Hasegawa 1/32 P-40N Warhawk Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2009||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||08195||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$79.95|
The P-40 was an evolutionary development from the Curtiss drawing boards which started with the Model 75. Curtiss' Model 75 created the basic wing and fuselage that would distinguish this unique family, but equipped with a radial engine, this prototype would lead to the earlier P-36 Hawk. As engine technology continued, an Allison V1710 liquid-cooled engine was mounted on the firewall, and the resulting streamlined cowling led to the now-familiar P-40 silhouette.
Powered by the 1,000 horsepower Allison V-1710 engine, the early P-40s were underpowered and combat experience had shown that the twin .303 and twin .50 caliber machine guns of these early variants lacked sufficient firepower. Despite this, the aircraft was so ruggedly designed that in capable hands, the P-40 could hold its own against the enemy aircraft fielded in the early stages of World War II.
The P-40N was the final production version of the Warhawk powered by the later 1,200 horsepower version of the V-1710. The early P-40Ns were also the sport models of the Warhawk family which were the fastest and most maneuverable airframes. This speed and agility was achieved through serious weight-saving updates to the airframe that included the deletion of two of the aircraft's six .50 caliber machine guns. After many complaints from the field though, Curtiss restored the guns and many other deleted items to make the P-40N an effective fighter-bomber and rendering one of the heaviest variants. The P-40P had been scheduled to build using the P-40N airframe and the Packard Merlin engine, but these aircraft were built as P-40Ns as well.
Hasegawa continues to turn out different variants of the Curtiss P-40 family. We've previously examined the P-40E and P-40K kits, and the P-40M is scheduled for release very soon. Here we have the P-40N and this release is hallmarked with markings for the VERY colorful '15,000th Curtiss Fighter' airframe.
This kit, molded in light gray styrene, is presented on eight parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. You can see by the layout of some of these trees that these are really subsets of a larger set of tooling that get gated to mold only those parts needed for a particular variant.
Like their 1/48 scale tooling, the tail section is rendered separately from the main fuselage to facilitate the short-tail and round-tail versions from the previous releases, and the long-tail replacement for this kit. The gaps in the wing leading edges are for fillets that have different numbers of holes for the in-wing machine guns, with the number of holes corresponding to the variant.
The cockpit is nicely laid out with details molded into the floor and sidewalls and additional detail parts to complete the busy look of the front office. Even the hydraulic hand pump handle is there.
I'm really pleased with the detail in the wheel wells. Eduard had produced a beautiful photo-etch set for the Revell kit to represent the stiffeners inside the wheel well that were absent in the stock Revell kit, but they are done nicely here.
The kit does have some really nice details in here including correct open dove-tailed cowl flaps, separately molded tires and wheel hubs to make painting much easier, and very nice main landing gear struts. External stores include a centerline drop tank or a single bomb suspended on the centerline.
Stepping up this nice offering is a very impressive pilot figure seated in the cockpit. This isn't your usual two or three-piece figure, this one is eight pieces and the detailing here is also very nicely rendered.
The windscreen is molded with the forward deck to eliminate the usual gap under the windscreen. Any filling or sanding is done on the portion of the deck that gets painted anyway. The kit also comes with two canopy sections, each with a slightly different width. One is tailored to drop onto the canopy rails for a closed cockpit. The other is designed to properly straddle the dorsal spine for an open canopy.
Markings are provided for one aircraft:
- P-40N, '15,000th Curtiss Fighter'
The decal sheet carries the vast number of national markings ever worn by a Curtiss-built fighter.
This popular tooling from Hasegawa opens up more options for colorful subjects and aftermarket possibilities. While I wish the tooling wasn't so modular, but with a little patience and skill the completed model should show no hint of the tooling strategy.
If you'd like to see just how well this tooling does go together, check out an earlier build of the 1/32 P-40E Warhawk.