Kits and accessories to model RNZAF variants.

1:72 Kits: by Dave Stewart and Peter Dingwall 

AIRFIX P-4OE:  Released in the early 1960's and reappears occasionally. Fuselage length is correct, span is 1/4" long - this can be fixed by reshaping the wingtips to improve the look. The kit is covered in rivets which will need sanding off. Can be made into a good replica of an RNZAF P-4OE.

FROG P-4O D/E  Kit No.391P: The first of the type produced in modern plastics. Released in 1950's. Has been re-issued in many packagings. Overlength and overspan - nearer to 1:70 scale.
A very basic kit with dimensional errors which are near impossible to correct.

HASEGAWA P-4OE and P-4ON: These two kits use a common wing sprue. Both are dimensionally correct and well moulded. These kits make up into good replicas of the RNZAF types. Both kits have been released in MINICRAFT packaging from the USA at one time.

HELLER P-4OE: First released in the 1970's. Dimensionally correct but lacks depth, especially behind the canopy -just doesn't look right. Excellent panel detail as was Hellers' habit in the 70's, pity about the shape!

MONOGRAM P-4ON: The first ever N, a 1960's kit which gets recycled every once in a while. Good detail for it's time, however the scale is 1:64. Looks good when assembled and detailed.

MATCHBOX P-4ON Kit No.PK-31: Very basic kit, surprisingly for a Matchbox kit it has raised detail! Span is just a fraction over, but the fuselage is 3/32" short. The canopy is too narrow. Not really a contender for serious modelling.

KOPRO P40K: Eastern European model from Kovozavody Semily of Czechoslovakia. Appears to be based on the Revell kit with modifications (MAP of Nov. '92 also calls it a shrunken Otaki P-40. Ed.) Dimensions are slightly undersized in span and length. The only K model injection kit known. Buildable and useful as the RNZAF had one short tailed K-1, NZ3108 -USAAC 42-45959 (although also listed as an E-1 Ed.) - probably of ex-Tonga American stock. Can also be made to duplicate the Alpine Fighter Collection P40K. (D.S.)

REVELL P-4OE Kit No.H-S23 (on original release): A contemporary of Airfix's kit of the 60's. The boxes were a work of art in the days before P.C, and definitely collectors items now. Model scales out spot on.
The drawbacks are oversized rivets, and deep trenches for canopy rails when the sliding canopy was a working feature. Can be made into a nice replica with a bit of work, and looks right - has the chunkiness of the P-4OE (as has the Airfix kit). Has been released over the years with a great variety of packaging and decal options.

Academy P-40N: The model is exquisitely molded, and the detail is very fine and crisp. When compared to the Hasegawa kit, it shows considerably more details in the cockpit and in the wheel wells. What makes it especially convenient to use is the possibility to build it either a P-40 M or P-40 N, so no more cross kitting is necessary.
(If you want to build a different Pacific warbird, there are even RAAF decals included.) Via Alexander Leon Laur .

General remarks: There are several other kits listed in 1:72 or close scale in various kit listings, none of them sighted by the writers. These are:
Danbury Mint - Metal 1:72
Nichimo    - Injection 1:70
Polistil     - Injection 1:72
Strombecker - Wood 1:72
Alpha     - Vacform 1:72
Fujimi     - Injection 1:70
Nitto - Injection 1:75

Most of the kits detailed fall down in the plan form shape of the wing tips, and with the exception of the Hasegawa kits, don't have the characteristic shape of the P-40 tips as seen from a front view, whereby the top surface is a continuation of the upper surface, but the bottom slopes upward from the tip joint line.

The P-40 in 1:72 scale is quite well served in that none of the kits surveyed are hopeless or unbuildable, and some make up into extremely fine models.
For the P-40 types used by the RNZAF that are not directly catered for by commercially available kits, e.g. long tailed K's, M's and the early N's, a bit of cross kitting with the Hasegawa pair will fill the gaps.

The best reference apart from the available books is a set of plans drawn by G.R.Duval and published in Aeromodeller in February 1969, although beware that he seems to have got lost on his wing plan view and stretched the span by 3/16".  The span should be 6.22"on a published full sized span of 37'4". Duvals' plan has a span of 6.40". Apart from that the drawings are superb and are probably still available from Aeromodeller Plans Service. (P.D)


Accessories/decals etc:

EDUARD P-40E  Detail set - 72-039:  Complete cockpit interior detailing with seat, Instrument panel, sights, rudder pedals and side wall details. Exterior detailing for flaps, cooling flaps, radiator and oil cooler faces, and wing ammo boxes with doors.

EDUARD P40N detail set - 72-036: As per 72-039. 

TRUE DETAILS P-40E-M Wheel set TD72010: Resin main wheels with bulged side walls. Very crisp detailing.



ROODECALS: For anyone lucky enough to have some of these put aside, these sets from the early 80's are one of the best RNZAF Pacific operational area decals available in this scale. Unfortunately now out of print, but do appear from time to time,

MICROSCALE 72-55: British Empire Aces: Has markings, including roundels in the correct colour, for Fiskens' "Wairarapa Wildcat" P-40M NZ3072. - These appear to be very accurate except for the red edging to the stripes. The tone of the roundel blue appears to be spot on. The 'cat' and number 19 is only given for the port side.

SUPERSCALE 72-341: Includes RNZAF P-40N: Not viewed by authors.

ALMARK No. 52: Includes Fiskens' P-40M - roundel blue is wrong shade, and has red surrounds to stripes. Cat also has white outlines. (Once again - only given for port side)

AEROMASTER SP72-10: (Out of print) Has two RNZAF options - P-40N-1 NZ3148, 'Gloria Lyons', and P-40N-20 NZ3254 '54'. Using the roundels provided in this set, most later RNZAF P-40's can be modelled.


1:48 Kits: by Peter Mossong

OTAKI/ARII - MATCHBOX/AMT/AIRFIX: P-4OE: All from the same (originally) OTAKI moulds dating from the early 70's - heavy rivet engravings and some doubts about the wing shape.  Makes into a good representation of the P-40E and can be used as the basis for conversions to all other variants - Decals vary from each kit, but are mostly versions of the originals.

IDEA: P-4OE: Appears to be a poor copy of the OTAKI kit - very rough but cheap!!

REVELL: P-4OE: Originally released in the 70's, this kit has been recently re-released by Revell, and also under the Monogram label in their Pro-Modeler series with improved decals and instructions. Usual raised details, but appears to be quite accurate.

MAUVE: P-4ON: Scales out spot on for length and span, but cockpit opening is about 2mm too long. Engraved and raised details much restrained compared to the Otaki kit. 

MAUVE: KITTYHAWK III: Comments as above kit. A long tailed 'K' can easily be built by filling in the cowl grill forward of the exhausts.

AMT/ERTL: P-40K: Can be built as short or long tailed versions with a bit of work. Cockpit detail slightly better than the Mauve kits, but both would benefit by using the True Details resin set, with bits from the Eduard photo etch sets.

AMT/ERTL: P-40N: Comments as 'K', Cockpit is positioned accurately compared to Mauve kit.
Cheaper price is huge bonus. Little to choose from between the AMT and Mauve kits. Mauve is slightly more refined in some areas. Both will build into acceptable replicas without too much work. 

EDUARD: P-40M PROFI-PAC: Apparently the Mauve kit with the addition of a resin cockpit, photo etch fret, and Aeromaster decals. There is one RNZAF option (NZ3072) on the decal sheet.  Also reportedly cheaper than the Mauve release! (Not viewed by the author at this time).

AMTECH: P-40E:  Based on the later AMT P-40 series (not the Otaki), the initial run apparently had problems with the fuselage moulds being misaligned.  This was soon rectified, and from all reports, makes up into a nice accurate representation of an E. (Not viewed by the author at this time).

Hasegawa: P-40E. Kit No.JT86.  The first release in 2005 of the P-40 family from Hasegawa.  Crisply molded with an accurate wing plan.  The fuselage is modular, with a join in the fuselage just behind the wing root so both long and short tailed versions can be produced by Hasegawa. The differing cockpit styles are also catered for by a plug in section.

The cockpit is well represented, and tallies with all my references for the 'E' models in general layout of components, and the correct style of seat with the rounded top is included. One touch I did like is that Hasegawa have moulded the canopy rails on the fuselage sides. The canopy and windscreen are very thin, and crystal clear.

This kit has well and truly superceded all it's forerunners, and out of the box will provide an excellent replica.

Hasegawa: P-40N. Kit No.JT88.  This second release from Hasegawa is moulded in the same manner as their 'E', and has the extended rear fuselage section, and the cut down 'plug' for the rear of the cockpit section.  Wing bomb racks are included, as are an auxiliary fuel tank, and a 500lb bomb. 

Two of the three possible 'N' model instrument panels are supplied, as is the correct 'square' style seat, and the cut down head and back armour.

The only 'glitch' I can find, is that the larger E/M type wheels have been supplied, not the smaller diameter wheels as used on the 'N'. A set from a P-51D kit, or from Ultracast/True Details can be substituted for accuracy. 

Accessories/decals etc:

MEDALLION MODELS: P-40K-1; K10-20; L; M and N. A series of resin and vacform conversion kits based on the Otaki/Arii P-40E kit. These consist of resin tail/rear fuselage plug, exhaust pipes, spinner and backing plate, aerial mast, (P-40N kit includes rear cockpit decking inset) and vacform canopies. Nice crisp mouldings, reasonably simple to use.

EDUARD: P-4OE DETAIL SET 48-025: Photo-etch brass details, with film instrument backing (with bonus in one of mine of a P-40N model instrument panel). Includes wheel bay details and cockpit details (with rudder pedal assembly).

EDUARD:P-40K DETAIL SET 48-213: Photo-etch brass details as above, but includes flap inner details.

EDUARD: P-40N DETAIL SET 48-222: Photoetch brass details including cowl flaps in either open or closed positions, most cockpit details, oil cooler faces, and wheel well details. Includes all 3 'N' series instrument panels. 
Note: Set 213 and 222 are stated to be for the AMT/ERTL kits, but I'm sure they can be used on any of the others with a little trimming etc.

EDUARD: P-4O LANDING FLAP SET 48-024: Photo-etch brass flap details including radiator/oil cooler front inserts and a ring and bead type gunsight.

TRUE DETAILS: P-4OE-M WHEEL SET 48014: Resin main wheels with bulged side walls. Very crisp detailing.

TRUE DETAILS: P-40N COCKPIT: - Resin cockpit tub for Mauve kit. Will also fit AMT/ERTL kit with some trimming.

Ultracast: P-40 flared type exhaust.  One of the nicest aftermarket resin add-ons I have ever seen. Even includes the bolt heads where the stubs fit to the cylinder head.  Very highly recommended as most RNZAF E to N P-40's had this style exhaust.


VENTURA 4864: Has RNZAF P-40 option.

ROODECALS: No specific P-40 markings, but full selection of roundels can be produced from these out of print sets. 

AEROMASTER SP48-10: (Out of print) Has two RNZAF options - P-40N-1 NZ3148, 'Gloria Lyons', and P-40N-20 NZ3254 '54'.

Using the roundels provided in this set, most later RNZAF P-40's can be modelled.


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