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AMT/Ertl 1/48 scale Curtiss P-40N Warhawk

Kit: No. 8798
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: AMT/Ertl, P.O. Box 500, Dyersville, IA 52040-0500, phone: 800-553-4886
Price: $16.50
Comments: Injection molded, 67 parts, decals.

CURTISS' P-40N was the last production version of the Warhawk. Considered obsolete when the United States entered World War II, its rugged construction and overall versatility allowed it to soldier on until the end of the war.

The N model is the first of several P-40s expected from AMT. The big clue to subsequent versions is the molded-in aft-scanning window depressions behind the canopy. These are typical of E's, F's, L's, M's and early N's, but you must cut away this area to fit the late N aft canopy provided in this kit. AMT suggests scribing on the recessed cut lines inside the fuselage halves, but if you're like me, you'll have to clean up the cut area and use filler to adjust the fit.

The kit features excellent recessed surface detail with only two small sink holes on the air intake. The fuselage halves in my kit were warped, but I was able to straighten them with repeated heating and bending. I made a bar from kit sprue to spread the lower front fuselage to get the wing to fit.

I also noticed that the wing dihedral was not sufficient, so I cut a V-shaped wedge out of the front of the lower wing cross member to make it bendable. Filing the mating surfaces and applying upward pressure while the glue set increased the dihedral.

The bottom edges of the separate cowl panels blend smoothly to the fuselage, but align poorly at the top. You may want to install black-painted sheet styrene under the carburetor intake and in the bottom of the cowl to eliminate the see-through effect.

The landing gear is OK for the scale, but there are no retraction struts for the doors. In step 3, the instructions show the right main gear strut/wheel assembly but call it the left one. In addition, gear doors 9 and 10 are reversed in step 7D.

I painted my Warhawk with Gunze Sangyo acrylics. Decals are provided for two aircraft, the example I made and "Geronimo," a sand-and-blue-painted aircraft. I had trouble getting the decals to conform even with setting solution, so I substituted Super Scale insignias. My main reference was Squadron/Signal's P-40 Warhawk in Action.

It took 23 hours to complete my model. Once you get past the fit problems, this kit makes a convincing late P-40.

Jim Zeske


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