|PRICE:||$24.95 SRP when new|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Kit produced in 2002|
The P-40 Warhawk was made famous by the Flying Tigers, a band of mercenary pilots who fought for money and glory. Most of us don't like to think of these men as such, but it is the truth. They were allegedly paid handsomely to fly and paid a $500 bonus for every plane shot down. Not your standard operating policy in a military that at the time paid pilots less than $100 a month. However, it did ingrain the P-40 into the minds and fantasies of an air-minded public.
It was also arguably the best aircraft in the USAAF inventory when the US entered the war. Decidedly outmatched at altitude against German planes thanks to its Allison engine, it was a match for them at lower altitudes. Though not as maneuverable as the Japanese planes, it was faster and able to take battle damage that the other could not. It also had a greater weight of fire than most lightly built Japanese opponents. It was with this aircraft that the US entered the war in the Pacific. Until the advent of the P-38, The P-40E, along with a some P-39s, were all that were available to fight the Army's Pacific war.
Fortunately, this wasn't a war of high altitude as in Europe, so the sluggish performance of the P-40 and P-39 above 15,000 feet wasn't a real problem. Even when newer planes became available, those were mostly sent to Europe so the P-40 soldiered on in China, Burma and India as well as in the Southwest Pacific. As opposition decreased, the aircraft showed its value as a fighter bomber, staying in action until almost the end of the war.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
It was nice to revisit an old friend. Were it not for a group build, who knows how long this would have languished, unbuilt. The AMT/AMtech P-40s do have issues. The guns should be slightly below the leading edge of the wings, the landing gear don't have enough retraction struts and there are none for the gear doors. The fit of the engine cowlings could be better and the interior is pretty barren by today's standards along with some other fit issues. Those who want a good 1/48 Alison P-40 will want to head for the Hasegawa kit or even the older Mauve version (itself quite similar to the AMT/AMtech kit in terms of vintage). Still, if you are building for yourself or just want a shelf model, then this will fill the bill and can usually be found for a very reasonable price from vendors at shows or swap meets.
Thanks to the long lamented AMtech for the test shot.
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