KS 1/72 P-40K Warhawk Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||October 2007||Manufacturer||Kovazavody Semily|
|Kit Number||1001||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$5.00|
The Curtiss P-40K model featured a more powerful engine in the Allison V-1710-73 (F4R), otherwise it was a direct continuation of the P-40E. The initial production run had the short E model fuselage, which – due to the additional power – had a tendency to swing during take-off. In the K-1 through the K-5 batches, an extended dorsal fin was added to correct the problem. Batches K-10 to K-15 changed over to the longer P-40F fuselage. The later K marks could be distinguished by the E type nose, with its separate carburetor inlet and the lack of a radio mast, introduced in the F model, combined with the long fuselage.
The K had and automatic manifold pressure altitude regulator. The British term for this feature was automatic boost control. The P-40K-5 had rotary valve cooling added. Some of the aircraft from these batches, destined for Alaska and the Aleutians, were winterized. The K also introduced a new strengthened forward canopy. In another of the unaccountable moves, so far as designations are concerned, Curtiss took a P-40K-10 airframe and gave it the XP-40K designation. It was modified to test fly the V-1650-1 Allison Merlin engine and also the radiator in the wing concept. The P-60A was then to have replaced the P-40 on the production line, but problems with the new plane caused the Air Force to increase their order for the P-40K.
Kovozavody Semily is a model company based in Czechoslovakia. It is not to be confused with Kovozavody Prostejov (KP or Kopro) also a Czech model company.
This is the first, and only kit, that I have ever seen by this company. This release is a reboxing of the venerable Revell kit.
The kit comes in a small, sturdy end-opening type box. The box art shows the P-40K in the markings of the Flying Tigers, with the shark mouth and the Disney designed fuselage logo of a tiger wearing a top hat and clutching a Japanese flag, while leaping through a Chinese Aircraft insignia. There are 5 Japanese kill marks under the cockpit and the black tail serial no. 245914. This is the only marking provided on the decal sheet. Also, on the box art are three color photographs of the model made up from different angles.
The back of the box has a listing of Revell paint colors and their federal standard number equivalents, in Czech and English. There are also two scrap line-drawings of the nose and tail sections of the P-40K version.
Inside the box is a single and unsealed cello bag holding everything. Inside this bag is two light gray trees of parts, the clear cockpit canopy piece, the small decal sheet and the instructions. The instructions consist of a single sheet folded over three times to fit the box.
The face side of this sheet starts with general instructions about assembling the kit in English and Czech. This is followed by the history of the P-40 series of aircraft in English and Czech again. The history is credited to having been provided by Squadron Signal Publications. The bottom of the page has a four-view drawing of the painting and marking option (all ready described above). It is in overall olive drab over a light gray bottom.
The other side of the instruction sheet has 15 assembly steps. Each of these steps takes you very slowly through the build, with only a few parts shown to add in each step. Very good instructions!! In step 6 you can opt for either wheels down or retracted and in step no. 11 you can opt for either a belly tank or a bomb there. There is no stand in this kit (like Smer kits like to provide) so, if you do wheels up…you will have to hang the kit from the ceiling with some string. No pilot figure in this kit.
The first light gray parts tree holds: the fuselage halves, main wheels, landing gear legs, exhaust pipes, prop and it’s spinner, foot pedals, cockpit floor, engine air intake, hub caps, tail wheel etc. (26 parts)
The second light gray parts tree holds: the upper and lower wing halves (lower wing is full span – setting the dihedral), the horizontal tail surfaces, belly fuel tank halves and the bomb halves (9 parts). The wing and tail flaps and rudder are all molded solid. Detail is all engraved and should please most modelers.
The small decal sheet, already described above, and the instructions complete the kits contents. The decal sheet has a nice tissue on the face of it to protect the printing on it.
The P-40 has always been a favorite subject with WWII aircraft admirers, especially in the famous Flying Tiger marks. Man…I must have watched that John Wayne movie on TV a hundred times…and never tire of it.
I recommend this kit to both the novice and the advanced modeler.