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Curtiss P-40M / N
Kittyhawk Mk.IV

 

Italeri, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Italeri No. 2658 - Kittyhawk Mk.IV
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: around 65 parts in grey plastic; seven clear plastic parts; markings for six aircraft.
Price: GBP15.31 will be available online from Hannants website and retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Most numerous variant of this important fighter; accurate outline; reasonable level of detail; useful options with all parts needed for either P-40M and N variants; high quality clear parts; excellent marking options.
Disadvantages: Some mould deterioration evident on rear fuselage; small details missing (see text); wheels not appropriate for P-40N
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green


Italeri's 1/48 scale P-40M/N will be available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

If this kit looks a little familiar, it is because the sprues have been released in other guises.

The initial version of this kit was a P-40N and several other variants from AMT in the early 1990s, followed by AMtech's release of P-40E, F, L and K kits based on the same family of moulds between 2002 and 2005. However, we have not seen the P-40N since the original AMT boxings of the 1990s.

It should also be noted that, as far as I am aware, this is the first time that all the parts required for both the M and the N variants have been included in a single box.

Italeri's 1/48 scale P-40M/N comprises around 65 parts in medium grey styrene and seven parts in clear. Panel lines are crisply recessed, complimented by restrained lines of rivets here and there.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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Detail in the cockpit is adequate. Wheel wells are boxed in on three sides, but the main undercarriage legs are a little simplified.

Supplied stores include two 500lb bombs and a centreline drop tank.

Some smaller details are missing. These include the ring and bead gunsight, mirror, whip antennas, fuselage spine navigation light, fuel dump, fresh air intakes and landing gear indicators. The canopy rails have also been omitted. All of these items can fairly easily be added from scrap plastic and other materials commonly found in the modelling toolbox.

The wheels are the larger variety appropriate for variants up to the P-40M. The P-40N used smaller diameter wheels. Fortunately, four different varieties of accurate P-40N wheels are available in resin from Ultracast.

The overall shape and contours are good, but the spinner comes to a perfectly sharp point. The overall profile of the aircraft looks better when this part is slightly rounded-off.

The moulds have held up quite well over the years, but there is some slight distortion of the plastic on the rear fuselage. It is not terrible, but some modellers may want to smooth and rescribe this area..

 

 

The clear parts are impressively thin and free of distortion.

For the first time, this kit offers the clear parts for both the (P-40M Kittyhawk III), and the P-40N (Kittyhawk IV)

The sliding section of the canopy will ride high when in the "open" position on both variants. A vacform replacement will address this problem.

 

 

Kit engineering is quite conventional. I have built a few of the AMtech versions of this kit and the only troublesome area is the fit of the engine cowling panels. I recommend that these panels should be glued in place before the fuselage halves are joined. Last time, I "tacked" the panels in place with super glue, then made the bond permanent with liquid glue. There may also be a gap at the wing root join. Check the fit before gluing the wing to the fuselage and, if necessary, a spreader bar can be installed to widen the fuselage.

If you are building the P-40N / Kittyhawk IV, you will need to cut out a section of the fuselage spine immediately behind the cockpit. This is well marked on the inside of the fuselage with a deep cutting line. Note that the joins do not coincide with panel lines, so you should fill and sand these to eliminate any unwanted seams.

 

 

Six marking options are offered, including two US P-40s in bare metal, Olive Drab examples from Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, plus Dutch and British Kittyhawks.



 

Conclusion

 

There is no doubt that Hasegawa's new 1/48 scale P-40N kit offers clearly superior detail and surface features compared to this kit.

Even so, I have a bit of a soft spot for these AMT-sourced P-40s. They are easy to build (arguably easier than Hasegawa's), with relatively few fit problems. If you are building the P-40M, the only inserts are the cowl panels and these fall on natural panel lines. Italeri's P-40M/N will also appeal to modellers on a budget, as it will be less expensive than either the Hasegawa or Eduard/Mauve kits.

Italeri has added further value to the package by including the canopy and cockpit parts required to build either the P-40M or P-40N; plus a big, colourful decal sheet with six very interesting and very international options.

Some good, inexpensive accessories are available for this kit too. The True Details cockpit is one that comes to mind. I used this inexpensive yet very effective resin cockpit when I last built the AMT P-40N (pictured below) in 2004.

 

 

There is still a place in the world for Italeri's 1/48 scale P-40M/N!

Recommended.

Thanks to Italeri for the review sample.


Review Text and Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 19 March, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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