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Curtiss P-40K-5
Warhawk / Kitthawk Mk.III

 

P-40K Box Art

AMtech, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue No. & Description Item #489213
Price: MSRP USD$24.98 available exclusively from Hobby Lobby
or online from AMtech

This kit will also be available in very limited numbers to international distributors
Contents and Media: 65 pieces in long-run injection moulded plastic; 1 part in cream-coloured resin; 4 parts in clear injection moulded plastic
Scale: 1/48
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: The best 1/48 scale P-40K available today; resin tail included; crisply engraved panel lines; high quality decals; bonus markings for three P-40Es; resin tail also fits Hasegawa P-40E.
Disadvantages: Some details missing or simplified; some modelling skills required to cut and fit new tail.
Recommendation: Recommended 

Reviewed by Brett Green


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

In common with their earlier P-40E and F/L releases, AMtech has licensed the use of AMT's original P-40 moulds for their new 1/48 scale P-40K-5 Warhawk kit.

AMT released their own P-40K kit in the 1990s. This kit supplied the long fuselage and a separate tail section with the large fin. The modeller was required to cut off the back of the fuselage and attach the new tail.

AMtech takes a similar approach this time around, except that the basic sprues are from their P-40E kit and the replacement tail is resin. It is worth noting that AMtech's boxing includes the correct fishtail style exhausts most often seen fitted to the P-40K variant.

However, the most noticeable difference between this new P-40K and the long out of production AMT kit is the resin tail. This has been produced by Black Box and is nicely cast in yellow resin. To my eye, the shape also looks noticeably better than the slightly oversimplified AMT plastic parts.

There is some light resin flash on the part that will easily be removed with a sharp hobby blade.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


All of the remaining plastic in this new 1/48 scale P-40K is common with AMTech's P-40E, including a number of redundant parts for different variants.

The sprues contain 65 parts in pale grey styrene and 4 parts in clear. The plastic on all the AMT and AMtech Warhawks is noticeably softer than found on most other model kits, but surface detail is crisp and recessed.

Detail in the cockpit is adequate. Wheel wells are boxed in on three sides, but the main undercarriage legs are a little simplified.

Supplied stores include two 500lb bombs and a centreline drop tank.

Some smaller details are missing. These include the ring and bead gunsight, mirror, whip antennas, fuselage spine navigation light, fuel dump, fresh air intakes and landing gear indicators. The canopy rails have also been omitted. All of these items can fairly easily be added from scrap plastic and other materials commonly found in the modelling toolbox.

The overall shape and contours are good, but the spinner comes to a perfectly sharp point. The overall profile of the aircraft looks better when this part is slightly rounded-off.

In addition to the parts shown here, AMtech actually supplies two sets of fuselage halves - the original flawed parts with the step at the rear, and the corrected fuselage halves.

The clear parts are impressively thin and free of distortion, but the canopy will ride high when in the "open" position. A vacform replacement will address this problem.

AMtech produces some of the best researched and presented markings in the business, and the decals for the P-40K are no exception. Four options are supplied - two from 450 Squadron, RAAF in North Africa and two USAAF aircraft. In addition to the new decal sheet, AMtech also includes the full decal sheet from the P-40E sheet. This sheet supplies some of the national markings for the P-40K options, but it also offers some other benefits. More on that later.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:



Test Fitting

I followed the instructions and cut off the tail of the P-40E fuselage as indicated. I also reduced the size of the casting block on the resin tail.

As can be seen in the photo below, test-fitting suggests that there will only be minimal cleanup, sanding and filling.

 

 

I was also curious to see whether this nice resin tail might fit the new 1/48 scale Hasegawa fuselage. First, I compared the Hasegawa rear fuselage/tail section with the resin part. I measured from the front of the parts to the rudder hinge line. The difference was less than 1 millimetre on my sample. So far, so good.

I next cut the Hasegawa main fuselage parts from the sprue and taped them together before checking the fit of the resin tail. The casting plug was a little too wide to fit, so I trimmed it down. This resulted in a fair fit, but there was a step on the starboard side of the fuselage. I thinned the inside of the starboard fuselage where it joined with the resin tail to improve the fit. With this very minor surgery, the AMtech resin tail mated very well with the Hasegawa main fuselage assembly. The main area requiring more attention will be the bottom of the tail where it meets the Hasegawa fuselage. The AMtech tail is slightly squarer in cross-section, and will need to be sanded on either side to match the plastic parts.

 

 

Some filling and sanding will be required to eliminate the vertical join line, but no more than would have been required to hide the join of Hasegawa's kit tail.

 

 

Conclusion

 

AMtech's 1/48 scale P-40K is the only game in town for this big-tailed Warhawk variant.

The origins of the plastic date back a decade, but the basic kit remains an accurate and nicely detailed representation of this important aircraft. The addition of the Black Box resin tail and the excellent AMtech decals makes this package even more appealing.

Some intriguing possibilities are also suggested by the fact that the AMtech supplies a full set of P-40E markings, and that the big resin tail also fits Hasegawa's P-40E.

I'd be tempted to build Hasegawa's kit as a P-40K using AMtech's resin tail and decals; then build a P-40E from the left over AMtech parts. The benefit of this approach is that you be able to build a P-40E without the need to cut the fuselage, resulting in a more straightforward modelling project. You will have three excellent P-40E markings options to choose from on AMtech's decal sheet too!

Regardless of whether you build the model as a standalone P-40K or as a part of a mix and match project, AMtech's big tail Warhawk will be a worthwhile addition to any Allied WWII model collection.

Recommended.

Thanks to AMtech for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
except Title Image Copyright 2005 by AMtech
Page Created 19 April, 2005
Last updated 20 April, 2005

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