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Curtiss P-40N Warhawk

Mauve, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk

Currently available as:

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:

Academy's reboxing is 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 Mauve's 1/48 scale P-40N 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 in 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 and cost 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

 

The kit being reviewed is from the original production run. I bought it soon after its release and the sprues remained sealed in their plastic bags until today.

 

 

Mauve’s debut 1/48-scale P-40N comprises just 73 parts in a very dark green plastic and eleven clear parts.

 

  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Mauve Kit No. 00081 - Curtiss P-40N Warhawk 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 Mauve 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 tubuar mount behind the seat either.

 

 

The Mauve 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 a single option - a large and colourful parrot head on the nose of a P-40N in Olive Drab and Neutral Grey. This aircraft was attached to 502nd Fighter Squadron.

 

 

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

 

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

Its accuracy and simple parts breakdown add to its appeal.

There are two other long established 1/48 scale P-40N kits available from Hasegawa and AMT. The latter has regularly been reboxed by companies including AMtech and Italeri.

Hasegawa's P-40N is at least the equal of Mauve's in terms of surface textures and is clearly superior in the detail stakes, but it is a fiddly build with lots of inserts and inevitable filling and sanding. The AMT kit is not a bad model with better detail than Mauve, but Mauve takes the prize with its crisp and consistent panel lines.

The Mauve P-40N and its subsequent reboxings are 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 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 2 May, 2022
Last updated 3 May, 2022

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