Hobbycraft 1/48 Curtiss Mohawk
KIT #: HC 1556
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1991 tooling


Perhaps best known as the predecessor of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the P-36 saw little combat with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. It was the fighter used most extensively and successfully by the French Air Force during the Battle of France. The P-36 was also ordered by the governments of the Netherlands and Norway but did not arrive in time to see action before both were occupied by Nazi Germany. The type was also manufactured under license in China, for the Republic of China Air Force, as well as in British India, for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).


Back in 1992, Hobbycraft made a lot of people happy by releasing five different variations on the P-36/Hawk 75. Prior to this, the only 1/48 P-36 was by AMT, which wasn't bad, but wasn't all that detailed. This kit changed that by providing a higher level of detailing and engraved panel lines. Now it isn't a Tamiya kit so some modeling skills is required to get it to fit properly. This is mostly in getting the interior properly installed. The kit is designed in such a way to allow these other variants to be kitted.

This particular kit is designed to be the 9-cylinder Cyclone powered variant. It provides a fairly complete interior and there is some inner fuselage detailing. Holes and slots will need to be opened in the lower wing. There are also some options in terms of the windscreen, prop hub, and exhaust along with the ability to pose the canopy open. When constructing the landing gear, some trimming is needed and the instructions point that out.

Instructions are well drawn with detail drawings provided. No interior or gear well color information is provided which is a major omission. There is also no information on which windscreen, prop hub, or exhaust is used with which markings option. The three options are the RAF Mohawk as shown on the box art. Also provided are a Chinese plane in dark green over light grey and a Peruvian aircraft in unpainted metal. Decals are nicely done and should still be viable.


Though Clear Prop has begun releasing Hawk 75 kits, for most versions, the Hobbycraft/Academy kits are still the best ones on the market.



May 2023

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