KIT: Monogram 1/72 P-6E Hawk
KIT #: PA 208
PRICE: 70 cents when new
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1968 molding


For many, this is the Curtiss that started a long run of fighters that lasted through the 1930s and into WWII, culminating with the P-40, Curtiss' last successful fighter design. The P-6E,was a first-line pursuit aircraft of the early 1930s, was the last of the fighter biplanes built in quantity for the Army Air Corps. The P-6 series of aircraft had 13 distinct sub-types of 8 different models, A-H, (although the C model conversion was cancelled before completion). The U.S. Army Air Corps placed an order for 18 P-6s in 1929. The P-6 was another modification of the basic P-1; in this case the P-1B.

Originally designated the Y1P-22, it was later redesignated the P-6E because of the similarity to the other P-6 series airplanes. The P-6E was never used in combat, but it is perhaps the best-known of all the "between wars" Army pursuit aircraft. Despite its excellent performance, being able to reach 200 mph in top speed, only 46 P-6E's were ordered because of the shortage of funds for the Air Corps during the austere days of the depression. Fortunately, one has survived and is in the USAF Museum, last seen in the markings of the 17th Pursuit Squadron.


Every one I've ever seen has been molded in yellow. The overall level of detailing is really quite good, especially when you consider this is a nearly 50-year old mold. Fabric detail is a bit overstated, but really not bad at all. For those of us who blanche at painting the falcon's feet on the spats, that part is raised detail so it is easy to do by hand with properly thinned paint. There is no cockpit detail at all, that being filled with a pilot figure.

One of the down sides of buying at swap meets is getting a kit that is missing bits. This one is no exception as it is missing the gun sight and the aileron actuating rods. Also gone astray is the head rest part. All are simple enough shapes to make out of sprue or rod.

Instructions are well done with three nicely drawn construction steps. Typical of the time, a written sequence is also provided. A painting guide is given with the various parts and their generic colors given. We are basically talking Olive Drab with Yellow flight surfaces. The decal sheet is well printed but so old that I seriously doubt if it is useable, even with the use of restoratives. As 1/72 P-6E aftermarket sheets are not exactly falling off dealer's shelves, choosing markings will be difficult. Those that are provided are for the 17th Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge AFB.


Most will look for this kit as part of a nostalgic return to their misspent youth, but regardless of the reason, this and others in the series are still very nice little models that will hold up well to much of what is in current production.

December 2005

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