MY REVIEW AND BUILD OF TESTOR'S KIT #12456
1/72 SCALE P-40B WARHWK FLYING TIGER


The P-40B Warhawk Fighter Aircraft:
The Douglas P-40B Warhawk was a World War II AmericanAmerican single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk.

The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation's main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.

P-40 Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps and after June 1941, USAAF-adopted name for all models, making it the official name in the U.S. for all P-40s. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.

P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during June 1941. No. 112 Squadron Royal Air Force, was among the first to operate Tomahawks in North Africa and the unit was the first Allied military aviation unit to feature the "shark mouth" logo, copying similar markings on some Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 twin-engine fighters.

The P-40's lack of a two-speed supercharger made it inferior to Luftwaffe fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 or the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in high-altitude combat and it was rarely used in operations in Northwest Europe. However, between 1941 and 1944, the P-40 played a critical role with Allied air forces in three major theaters: North Africa, the Southwest Pacific, and China. It also had a significant role in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Alaska and Italy. The P-40's performance at high altitudes was not as important in those theaters, where it served as an air superiority fighter, bomber escort and fighter-bomber. Although it gained a postwar reputation as a mediocre design, suitable only for close air support, recent research including scrutiny of the records of individual Allied squadrons indicates that this was not the case: the P-40 performed surprisingly well as an air superiority fighter, at times suffering severe losses but also taking a very heavy toll of enemy aircraft. The P-40 offered the additional advantage of low cost, which kept it in production as a ground-attack aircraft long after it was obsolete as a fighter.

The Aircraft was perhaps best known for its use in China, befor the US entered the war.

The Flying Tigers, known officially as the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), were a unit of the Chinese Air Force, recruited from U.S. aviators. From late 1941, the P-40B was used by the Flying Tigers. They were divided into three pursuit squadrons, the "Adam & Eves", the "Panda Bears" and the "Hell's Angels".

Compared to opposing Japanese fighters, the P-40B's strengths were that it was sturdy, well armed, faster in a dive and possessed an excellent rate of roll. While the P-40s could not match the maneuverability of the Japanese Army air arm's Nakajima Ki-27s and Ki-43s, nor the much more famous Zero naval fighter in a slow speed turning dogfight, at higher speeds the P-40s were more than a match. AVG leader Claire Chennault trained his pilots to use the P-40's particular performance advantages. The P-40 had a higher dive speed than any Japanese fighter aircraft of the early war years, for example, and could be used to exploit so-called "boom-and-zoom" tactics. The AVG was highly successful, and its feats were widely published, to boost sagging public morale at home, by an active cadre of international journalists. According to their official records, in just 6 1/2 months, the Flying Tigers destroyed 115 enemy aircraft for the loss of just four of their own in air-to-air combat.

Once the war started, the P-40 was in the thick of combat. The P-40 was the main USAAF fighter aircraft in the South West Pacific and Pacific Ocean theaters during 194142.

In the first major battles, at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines, USAAF P-40 squadrons suffered crippling losses on the ground and in the air to Japanese fighters such as the Ki-43 Oscar and A6M Zero. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, a few P-40s managed to shoot down several Japanese planes, most notably by George Welch and Kenneth Taylor.

However, in the Dutch East Indies campaign, the 17th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional), formed from USAAF pilots evacuated from the Philippines, claimed 49 Japanese aircraft destroyed, for the loss of 17 P-40s. The seaplane tender USS Langley was sunk by Japanese planes while delivering P-40s to Tjilatjap, Java. In the Solomon Islands and New Guinea Campaigns, as well as the air defence of Australia, improved tactics and training allowed the USAAF to more effectively utilize the strengths of the P-40.

Due to aircraft fatigue, scarcity of spare parts and replacement problems, the US Fifth Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force created a joint P-40 management and replacement pool on 30 July 1942 and many P-40s went back and forth between the air forces.

The 49th Fighter Group was in action in the Pacific from the beginning of the war. Robert DeHaven scored 10 kills (of 14 overall) in the P-40 with the 49th FG. He compared the P-40 favorably with the P-38:

"If you flew wisely, the P-40 was a very capable aircraft. [It] could outturn a P-38, a fact that some pilots didn't realize when they made the transition between the two aircraft. [...] The real problem with it was lack of range. As we pushed the Japanese back, P-40 pilots were slowly left out of the war. So when I moved to P-38s, an excellent aircraft, I did not [believe] that the P-40 was an inferior fighter, but because I knew the P-38 would allow us to reach the enemy. I was a fighter pilot and that was what I was supposed to do.

Even though later US aircraft were much superior to the P-40, like the P-51 Mustang, the F-4U Corsair, the P-47 Thunderbolt, the F6F Hell Cat, etc., The P-40 also continued service with many nations after word War II. Over two dozen countries during and after the war. The P-40 was used by Brazil, Egypt, Finland and Turkey. The last P-40s in military service, used by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), were retired in 1954.

Specifications:
Crew: 1
Length: 31.67 ft (9.68 m)
Wingspan: 37.33 ft (11.38 m)
Height: 12.33 ft (3.76 m)
Wing area: 235.94 ft (21.92 m)
Airfoil: NACA2215 / NACA2209
Empty weight: 6,070 lb (2,753 kg)
Loaded weight: 8,280 lb (3,760 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 8,810 lb (4,000 kg)
Powerplant: 1 Allison V-1710-39 liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,150 hp (858 kW)
Maximum speed: 360 mph (310 kn, 580 km/h)
Cruise speed: 270 mph (235 kn, 435 km/h)
Range: 650 mi (560 nmi, 1,100 km)
Service ceiling: 29,000 ft (8,800 m)
Rate of climb: 2,100 ft/min (11 m/s)
Wing loading: 35.1 lb/ft (171.5 kg/m)
Power/mass: 0.14 hp/lb (228 W/kg)
Armament
Guns: 6 .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns with 235 rounds per gun in the wings
Bombs: 250 to 1,000 lb (110 to 450 kg) bombs to a total of 2,000 lb (907 kg) on three hardpoints (one under the fuselage and two underwing)

The Academy P-40B Warhawk 1/72 Scale Model Aircraft:
This model is from Academy and is a straight forward build.

It is molded in grey, and there is little or no flash left on the sprues.

All in all, there are 42 parts on several sprues, and includes a clear plastic canopy. The panel lines are good. TThe fuselage is in two pieces including the vertical stabilizor.

The gear can be show in the ip or down pocition, I intend to build mine extended, on the ground.

The instructions are very straight forward and easy to follow.

There are decals for the Flying Tigers in China, though I have early World War II US markings and intend to use them. They are shown in the pics sbelow.

The cockpit is very modest but does have a seat, the main lever and a panel for the instrumentation...but no decal.

Here are some pictures of the box, the parts, the decals, and the instructions:



THE BUILD - Painting and building October 4, 2016

I started off using a tan and green camo pattern, with a pale blue underneath. The nose is red.I painted all of this and all of the parts needed to put the fuselage completely together. This included the modest cockpit parts.

They are turned out as shown:

Also, the painting is distincitve depending on which aircraft you build.

Here are some pics starting with fuselage, some of the parts painted on the spru, and then the fuselage together with the bombs and canopy attached. ANd finally the model together without decals::.

THE BUILD - Adding the canopy October 4, 2016

I then added the canopy to the aircraft. This included the two side panels wehere the canopy sliides baock, put principally the main canopy.

She is looking looks pretty good. In he next session I will add the landing gear, the belly fuel tank, and the decals and finish the model.

THE BUILD - Adding the fuel tank, landing gear and decals October 5, 2016

I added the belly tank. You have the option of a 500 lb bomb ot the tank and I chose the tank for use in extending anti-aircraft patrols.. I then added the gear and the forwad machine guns.

At this piint it was time for the decals, with the distinctive shark's moth, the ensignia, numbers, count of fowned JApanese aircraft, etc. Then the finish dull ocats and she was complete:



...and a few close ups:

...and there you have it. A complete 1/72 scale P-40 Warhawk.


Jeff Head's Carrier Strike Groups in 1/350 Scale:

The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, propbably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.

The completion of the US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.

The US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Sommerset, LPD-25, Bronco Models 1/350 Scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Acadamy's 1/350 scale USS Rueben James, FFG-57, and another Flight IIA US AEGIS class detroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82...all of these models which I already own.

The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its centerp[iece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (one of which is already completed), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN (which is also already completed) and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Tragalgar SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will use tt to start building a Royal Navy ARG.

The French CSG is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gualle, R91. I have purchased the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Duquesne, D603 DDG which is an anti-air multi-purpose DDG, and the French Aconit D612 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These five vessels will round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Perale S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase two of them and replace the De Grrasse and Duquesne with them, and then save those two for when a Mistral Class LPD is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale so I can create a French ARG with those vessels.

The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class (which I own), Trumpeters's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami and DDG-111 (both of which are Takinami Class DDGs which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. Should a 1/350 scale Osumi Class LPD be relased, I will buy two of those vessels and create a JMSDF ARG.

Then, finally it will be a complete Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which I own) the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Peter the Great, by Trumpeter (which I own), the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the new Yasen class Russian SSN (which I own), all in 1/350 scale. Some time in the more distant future when a 1/350 scale Russian version of the French Mistral class comes out (which is building in real life right now), I will add two of those and build a Russian ARG.

Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapaults. I will build the model as the Sao Paulo and thus start a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present. I have however purchased a set of 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhawks and S-3 Trackers to build a suitable airwing for the Sao Paulo.

Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimatly an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian Carrier Strike Group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier, the Vikrant, and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.

You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:

WORLD-WIDE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

...and most of their surface escorts at:

AEGIS AND AEGIS-LIKE VESSELS OF THE WORLD


FINE ALL-AMERICAN, LIBERTY ORIENTED BOOKS AUTHORED BY JEFF HEAD
Dragon's Fury

Dragon's Fury - World War Against America and the West
: Following great success in the War on Terror, politicians and analysts alike thought that future global conflict was impossible...but they were wrong. Journey into a possible future where Islamic terrorists sharpen their horrific skills & ally with Red China. In such a future, can the U.S. & western civilization survive?
Stand at Klamath Falls

The Stand at Klamatjh Falls
: How rural western farmers and their supporters stood up to entrenched environmentalism, activist judges, and agencies of the Federal gGovernment in southwestern Oregon...and prevailed.


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