Special Hobby 1/32 Mohawk IV

KIT #: SH 32016
PRICE: $40.00 Delivered
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: 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.

Special 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.

As 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 landing gear.

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.



June 2019 

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