Lindberg 1/48 Curtiss P-6E

KIT #: 72542
PRICE: $5.20 when new in 1993
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run with etched and resin parts


A fast and highly maneuverable aircraft for its time, the XP-6 prototype took second place in the 1927 U.S. National Air Races, and the XP-6A with wing surface radiators took first place, at 201 mph (323 km/h). The P-6 was flown in a variety of paint schemes depending on the squadron, the most famous being the "Snow Owl" markings of the 17th Pursuit Squadron based at Selfridge Field near Detroit, Michigan.

The P-6Es served between 1932 and 1937 with the 1st Pursuit Group (17th and 94th PS) at Selfridge, and with the 8th Pursuit Group (33rd PS) at Langley Field, Virginia. Numerous accidents claimed at least 27 of the 46 aircraft delivered. As the P-6Es became obsolete, instead of receiving depot overhauls, they were allowed to wear out in service and were scrapped or sold. At least one survived into 1942 in United States Army Air Forces service.

In 1932, Capt. Ruben C. Moffat flew a P-6 converted with a supercharged Conqueror engine on a record-breaking flight. He flew from Dayton, Ohio to Washington, D.C. at a speed of approximately 266 mph, at an altitude of 25,000 ft.

There is some suggestion that this might be an ex-Aurora kit, but that doesn't jive as Monogram bought Aurora. I'm leaning more towards this being an Inpact kit from the mid 1950s, but I don't know for sure. One thing I do know is that it looks like a kit from that era.

Molded in yellow and fairly lost in a box that could easily hold another kit (or two), the molding is very nicely done with no flash. It is a rather basic kit with an interior that consists of a seat, pilot figure and instrument panel. This fits into the fuselage halves and they are then closed. If you want the prop to spin, you'll have to figure something out as it seems to be glued straight to the cowling. Both upper and lower wings are in two pieces with the usual 'hills and valleys' for fabric effect.

The main wheels are trapped between the gear pants and after the strut is installed, can be attached to the fuselage, along with the lower wing, taiplanes and the fin. A gun sight and small windscreen are also attached, but I'd leave off the windscreen until after painting. In fact, you might want to paint the fuselage separate from the wings and tailplanes. Wing struts appear to be quite sturdy though building a cardboard jig would probably help with alignment. The kit includes wire so you can rig it and an entire drawing is devoted to this task.

Instructions are a large folded sheet with generic color information provided. This one has yellow flight surfaces along with an OD fuselage. The decals are nicely done and though some prepainting of the forward area and landing gear will be needed, the sheet covers all the difficult bits.

This is not the best kit of this plane in this scale with the long OOP Classic Airframes kit undoubtedly offering a lot more detail. However, this one will be a lot easier to build and will look very nice on your shelf when done.  


February 2024

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