U.S. WW.II. fighter
Kit No. 489213. 1:48th scale
This is another update on the original AMT P-40 kit and AMtech are to be congratulated for making this version available, the plane was used by the allies in the North Africa campaign and the markings supplied reflect this with the inclusion of US and RAAF markings for Libya, Egypt and the western desert plus an additional set for a training Sqdn in Texas.
The box contains the original kit with its step in the fuselage where it meets the tail, plus a completely new fuselage correctly moulded. The new Item is the Black Box tail cast in resin there are also alternative cockpit parts which are shown in the construction sheet..
The resin tail has some delicate details around the rudder post which need clearing out with a small file and/or scalpel before mounting on the model and there is a hole to drill out for the tailwheel mount.Construction begins with the cockpit as usual and the sheet has drawings in 1/48th scale showing where to cut the kit fuselage, I found a little problem here if cut exactly where the line is shown the resin tail is not quite the same diameter, luckily as I always cut a couple of mm away from, and then sand back to the line, i had enough to fit the tail where the height matched the fuselage so be warned.
The engine cowlings had the exhausts fitted and then were mounted into their respective locations but I found that they were a little short in length and it showed where the spinner met the cowlings so I cemented small pieces of 15thou plasticard on the nose section to make up the difference. when this had hardened I sanded it to shape and the spinner matched perfectly.
There are a number of tiny holes to fill in the lower wing where other bomb racks etc. etc. were to fit but as these are not needed here I filled mine using 1mm rod cemented in then sanded flat when hard. When it came to mating the wings to the fuselage I found a slight gap between the two components on each side , to get over this I splayed the fuselage with a piece of sprue frame until it matched the wing area then after cementing, all it needed was a gentle sand down just to clean up the top join. The under surface needed a little attention as there was a small gap at the rear edge which I filled again using 15thou card strips to be later sanded down level, I hate using filler.
Tailplanes were fitted using superglue and the tiny gaps there only needed a few drops of the stuff to level them off, again a little sanding was needed to get a nice smooth contour.
The remainder of construction is fairly basic but do remember to paint the area inside the rear canopy windows the same as the outer camouflage colour before you add the windows..My prop and spinner are a push fit so were left off until all the spraying was finished but the canopies were masked and cemented into position first.
The paint I wanted was ANA sand 49 and the only tin I could find in my draw was an old tin from the Gloy authentic colour range and although it is positively ancient it matched my colour chips exactly and sprayed beautifully. The neutral grey 43 came from the old Compucolour range, the nearest FS colour to it is FS36270 not FS36118 as suggested.. Humbrols equivilant is Hu 176 and Xtracolor is X133.
When dry I shot a couple of dusted coats of Johnsons Klear (Future) to give a good base for the decals, these quickly released and were a pleasure to handle, next day I put another couple of coats of Klear over to seal everything in then dusted a matting coat, of three parts Klear to one part Tamiya flat base, over to bring the finish back to a slight sheen.
The masking was removed and any tiny details painted, the wheels were added and the whole thing left over night to harden off and there I had a new P-40K model for my collection a worthy addition.
Ted Taylor April 2005