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P-40B/C Tomahawk


Trumpeter, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Trumpeter Item No. 01632 - P-40B/C Tomahawk
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 33 light grey plastic parts on two sprues; 5 clear parts on one sprue; decals for 3 aircraft plus an A4 sized 4 page instruction booklet with a parts plan and 10 build diagrams. There are also 2 separate full colour pages with paint/decal instructions.
Price: Available from hobby retailers worldwide.
Sample supplied by Australian distributor, J.B. Wholesalers

USD$14.36 available online from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Very cleanly moulded with minimum flash; few sink mark; lots of detail; simple construction; excellent clear parts; superior to the Academy kit; easier to build than the AML kit
Disadvantages: Cockpit too shallow; radio hatch proud of fuselage; possibly main wheels too small; colours on decal sheet are too bright.
Recommendation: Recommended.


Reviewed by Glen Porter

Trumpeter's 1/72 scale P-40B/C is available online from Squadron.com





The Curtiss Hawk 81 / P-40B/C was a development of the Hawk 75, re-engined with an Allison in-line V12 liquid cooled motor. In British and Commonwealth service the Hawk 81 / P-40B/C was called the Tomahawk.

Trumpeter has labeled their kit “Warhawk”, but this American designation is not usually applied until the later P-40E.

The Model

This is a new moulding by Trumpeter and although the parts count is some what small, only 38 parts including clear, it would appear to be well detailed; far superior to the old Academy kit and much easier to build than the AML P-40C.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Unfortunately, it appears that some the of the well documented shortcomings of Trumpeter's larger scale Tomahawks (shallow cockpit and raised radio hatch) have been passed down to this new kit.

The exception is the multitude of rivets that were on the 1/48 and 1/32 scale kits have been omitted in 1/72. There are now just a few rivet lines left, but not enough to worry about.

The “A” sprue carries the fuselage halves, top engine cover, under nose intake, prop, spinner and backing plate, tail wheel and the shallow interior bits. “B” has the one-piece lower wing, two upper wing halves, tailplanes, under-carriage legs (length looks okay), undersize wheels with separate outer wheel covers, exhausts (no hollow ends) and main gear doors. Tail wheel doors are moulded on to the fuselage halves and control surfaces are moulded in neutral positions. The radiator flaps are moulded in the closed position but I would be inclined to try to scratch build them open.

The clear sprue, “C”, has five parts and is very clear and distortion free but the screen and canopy look a little on the thick side. There is no armoured glass to go inside the windscreen and although there are internal mounts if you want to cut a small rectangle of clear plastic. A landing light is on the clear sprue but it is not mentioned in the instructions. The canopy is moulded with a separate sliding section.


The sprues appear to be flash free. All ejector pin marks seem to be in places that won't be visible but there are some sink marks on the fuselage outside of the cockpit. Fortunately, these are very shallow and may be invisible once the model is painted.

The wheels appear to be too small, or at least the tyres are undersized. I don't have plans to compare to but alongside the AML, Hasegawa and Academy P-40 kits they look undernourished. This, with the shallow cockpit and raised radio hatch are the only blemishes on an otherwise very acceptable representation of the P-40B/C / Tomahawk.

I am sure that many modellers will ignore the above problems and happily build Trumpeter's 1/72 scale P-40B/C straight from the box, as it is still a very good kit – in my opinion the best 1/72 scale P-40B/C on the market by far.

However, I was very disappointed by the decals. There are markings for three aircraft:

  • a Flying Tiger (naturally), P-8127 in green and brown with grey undersides and a white 46 on the rear fuselage side. No pilot or time is given.

  • a Russian aircraft, AN281 in a lighter green and brown with a pale blue underside and white 24 on the rear fuselage.

  • Lastly, a British Tomahawk, AH972 GE-H in the European scheme of Dark Green, Dark Earth and Sea Grey Medium with Sky spinner, band and Squadron codes although these colours are not mentioned on the separate Paint/decal sheets



In fact I wouldn't take much notice of any of the colour recommendations. No pilot, Squadron or time is giver for this or the Russian aircraft also. My main criticism of the decals is the colour red. It is way too bright for all three aircraft yet on the colour sheet it looks okay. The Sky codes and band for the RAF aircraft is too yellow, similar to what you would get from Hasegawa. Then there are the stencils. They give you ten of them and absolutely no indication of where to put them. There are four navigation lights but only two on the sheet.

I have compared this kit reasonably closely with the AML kit which I happened to have at hand. Both look quite accurate externally, but the AML kit looks like a real pain to build.

This new Trumpeter offering should almost be “shake and bake” and even considering the abovementioned issues and the poor decals, is superior.

The best solution, though, would be a combination of both kits - Use AML’s resin interior and wheels plus their excellent decals with Trumpeter’s exterior plastic and another masterpiece will adorn your model shelves. Well, you know what I mean.





Don't get me wrong, even with the complaints that I have made above, this is still a lovely little kit. Trumpeter has delivered an early P-40 / Tomahawk that is far superior to anything already on the market with the exception of the AML kit, and far easier to build than that.

I would also not be surprised if Pavla, Quickboost or a similar after-market manufacturer fairly quickly comes up with an accurate interior and wheels for this kit as happened for the Sea Fury and Gannet.

Time will tell.


Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the review sample

Text Copyright © 2007 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 26 December, 2007
Last updated 26 December, 2007

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