Trumpeter 1/32 P-40N Warhawk

KIT #: 02212
PRICE: $40.00 'used'
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes rubber tires and photo etch fret

HISTORY

The P-40N (manufactured 194344), was the final production model of the P-40. The P-40N featured a stretched rear fuselage to counter the torque of the more powerful, late-war Allison engine, and the rear deck of the cockpit behind the pilot was cut down at a moderate slant to improve rearward visibility. A great deal of work was also done to try and eliminate excess weight to improve the Warhawk's climb rate. Early N production blocks dropped a .50 in (12.7 mm) gun from each wing, bringing the total back to four; later production blocks reintroduced it after complaints from units in the field.

It was supplied to Commonwealth air forces as the Kittyhawk Mk IV. A total of 553 P-40Ns were acquired by the Royal Australian Air Force, making it the variant most commonly used by the RAAF. Subvariants 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 15,000th P-40 was an N model decorated with the markings of 28 nations that had employed any of Curtiss-Wright's various aircraft products, not just P-40s. "These spectacular markings gave rise to the erroneous belief that the P-40 series had been used by all 28 countries." Since the P-40N was by 1944 used mainly as a ground attack aircraft in Europe, it was nicknamed B-40 by pilots. Survivors redesignated as ZF-40N in June 1948.

THE KIT

The P-40 is popular in all scales and before this kit was released in 2016, the only real option for a late war N was the Hasegawa kit. This kit is apparently quite popular as not only does it sell out with every 'limited edition' release, they are also fairly pricey. The Trumpeter versions are easily found and you don't pay collector's prices for it. In addition to this version they do a B,E,F, and M so your big scale Warhawks are well taken care of.

I've come to expect gimmicks from Trumpeter and this kit is no exception. For instance, it comes with rubber tires and a fairly large photo etch fret, most of which is used to build up flaps and the flap well. Thing is, if you look at wartime images of P-40s on the ground, you won't see extended flaps. You see, most strips from which they operated were not paved and so leaving the flaps down after landing only increased the chance of them being damaged by stones thrown up by the prop wash. Fortunately, Trumpeter provides a proper insert for the flaps up position. Another rather useless detail is separate ammo bay doors.

The kit has a nice interior with a fairly good amount of detail. On that p.e. fret is a seat harness. P.e. is also used for the radiator intake screens. The kit exhaust are installed from the inside of the fuselage and there are six separate stacks on each side. You also have to install the tail gear before closing the fuselage halves so you might want to protect that with cardboard to prevent it from being broken during handling. Before moving on, the clear bits are installed. The canopy is separate so it seems it can be posed open.

Each main gear well is five pieces. The kit also provides separate clear wingtip formation lights. I'd install those after painting. Both open and closed cowl flaps are provided. The main gear can be installed after painting as well. I'd recommend some aftermarket wheels as the kit hubs seem a bit shallow. The only thing for under the fuselage is a drop tank, though a bomb would have been appropriate as well. Final steps are the horizontal stabs, elevators, rudder and small, fiddly bits.

Instructions are the standard Trumpeter landscape version with color info on the painting guide using various paint brands. All four markings are in OD over neutral grey. None of the units are identified. There is the box art plane that is obviously from the 23rd FG, a skull mouth plane which would be from the 8th FG, a Chinese AF plane with a shark mouth and a Soviet aircraft that seems to be with the Soviet Naval air forces. All options have color on the spinners. The large decal sheet is nicely printed and there are a few aftermarket sheets for the P-40N in this scale.  

CONCLUSIONS

As with just about all kits, one cannot really tell what they are like until they are built. Pretty much every Trumpeter kit I've built has gone together well so it shouldn't be a building nightmare. I do like that it doesn't have a separate tail section as does the Hasegawa kit, making it one less area for fit issues. Its ready availability should be a plus as well.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_P-40_Warhawk#Variants_and_development_stages

March 2023

Thanks to me for the preview kit.

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