Three Guys Replicas TGR 48-010 for 49th FG P-40 N Warhawks

Units: 49th FG




Scott Van Aken

Note: Also available in 1/72 as sheet TGR72-005

The 49th Fighter Group was one of the first US groups in combat during WWII. It spent nearly all of its time in New Guinea and surrounding environs. It also used the P-40 for a very long time, nearly as long as those used by the 23rd FG in China. As in China, aerial opposition was not very great in the last years of the war and the unit spent most of its time in ground attack missions during that period. Typical of just about all of the 49ths P-40Ns were the white tail and wing leading edges. They also sported a nice variety of tail and nose markings. Because of the historic nature of this group, it has been in almost continual existence in the USAF. Where some of the 'lesser' units have disappeared in the general drawdown of the last 15 years, the 49th is still flying some of the best that the USAF has. Currently, they are flying F-117As from Holloman AFB in New Mexico. They also host the 20th FS that trains German pilots on the F-4F Phantom II.

These planes are all either OD over Neutral Grey or in natural metal. Except for one plane, all have white tails and wing leading edges. I've shown the 1/72 sheet which has one additional plane on it, the last one. All others are identical in terms of markings and insignia with both sheets.

First is a checker-tailed 8th FS plane from 1943 in New Guinea. This aircraft has no nose art, but does carry two kill markings.

Next is a diamond-tailed 7th FS aircraft, also from New Guinea in 1943. This one has no kills and no nose art.

From the 7th FS is one with the squadron badge on the nose and several kills under the canopy.

'Island Dream' is another 7FS bird from late 1943. The medium blue spinner has a white band around it.

The first all metal bird is from the 8th FS and has three kills. The spinner and tail tip are yellow with a black stripe.

Finally, this 7th FS P-40N was flown by Major Gerald Johnson and has 13 kills. Unlike the other planes, it carries no theater markings at all. This aircraft is only on the 1/72 sheet.

Typical of the Southwest Pacific and CBI, there are no serials on any of the aircraft.

Included with both sheets is a very interesting information sheet on 49th FG markings and on Olive Drab and Neutral Grey paint. The 49th FG information points out that much of the camouflage information provided in the profiles of the Squadron book on this group are spurious or inaccurate; even flying against what is shown in the photographs in the book of the planes in question. This points out the very real problem of basing decal sheets or color schemes on a profile and not on the photos themselves. These are not always accurate so the modeler who wants the greatest accuracy should beware and do some personal research into the subject.

There are no lack of kits available. In 1/72, you have your choice between the Hasegawa and the newer Academy kit. Both have their strong suits, the biggest for the Hasegawa kit is the availability of aftermarket resin bits from True Details. However, it is rather expensive for such an old kit and many will opt for the newer Academy version.

In 1/48 you have Mauve, AMT and Eduard for your choices. The Eduard and Mauve kits have the same plastic and it is a good representation of a P-40N. The AMT kit is a bit more difficult a build than the Mauve kit and not quite so well engineered, but may well be more available. True Details makes a resin interior and wheel for the Mauve kit that will work with the AMT kit with a bit of extra sanding.

Review sheet courtesy Three Guys Replicas

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