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Special Hobby P-40N Warhawk

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with fine surface detail

Czech manufacturer Special Hobby has introduced a new line of “short-nosed” Warhawks (P-40D and later) starting with this handsome P-40N, the last production model of the Curtiss classic. 

Not to be confused with Special Hobby/MPM’s earlier P-40F kits, this is all-new tooling and the sprues show that there will be an extended family coming. In fact, Special Hobby has already released a Kittyhawk I, Kittyhawk III, and P-40K from this line. This kit includes three different instrument panels, two different seats, two different propellers, two different armored seat backs, two sets of exhaust stacks, and the fuselage halves are molded on a separate sprue.

Optional parts are included for an open or closed canopy, open or shut cowl flaps, spoked or covered main wheels, and a bomb or two different drop tanks for the centerline. Cartograf decals offer markings for two USAAF fighters and a Dutch East Indies aircraft in Australia.

The kit’s overall shape is fantastic, with impressive recessed detail. Equally impressive is the fit and the ease of assembly — the cockpit, with its separate instrument panel, sidewalls, seat, armored backrest, stick, and seat adjuster lever, fit perfectly inside the fuselage. The cockpit floor is molded onto the upper wing half. While there is no harness for the seat, CMK offers aftermarket resin seats with harnesses and other detail parts as shown on the back page of the instructions. Overall, it took just three hours to paint and assemble the interior.

The two-part radiator core provides realistic depth to the Warhawk’s characteristic “chin.” I like the separate clear castings for the sliding portion of the canopy; the open one is slightly larger to fit over the rear section.

I encountered no problems with the landing gear, but the tail-wheel casting is scale-thin and therefore fragile. I “painted” it first with a layer of gap-filling super glue to shore it up a bit.

The excellent decals went on perfectly. If the American insignias don’t look right to you, don’t fret — they represent faded insignias with the new white bars applied in mid-1942. There are no blue outlines on this example.

It took only 11 hours to finish my Warhawk. The bonus is that it appears to be the best rendition of this late-production P-40 available in this scale. Easy to build and looks right — now that’s what I like!

Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2019 issue.


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