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P-36 Kit

Hobbycraft 1/48 Hawk 75 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2009 Manufacturer Hobbycraft
Subject Hawk 75 Scale 1/48
Kit Number HC1416 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build, nice decal subject variety Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $29.98

First Look

P-36 Kit
P-36 Kit
P-36 Kit
P-36 Kit
P-36 Kit

The Seversky P-35 and Curtiss P-36 were both designed, built and operated during the mid-1930s. Many of these aircraft were in service during the opening days of World War Two. What is especially interesting is that BOTH of these aircraft were the basis of two of the most famous fighters from WW2.

Competing against the P-35 for a USAAC contract, the Curtiss Aircraft Company entered the P-36 Hawk. Curtiss already possessed a respectable history of aircraft production in the US, and the P-36 was the monoplane development of the biplane Curtiss Hawk. The P-36 also flew for the first time in 1935, and while unsuccessful in its competition against the P-35, a re-engined P-36A was bought by the USAAC. In addition to the US, Curtiss exported Hawk variants to France and the UK (designated the Mohawk). In the opening days of WW2, the Mohawk proved equal to the Luftwaffe's Bf109D. In the meantime, Curtiss continued development of an improved Hawk. By mating the P-35 airframe with an Allison V1710 liquid-cooled engine, the first P-40 was born. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Hobbycraft has re-released their P-36 Hawk and Hawk 75 kits after a several year absense. The kit is molded in light grey styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus a singe tree of clear parts. This kit features sharp molding and recessed/scribed panel lines. Free of flash, the parts trees in the kit are also free of sink marks and ejector pin marks in visible places.

The kit is rather spartan in the cockpit detail department, but is laid out such that the scratchbuilder/superdetailer will have a clean palette to work with. Details are limited to seat, seat frame, floor, aft bulkhead, control stick, gear extension lever, and instrument panel with rudder pedals. Aftermarket detail sets have been available for this kit as well as the Academy boxing of this kit as well.

The P-36 features the canvas barrier molded in the wheel wells (used to keep the dust/debris out of the wing). Nice job of molding!

The engine detail is simple but effective. While the cooling vanes on the radial engines are not represented, by the time you get some good detail painting done on either engine and install it inside of those tight cowls, you'll never notice the vanes.

The overall fit of the kit is very good. It doesn't look like seam filler will be required if care is taken during assembly. The only potential problem I foresee is the underside wing/fuselage joint, but this will be little more than a touch of cyano gap filler and some sanding/polishing. The plastic that Academy uses in their kits responds well to Tenax, so a little care and patience will render a seamless flying machine.

Markings are provided for twelve examples with a nice variety:

  1. Hawk 75, CU-505, LeLv 32, Blue 5, Finnish AF, 1945
  2. Hawk 75, CU-555, LeLv 32, White 5, Finnish AF, 1942
  3. Hawk 75, CU-558, LeLv 32, White 8, Finnish AF, 1942
  4. Hawk 75, CU-574, LeLv 32, White 4, Finnish AF, 1944
  5. Hawk 75, CU-580, LeLv 32, White 0, Finnish AF, 1944
  6. Hawk 75, Luftwaffe, 1941
  7. Hawk 75, Luftwaffe, 1940
  8. Hawk 75, 295, GC I/4, 9, Dakar, French AF, 1942
  9. Hawk 75, 314, GC I/4, Dakar, French AF, 1941
  10. Hawk 75, GC I/4, 2, Dakar, French AF, 1942
  11. Hawk 75, GC II/5, 15, North Africa, French AF, 1941
  12. Hawk 75, GC II/5, 4, North Africa, French AF, 1942

The sheet is nicely printed and rendered with all of these subjects, though my pet peeve is visible here as well - you must add the center dot in the French roundels. These should have been printed in place for you.

This kit is a simple build that looks good out of the box and is ideal for newer modelers, but still has lots of potential for superdetailing for the AMS modeler as well.

My sincere thanks to Hobbycraft Canada for this sneak peek!