Hasegawa 1/72 P-40N Warhawk

KIT #: 00293
PRICE: 1400 yen SRP at the time
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 337 FS boxing from 2002

HISTORY
  • The P-40N (manufactured 194344), was the final production model. The P-40N featured a stretched rear fuselage to counter the torque of the larger, late-war Allison engine, and the rear deck of the cockpit behind the pilot was cut down at a moderate slant to improve rearward visibility. A great deal of work was also done to try and eliminate excess weight to improve the Warhawk's climb rate. Early N production blocks dropped a .50 in (12.7 mm) gun from each wing, bringing the total back to four; later production blocks reintroduced it after complaints from units in the field. Supplied to Commonwealth air forces as the Kittyhawk Mk IV. A total of 553 P-40Ns were acquired by the Royal Australian Air Force, making it the variant most commonly used by the RAAF. Subvariants of the P-40N ranged widely in specialization from stripped down four-gun "hot rods" that could reach the highest top speeds of any production variant of the P-40 (up to 380 mph), to overweight types with all the extras intended for fighter-bombing or even training missions. The 15,000th P-40 was an N model decorated with the markings of 28 nations that had employed any of Curtiss-Wright's various aircraft products, not just P-40s. "These spectacular markings gave rise to the erroneous belief that the P-40 series had been used by all 28 countries." Survivors were redesignated as ZF-40N in June 1948.

  • THE KIT

    Hasegawa's P-40 kits have been around for a very long time. They were one of their first series of engraved kits and a 1976 catalogue I have shows them as part of their line-up. As such, these kits have very nice external detailing; to an extent. The wheel wells have no detail and are actually a bit shallow. The rear cockpit section is lacking any of the panel lines normally seen. There are some sink areas on my kit, the back cockpit area being one offender. The worst area is the upper wing section, which has one that is the length of the flap.

    The cockpit itself is very basic with a seat shape, instrument panel, floor and control stick. At this time, one was expected to use the pilot figure, which would cover up most of the lack of detail or accuracy. Hasegawa likes to mold pieces on larger parts, hence the radio mast and pitot tube are already in place, ready to be knocked off by handling.

    The wing is a single lower piece with two upper wing sections. Typical of P-40 kits in this scale, the main wing guns are on the centerline of the wing instead of just below it. Main landing gear are lacking retraction struts, again, something pretty normal in this scale. Gear doors are molded in one piece and will need to be cut for the gear down option. Prop and spinner are separate items. Exhaust are a single piece that can be installed after the kit has been painted. This is all topped by a one-piece canopy section that is quite clear. Decals are provided for two options; one from the 337 FS/502 FG with the large parrot's head marking and the other a somewhat generic 7FS/49 FG plane from 1944.

    CONSTRUCTION

    First thing I did was to look for aftermarket. I found a True Details cockpit set for this in the stash and while I looked for replacement resin exhaust, was unable to locate any. I then painted all the interior bits with Testors Interior Green  and then proceeded to detail paint and assemble the resin cockpit. One has to enlarge the gun sight opening at the top of the anti-glare panel after removing the rather pathetic looking stock gun sight.  

    I then assembled the nose radiator bits and closed the fuselage halves. I also built the wings. The wings have very long sink areas on the top inboard of the ailerons that needed filled. There is also a rather poor fit over the landing gear 'knuckles' on the front that needed work. I then installed the instrument panel. This was followed by the cockpit. In this case, I had to remove the old mounting stubs and shave off quite a bit of the lower floor's excess resin to get the wings to fit. When installing the cockpit, I used superglue to first cement one of the interior side pieces to the fuselage wall. This had to be clamped. When dry, I did the same on the other side.

    With the fuselage together along with the interior, I then attached the wings. As mentioned previously, I had to sand away quite a bit of the large pour stub under the fuselage floor to get the wings to fit. This was pretty much a sand, test fit, repeat sort of thing. Eventually I got it to where the wing fit. This is a very good fit so I'm pleased with how it turned out. On the underside there is a seam that needs filled as Hasegawa molded part of the flap with the upper wing piece and part with the lower wing, leaving a gap. I then attached the tailplanes, which are a snug fit.

    At this point I masked and attached the canopy, getting ready to paint.

    COLORS & MARKINGS

    Often times, decal sheets will include markings which are generally lacking in a lot of color or art work just to fill up a sheet. These schemes are almost never modeled, so I decided to pick one like that for this model. It is on FCM sheet # 72024 that shows a 49 FG P-40N that has little more than insignia and a nose number. The plane is in the standard scheme with a white after fuselage and rudder, but with the tailplanes still in camouflage. This aircraft, from 1943, sports the short lived red surround insignia.

    I used Model Master enamels for the base camo and Tamiya gloss white for the tail. I first painted the base camo scheme then did some masking before doing the white. I then masked some of the white areas and did touchup on the demarcation line with a finer air brush. The spinner was painted French blue and the sheet's decal took care of the stripe.
    FINAL CONSTRUCTION

    With the paint in place, I painted the gear wells interior green and then installed the landing gear. Then a coat or two of clear gloss acryic was sprayed in preparation for the decals. These went on without a hitch and I continued the build, adding gear doors and wheels. Once I mounted the prop, I sprayed the airframe with clear matte acrylic. The exhaust were installed after painting them Vallejo tinny tin. BTW, one should leave the mold seams on the exhaust as this nicely represents the weld seam on each of the stacks.

    I used some pastels this time to simulate light exhaust staining. The formation lights were painted, and I used EZ-Line to make an antenna cable. A bit more touch-up painting was done and the masking was removed from the canopy.
    CONCLUSIONS

    While no longer a cheap kit, the Hasegawa P-40 can be found at very reasonable prices from vendors at model shows and from other places. The inclusion of the True Details cockpit set takes care of the Spartan kit offerings and helps out a great deal in that area. I've built a bunch of these over the decades and still find it to be a pleasant build.
    REFERENCES

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_P-40_Warhawk

    December 2014

    Thanks to me for the review kit and resin. Thanks to FCM for the decals.

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