Trumpeter 1/32 P-40F Warhawk
KIT #: 03227
PRICE: CAD$95.00
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Joe Cooke
NOTES: New tool kit. OOB build using new Tamiya Lacquer paints exclusively

HISTORY

The Alison engine Warhawks were quite limited in altitude due to their engine's inability to provide sufficient power above 15,000 feet or so. One solution to the altitude performance problem was to fit the P-40 with a supercharged Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. This idea came from the British, as they noticed that their Allison powered Kittyhawks and Mustangs had poor performance at high altitudes, while their own Merlin powered Hurricanes and Spitfires didn't have the same problems. Curtiss fitted the second P-40D with a 1,300 hp (969 kW) Merlin 28. Production aircraft had the American-made 1,390 hp (1,040 kW) Packard V-1650-1 Merlin. The resulting P-40F (Model 87B) was the first variant to carry the "Warhawk" name.

Along with the added power of the Merlin engine came a decrease in directional stability. Curtiss attempted to fix this by fitting a dorsal fillet to the tail of a single P-40F, however, this was not adopted into production. Starting with the P-40F-5, the tail was lengthened by about 20 in.

Although the P-40F was superior to the Allison powered P-40s, there was a shortage of Merlin engines due to the vast number of aircraft that used them. Parts for these engines were becoming scarce, and maintenance became an issue. As a result, at least 70 P-40Fs were re-engined with V-1710-81s of 1,360 hp. These aircraft became known as P-40R-1s.

THE KIT

6 crisply moulded grey styrene frets, 3 clear, rubber tyres, 2 PE frets, and a beautiful decal sheet. For some reason I donít understand the gun site is left incomplete with no upper frame or glass piece.

CONSTRUCTION

 Starting with cockpit as per usual, it is fairly well detailed. Accuracy on seat shape is suspect so some may want to go aftermarket. Kit included PE seatbelts are fine, but for some reason as mentioned the gun site is left incomplete. Eduard PE interior sets from basically any P40 and then some will work, so many will have needed parts in spares box.

Fuselage closes up with no issue at all, and wings fit perfectly with no filler needed. The leading edge seam is a bit hard to clean up between gun barrels. You may need to get creative with custom thinny sticks.

Kit prop is nice but seam is a pain to get rid of due to location against prop blades. Some may cut prop and fit blades later. Inner rad detail is nice, with PE grills and filters. Kit exhaust is also not bad, and can be put in at end after painting, so donít follow kit instructions.  You can have flaps either up or down, with PE frame detail, a really nice touch OOB.

Canopies are crystal clear, and two mains are provided, so you have room for error. Rubber tires are rubber, I donít mind them but lots will opt for resin. Be careful with the gear legs, they are a tight fit and fragile, I snapped one ham-fistedly.  

COLORS & MARKINGS

I always use lacquer paints, normally MRP but when Tamiya released a new range I had to test them. They are fantastic and every color on this model is the new LP range. I used olive drab 1 and 2 to give tonal variation in this scheme.

The kit decals actually worked a treat, bedding down fine.  The kit provides markings for four options, though no information is given as to any of the subjects: P-40F, 41-19831, 68 FS/347 FG which was my choice due to shark mouth, P-40F, unknown, 64 FS/57 FG, P-40F, unknown, 86 FS/79 FG, P-40F, unknown, 66 FS/57 FG

CONCLUSIONS

Some people may complain about the overall shape of this kit. I however think they hit a homerun. The detail, straight forward build without huge parts count, and engineering made it a joy. I would recommend it without hesitation. The kit really goes together nicely. Fit and engineering are good, and it was a joy and boosted me out of a slump.

Joe Cooke

25 February 2019

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