Vultures Row – In Box Reviews by Doug Summers

The AMT/ERTL/AmTech/Italeri 1/48th Scale Curtis P-40E/L/N Warhawk kit

Aircraft History

This is the first of what I hope will be many future kit reviews/previews. The P-40 is one of the most iconic aircraft of WW II certainly, if not the 20 th Century in general. From the Far East to North Africa and beyond, the P-40 carved a niche for itself by being both easy to fly and deadly to air and ground opponents alike.

Kit Background & Info

More than 20 years ago AMT/ERTL produced a series of P-40 kits covering the ‘Allison Powered’ P-40E as well as most of the later ‘Merlin Powered’ P-40’s. In more recent years AmTech reissued these kits with resin parts for the engine and tail as well as a brand new P-40E fuselage that greatly enhanced the kit overall. While not as flashy (or as expensive) as the current crop of P-40s from Hasegawa, the kit still holds its own as a fairly accurate and buildable P-40 kit.

I recently had the opportunity to purchase a Lot of 24 of the AmTech P-40E kits (minus resin) at what was a bargain price. These were bagged kits having no box and only 1 set of instructions included covering an AVG P-40E flown by Tex Hill. The decal sheets included were printed by Microscale for one of the originally issued P-40E kits, having no relation to the instructions sent to me. With many decal options available in the aftermarket and the instructions for the kit easily copied it made this purchase a no brainer. Having the idea of sharing my good fortune with our local club I brought them to a meeting. As luck would have it, we were in need of a new ‘Group Build’ project and, as they say, the rest is history.

Kit Preview

The kit is molded in a soft tanish gray plastic and has very petite engraved panel lines throughout. There is some flash on parts of the kit but, on the whole it is a fine looking model. This kit has many features of all the P-40 kits produced by AMT including 2 options for engine cowling covers as well as round and fishtail exhaust manifolds. There are 2 instrument panels and although the canopy is not included for it, the raked spine necessary for an N is. Since this can easily be obtained from Squadron in vac-u-form (which is produced for them by Falcon) most of the late model P-40s can be produced using this bagged kit.

The main kit is broken down in a conventional manner with the fuselage split vertically and a 3 piece wing split 2 top halves and 1 large bottom The wings are very thin and show some warpage so care in construction will be necessary to keep them properly aligned. The lower cowl flaps are represented giving options for both opened and closed sets.

The cockpit is a multi-piece affair with seat, floor, sidewalls, rear bulkhead, control stick and the aforementioned instrument panel choices. There are options for 2 bombs, a drop tank and a very nice representation of the .50 cal guns and the shell ejection trays on the lower wing.

The landing gear is adequate though a bit simplified. Tires have the wheel covers installed and a lightly grooved tread. The gear wells are boxed in but will need a little work to improve their appearance.

With many aftermarket sets available to dress up various P-40 kits on the market and the fact that with little work they can be made to fit this kit (this includes resin cockpits, wheels, photoetched interior parts, flaps, and resin engine from Quickboost) you will have no problem producing a show stopping Tomahawk.

Always remember – There are NO unbuildable kits. There are only kits you don’t want to build. This may fall into the category of workmanlike as opposed to a fall-together, but it is still a very nice model.