Trumpeter 1/32 P-40N Warhawk Kit First Look
by Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2019||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||2212||Primary Media||Styrene, photo-etch|
|Pros||See text||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$89.95|
The P-40N Warhawk was the last production version of the series with several thousand examples produced for the USAAF, RAF, Commonwealth, and Soviet Air Force. Initial production blocks of the P-40N went through a weight reduction process and the type had four .50 caliber machine guns in the wings. While this version had the best rate of climb and top speed, complaints from the field saw the return of the six-gun to P-40N production. Production of the P-40N started in 1942 and ran well into 1944, but the type was phased out in favor of higher performance fighter aircraft.
Many, many years ago, Trumpeter announced a series of 1/32 scale P-40 kits which have appeared as NEW in every catalog since at least 2013. Earlier this year, Trumpeter finally released their first P-40 in this scale, the P-40F. Not only did this kit suffer from the same cockpit error as their smaller-scale releases, this was their first Merlin-powered variant and Trumpeter retained the same nose shape aside from removing the dorsal carburetor intake. Merlin-powered Warhawks (Kittyhawks) featured a flatter hood profile than the Allison-powered variants. Nevertheless, several builds of this kit appeared online and the model otherwise goes together nicely.
Here is their second installment in their P-40 series with the P-40N. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on eight parts trees, plus two small trees of clear parts, one set of rubber tires, and two frets of photo-etched parts. Among the features in this kit:
- Basic cockpit (see notes)
- Nicely done pilot seat with photo-etched pilot restraints
- Positionable frameless canopy
- Decent radiator section with photo-etched grilles
- Choice of round or fishtail exhaust stacks
- Positionable wing ammo trough doors
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable elevators
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable cowl flaps
- Optional centerline drop tank
The kit provides markings for four options, though no information is given as to any of the subjects. As best we can piece together:
- P-40N, 376, 23 FG
- P-40N, 62, 80 FG
- P-40N, 663, RoCAF
- P-40N, 8, Soviet Naval Aviation, 'Za Safonova'
- First and foremost, this kit suffers from the same error as most other P-40 kits (and you'd think Trumpeter would have learned from their previous smaller-scale P-40 releases), the cockpit floor is flat and level. The P-40 didn't have a cockpit 'floor' as that floor surface is the upper surface of the wing. It should be curved and angled accordingly. Since this mistake has been made before, the depth of the rear bulkhead and pilot seat may be compressed as a result of the the false floor. The rest of the cockpit details are usable, but rather simplistic given this scale - the throttle quadrant is a good example.
- The rudder pedals sit immediately behind the instrument panel, but on the full-scale aircraft, they reside further behind the panel (unless the pilot has really short legs).
- The elevators don't look right to my eyes and when compared to the Hasegawa 1/32 P-40, they are a bit shallower and have a slightly different shape. Nothing earth-shattering, but if I noticed it...
- The flap wells are overly complex. The kit provides photo-etched rear ribs to go up inside the upper surface of the flap well. You can close up the flaps, but these photo-etched parts remind me of the early Eduard photo-etched flap wells.
- While the kit provides positionable gun ammo trough panels, the bays are empty and no ammo belts are included. For whatever reason, the gun bays are not provided (molded closed).
- I was curious about the patriotic slogan on the Soviet example 'Za Safanova' (For Safanov). This aircraft was in memory of Boris Feoktistivich Safanov, a Lieutenant Colonel (podpolkovnik) stationed in the Murmansk region. He had flown well over 200 combat missions and was twice awarded 'Hero of the Soviet Union'. On his final flight, he took off in his P-40E to provide cover for an incominig convoy and had shot down three Ju 88s before suffering engine failure and crashing into the icy Barents Sea.
I've had the P-40F in my build queue since it was released, but I am more hopeful of this version as it will take less work (hopefully) to get a nice result. I really which Hasegawa would reissue their 1/32 P-40N as it does go together beautifully.