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Curtiss P-40N Warhawk
"Battle of Imphal"

Academy, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal

Contents and Media:

73 parts in very dark green plastic (Academy kit is moulded in a more friendly grey); 11 parts in clear plastic; one marking options on the decal sheet.

Price:

GBP£23.99 UK Price (£19.99 Export Price) Plus Shipping at Hannants

and hobby stores online and worldwide

Scale:

1/48

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Accurate outline; correct curved cockpit floor; crisp and fine recessed panel lines; simple parts breakdown; some good detail.

Disadvantages:

Missing and oversimplified detail, particularly in the cockpit and wheel wells; spinner too pointy; propeller blades too long.

Recommendation:

At nearly 30 years old Academy's Mauve 1/48 scale P-40N rebox may be getting a bit long in the tooth but its surface textures are still world class. Add to this its accuracy and simple parts breakdown and it means that the kit is still a good starting point for a detailing project with no shortage of suitable aftermarket cockpits, wheels and more available today.

Reviewed by Brett Green

Introduction

 

The 1994 debut release from new Japanese model company Mauve was their 1/48-scale P-40N Warhawk.

Their second release was a Kittyhawk IV – essentially the same sprues with two new marking options for RAAF P-40Ns. This kit could easily be identified at 20 paces by its lurid lime-green styrene.

Next cab off the rank was a 1/48-scale P-40M. Clever engineering permitted this variant to be depicted by a few new parts for the canopy and mid-fuselage. The final Mauve P-40 was a Kittyhawk III. This version was the P-40M kit with two new markings options for Desert Air Force Kittyhawks.

 

 

Sadly, in January 1995, Kobe was struck by an earthquake of 6.9 magnitude that caused more than $100 billion in damage. That damage included the destruction of Mauve’s factory and the abrupt end of this promising company.

Over the years, Eduard re-released the P-40M and N kits in their ProfiPACK range with resin and photo-etched parts.

In 2021, Academy repackaged the Mauve P-40N sprues with three new decal options as Item No. 12341. This boxing is widely available today. Apart from the decals, the main difference is that Academy’s kit is moulded in medium grey-coloured plastic.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Academy's re-boxed 1/48-scale P-40N comprises just 73 parts in pale grey plastic and eleven clear parts. Markings are supplied for three options.

 

  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Academy Kit No. 12341 - USAAF P-40N Battle of Imphal Review by Brett Green: Image
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Surface textures are crisply recessed and exceptionally fine, but there are a few sink-marks on the fuselage wing root area.

 

 

The kit provides nicely detailed individual exhaust stubs that are partially hollowed out.

 

 

The undercarriage also includes some subtle detail in the form of separate retraction struts and inner door actuators.

Despite these high points, the kit suffers from a Jekyll and Hyde approach to detail.

The cockpit is very basic, the wheel wells are only three-quarters boxed in, and the wheels, although the correct version, are oversimplified.

The instrument panel is pretty good but you're on your own with the dial details - no decals or photo-etch here.

 

 

The sidewalls are a bit flat but will probably be passable with careful painting, highlighting and shading.

 

 

The seat is very thick and not especially accurate. There is no attempt to replicate the tubular mount behind the seat either.

 

 

Interestingly, Academy includes the upper mid fuselage insert for the P-40E-N but it does not supply the associated clear part. Presumably this sprue has been included to offer the covered hub option for the main wheels.

 

 

The Academy kit also omits many details such as the spine navigation light, the fresh-air intakes, landing gear indicators, brake lines, whip aerials, fuel dump pipe, canopy rails, mirror and gunsight bead.

In addition, the propeller blades are around 3mm too long – quite noticeable .

 

 

The oleo scissors are inexplicably moulded to the oleo struts, which would make for a very uncomfortable landing!

 

 

Unlike the Hasegawa P-40s, the fuselage of this kit is a dedicated P-40N, which will result in a cleaner build with less filling and sanding required.

The engine covers are also moulded as part of the fuselage halves, simplifying construction.

The only ordnance provided is a centreline drop tank. Cowl flaps and landing flaps are moulded shut.

Clear parts are free from distortion but if I recall correctly, the sliding canopy section does not sit down on the spine without some extra work.

 

 

The clear sprues include tiny formation lights.

 

 

The fit of the basic kit is generally very good with one notable exception: the clear fuselage insert to the rear of the cockpit is not broken down along natural panel lines so careful test fitting, filling, sanding and re-scribing will most likely be required. Gaps may also be encountered at the wing trailing edges.


 

Markings:

The kit decal sheet offers three options:

 

 

The most striking is presented with a large skull on the engine cowling. This was attached to 80th FG at Assam, India in 1944.

 

 

Also included is an RAAF Kittyhawk Mk.IV, Cleopatra, flown by Wing Commander Geoff Atherton, 80 Squadron RAAF in New Guinea, 1944.

 

 

The third option is a USAAF aircraft from 49th FG in natural metal finish that was essentially used in an aggressor role to help train new pilots.

 

 

The light colours look translucent against the blue decal backing, so if you plan to use the kit decals you might consider spraying a white base coat underneath first.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Hasegawa's 1/48 scale P-40 kits are superior in virtually every respect but I still have a soft spot for the old Mauve kit.

At nearly 30 years old Academy's Mauve 1/48 scale P-40N rebox may be getting a bit long in the tooth but its surface textures are still world class.

Add to this its accuracy and simple parts breakdown and it means that the kit is still a good starting point for a detailing project with no shortage of suitable aftermarket cockpits, wheels and more available today.

Purchased by reviewer


Review Text and Images Copyright 2023 by Brett Green
Page Created 13 March, 2023
Last updated 13 March, 2023

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