Hobbycraft 1/48 P-36 Hawk




$14.95 MSRP


At least three aircraft


Scott Van Aken





You know, Hobbycraft has been getting a bum rap ever since it started producing kits. They are probably one of the first companies to use Korean mold makers to produce their models and thanks to their pioneering, Korea has become a major player in today's hobby of scale modeling. Yes, their first kits were pretty rough and had some problems, particularly their decals and instructions, but over the years, Hobbycraft has produced a number of very nice kits and of subjects that had not been kitted before or had been done poorly. HC is not in the same league as Hasegawa or Tamiya and yet is often compared to these companies, a comparison that is patently unfair to Hobbycraft.

One of the most successful series of kits, and certainly one with probably the most boxings is the P-36, early P-40 kits. These share a lot of the same sprues, with only minimal sprue changes and a different decal sheet to allow a plethora of options. The P-36 is a particular favorite of mine, and sad to say that I've only built one of the series, that being the French Hawk 75A. That was a rather positive experience so I thought I'd take a look at another boxing, this time being the 'Pearl Harbor' version that I got at a swap meet.

 The kit itself has the required engraved panel lines and these are crisply done. The cockpit is well done with detail on the side walls and a nicely done seat, controls and instrument panel. A harness set is really all that is needed to complete things. The kit is pretty basic in terms of what is offered. Options are minimal and are basically small things like different exhaust, pitot tubes, prop dome, and a shell casing collector. You can also pose the canopy open should you wish. The first kits had a bit of a problem with the 'knuckle' area of the landing gear and these kit instructions tell you how to alleviate that problem.

Speaking of instructions, these are better than they used to be with a good drawings, however color information is only supplied for the camo scheme so you have to rely on other sources for interior, landing gear and wheel well info.

When it comes to decal options you have your choice between an American and Brazilian aircraft. Both are in OD over Neutral Grey. The US plane has two options: one during the Pearl Harbor attack and the other about a month later. This later scheme has the red and white tail stripes. You have to paint the white. I also think it may be missing a blue section just forward of the stripes, but this may well have been a pre-war marking and not applicable to this version. The Brazilian version is quite similar with one option having a yellow cowling. There are a number of extra serial numbers so that  different planes can be done. The camo section has a number of question marks for different parts of the scheme so it would be in your best interest to do some research in order to model a specific aircraft. These decals are of the later Hobbycraft variety so are excellent.


Really, this is the only logical choice for a P-36. The old AMT kit is rife with shape problems and while the HC kit isn't a Tamiya, it is the right shape and really a fine kit. It also is not a fiddly kit so is one that, despite the 'experienced' listing on the box, just about any modeler should be able to do a good job with it.

This kit provided by me for your previewing pleasure.

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