HobbyBoss 1/72 P-40N Warhawk
|NOTES:||Easy Assembly. 2010 release|
The P-40N was the final production model of the Curtiss
P-40 series, manufactured between 1943 and 1944. It featured a stretched rear
fuselage to counter the torque of the more powerful, late-war Allison engine.
The rear deck of the cockpit behind the pilot was cut down at a moderate slant
to improve rearward visibility, whereas a great deal of effort was put into
eliminating excess weight, in order to improve climb rate.
Sub-variants 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 type was supplied to Commonwealth air forces as the Kittyhawk Mk IV, with 553 P-40Ns acquired by the Royal Australian Air Force alone, making it the variant most commonly used by the RAAF.
Since the P-40N was by 1944 used mainly as a ground attack aircraft in Europe, it was nicknamed B-40 by pilots, with survivors redesignated as ZF-40N in June 1948.
HobbyBoss started a line of "Easy Assembly" 1/72 kits in
2006, regularly repackaging them. These are easy-built, inexpensive kits,
basically dealing with known types, being simplified in many areas and featuring
a small number of parts, with most of them able to be snapped into place in case
the modeler doesn't want to apply glue. This and the lack of tiny little parts
deem these kits very appealing as a way for youngsters to begin, with proper
guidance, their modeling adventures.
This was the case with this kit, which (together with the similar HobbyBoss Hellcat) I recently (as of 2023) purchased from my hometown's sole remaining (very small but cherished) hobby shop in Chalkis, Greece, in order to introduce my young sons to the magic world of modeling.
The kit comes in a very nice and sturdy small top opening box with a good, slightly cartoonish box art of a 49 FG’s P-40N, carrying the famous “White Skull” nose art. Upon opening the box, I was greeted by 30 light gray styrene parts and a clear fret, all neatly held into a quality transparent tray. The lower fuselage half and the complete wing are an impressive one piece affair. This and the upper fuselage part are provided separately, whereas all the rest are arranged in three small sprues. Molding is crisp, with only a few mold lines running down the spine of the fuselage and wing leading edges, all easily cleaned up. Panel lines are finely engraved and fabric representation is good.
Cockpit is basic with floor, rear bulkhead, a generic seat and a control stick. Landing gear is acceptable, with the bays featuring some rib lines. The exhausts and prop look good, as does the characteristic triple-split chin intake. A choice of drop tank or bomb is provided for hanging under the fuselage.
The one piece canopy is on the thick side, but well molded and clear. It features two lugs which allow it to be snap-fitted. The nice instructions are as simple as the kit itself is, coming to the form of a 4-page booklet, featuring a sprue list, with the undemanding construction spread in 5 clear steps.
Two schemes are provided, for a Chinese bird featuring a shark mouth and for a 80FG bird, carrying the famous white skull nose art. Both are Olive Drab over Neutral Gray. Decals are glossy, sharply printed and will seemingly work well.
Whereas no stand is supplied, possibly due to the fact that the model cannot be built in flight “gear-up” configuration, I believe providing one would be most desirable from the target group the kit is aimed at.
Instructions want you to attach the tail planes, rear cockpit panel, canopy and exhausts to the upper fuselage half, then assemble the prop, the main landing gear and the external tank or bomb. The cockpit is then built and trapped between the fuselage halves. Affixing the prop, the landing gear and the external store is next, ending an easy and seemingly pleasant build.
This is in every respect a “beginner’s” kit. The amount of
parts is low, with many of them being single pieces covering items that in
"regular" kits might be provided in multiparts. The canopy is nice and clear,
molding is very good, instructions are excellent, and the decals are nicely
It is true that many details have been simplified, and I can't speak to the general shape correctness, but such possible shortcomings can be excused given the nature of the kit. Because of the simplification shortcuts, an average depiction of the real thing will come out of the box in terms of accuracy, but I don't think strict accuracy will be a major consideration for those of us who choose a kit like this.
This kit looks like the perfect option for a youngster (or, maybe, an absolute beginner?) entering the realm of modeling because it is simple, well molded, inexpensive, builds easily and comes in an extremely nice, motivating package, the only thing “missing” being a stand, so the junior can affix his completed model onto and proudly place it at his home desk, to accompany him during his studies.
If you wonder how to introduce your kid into the magic world of modeling in a motivating way, you should take this kit into consideration.
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