and found that the decals were quite poor. They were immune to any setting solution I tried on them. Get another decal sheet for this one. There are lots of them out there!

It really is a nice model and one that you will enjoy building. If you see the Eduard P-40N, it is this kit with all sorts of Eduard resin and brass added in. 

Below is an example of this kit built many years ago with the True Details interior and aftermarket decals.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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