Special Hobby 1/32 Mohawk IV
Scott Van Aken
The Curtiss Mohawk IV was the most numerous version of the Hawk
75 to enter RAF service, and saw front line service with the RAF in India
and with the South Africa Air Force in East Africa.
The RAF's Mohawk IVs came from at least three different sources. The majority of
them were part of a French order for 795 Hawk
H75A-4s. These were powered by a 1,200hp Wright R-1820-G205A Cyclone engine,
replacing the Pratt & Whitney engines of the earlier French aircraft and the Mohawk
I, II and III.
They were armed with six 7.5mm guns, two in the nose and four in the wings.
A total of 284 aircraft were completed to this specification. Of these aircraft
six reached France, four were lost at sea and twenty three were sent to
Martinique, where they sat out the war. This left 251 that were taken over by
the RAF, given British equipment and the designation Mohawk IV. They were joined
by ten H75A-9s built for Persia, and at least six H75A-5s that were to have been
built under licence in China but that were actually completed in India. This
gives a total of 266 aircraft, although RAF records suggest that there were a
total of 278 Mohawk IVs.
The Mohawk IV was not seen as suitable for service with the RAF in Britain. A
number were given to Portugal, and more to the South Africa Air Force, but a
significant number did see service with the RAF, operating over Burma from bases
in India. In the RAF and SAAF cases, these planes were often succeeded by
Hurricanes and used as trainers once their operational use was over.
Hobby has done at least four boxings of the P-36/Hawk 75/Mohawk so a lot of the
sprues are common to all variants. The major difference in the Mohawk four is
the engine and the cowling section as most of these aircraft were fitted with
the smaller, but longer R-1835. Thanks to the commonality of sprues, there are
parts provided that are not used in this build.
you might expect, there is a significant photo etch suite with the majority of
the parts being used either in the cockpit or as part of the assembly of the
bomb racks under the wing. Bits that would be Lilliputian in other scales are
manageable in 1/32 with some being integral to the build so cannot really be
left off. You are provided a full color instrument panel and a seat harness as
well as various switches and levers for the cockpit. This pretty much makes up
the large fret on the right of the image. The other, smaller fret is mostly for
the underwing bomb racks. The kit also supplies some small resin pieces. These
are wing gun barrels, part of the gun sight, and the gearing pieces for the
There is a fairly well done cockpit interior that includes sidewalls as well as
a rear bulkhead, armor plating and a forward bulkhead that helps to brace the
fuselage. The forward cowling piece is separate to allow the different engines
to be used. In this case, the 9 cylinder Wright includes the pushrod assembly
and exhaust. This fits onto a firewall that will fit into the cowling. Note that
you are to fit the cowling halves to the fuselage halves before mating the
fuselage. Once all the bits that go into the fuselage are attached, the halves
can be closed.
You are provided separate elevators and rudder, but not ailerons or flaps.
Having individual elevator hinges will make it difficult to pose them in any
position other than neutral. Each of the wheel wells has four sidewall
pieces that are to be attached before gluing the upper wing halves to the lower
wing. Once that is done, all the flight surfaces can be joined with the
fuselage. Landing gear is very nicely done and consists of quite a few pieces.
Same goes for the tail gear. There is a separate housing that fits into the
lower rear fuselage and you do need to install the tail gear struts prior to
attaching this housing, which will add a bit of difficulty to painting this area
unless you prepaint the housing.
Building up the underwing bomb racks will use up all the small pieces of the
smaller p.e. fret. It will be time consuming. The prop has separate blades, and
a four piece hub. The final step in the instructions is to attach all the clear
bits and the wing gun barrels.
Instructions are well done with color references using a number of paint
companies. The two markings options are both with 155 Squadron in the European
scheme of dark green/ocean grey over medium sea grey. Both options have a sky
fuselage band. Interestingly, the area behind the quarter windows is shown as
chromate yellow. In the P-40, this area was fuselage color so it is up to you
how to deal with this. Decals are nicely printed and should work very well.
The Mohawk was really only a footnote in WWII Allied
fighter history, but did perform well when it was put to the test. This kit
should make into a very nice model and will look great next to its P-40 sibling.
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