Hasegawa 1/48 P-40M Warhawk 'Finnish Air Force'
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Few have not heard of the P-40 so I'll eschew any long history and concentrate on this variant. The P-40M was a version generally similar to the P-40K (basically a P-40L with an Allison engine), with a stretched fuselage like the P-40L and later P-40Fs, and powered by an Allison V-1710-81 engine giving better performance at altitude (compared to previous Allison versions). It had some detail improvements and it was characterized by two small grilles just before the exhaust pipes. Most of them were supplied to Allied countries (mainly UK and USSR), while some others remained in the USA for advanced training. It was also supplied to the Commonwealth air forces as the Kittyhawk Mk. III.
Here is another of Hasegawa's limited reissue kits. This is not the first time they have done a P-40M, though the last boxing was listed as a Kittyhawk III, basically the same airframe. We start with the standard P-40 sprues and add in those that are pertinent to the M version. This includes the extended tail and the cooling vents on the forward cowling. These will carry over to the N version. There are a number of inserts that need to be installed and while most fit quite well, you do need to take into account that some may be a loose fit. One modification you'll need to make is to install and sand down those light looking things on the fuselage under the cockpit. The landing light in the 'knee' on the leading edge of the wing also needs to be covered.
The kit provides a separate tail section with a separate rudder. You can also cut off the molded in formation lights to replace them with clear ones. For things under wings the instructions limit you to a drop tank, though a bomb is also on the sprues. Truthfully, neither decal option probably carried a bomb so it would be a bit out of place.
Markings are provided for two planes. One, of course, is the Finnish AF version, of which the Finns only had one that was in flying condition. It was a shot down Soviet plane that was repaired and used for evaluation more than anything else. It was painted in standard late war Finnish colors of black and olive green over light blue-grey. With the usual yellow Eastern Front markings. Also as usual with Finnish subjects, there are blank roundels provided so squeamish countries can have the swastika roundels cut from the decals prior to sale. The second option is a Soviet plane from the 191 IAP in 1943 and may well be the plane put back in the air by the Finns. It is in OD over Neutral Grey with a unpainted metal spinner and a white fin and rudder. Stars in eight positions. The decal sheet is nicely done by Hasegawa and includes both full instrument panel decals as well as just the instruments.
I'm sure that Hasegawa will get a number of additional boxings out of this one. If you add in a new fuselage section for the F and L versions, the possibilities are staggering. It is a very nice kit and one that I see built more and more often as time goes on.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page
Back to the Previews Index Page