P-40E / Kittyhawk Mk. Ia
Reviewed by Brett Green
AMtech's 1/48 scale P-40E is an accurate kit, but it could do with a little extra detail in the cockpit.
I recently built this kit with the assistance of the True Details resin cockpit. This accessory was originally designed for the Mauve P-40N, so some of the parts required modification and others were not accurate for this earlier variant. Even more to the point, the True Details set is currently out of production.
Cutting Edge Modelworks has come to the rescue with an all-new resin cockpit designed specifically for the AMtech P-40E.
The P-40E / Kittyhawk Mk. Ia cockpit comprises 18 parts in grey resin and a sheet of clear acetate with printed instruments. All parts are cast onto thin strips of resin except for the seat, which is on a small block. Very little work will be required to remove and prepare the resin parts. Preparation of the AMtech model will be similarly simple. A few details have to be sanded from the sidewalls and 1/32" must be removed from the instrument coaming.
The cockpit floor is cast as a single part with the forward and aft bulkheads. This makes alignment a non-issue. Detail is impressive on all surfaces. The armoured rear bulkhead has been reinforced at the back to ensure that it does not warp and create fit problems. The sidewalls are packed with raised and undercut detail. The map case presents a convincing illusion of being open and empty. The instrument panel is supplied as four parts - three in resin and the optional acetate instruments. I will be thinning the resin panel, cleaning out the holes and using the acetate instruments when I build this set!
The seat is the last main part, and it is very nice indeed. The real seat is made from pressed metal, and features indented reinforcement channels on the backrest and the sides. These pressed metal channels are faithfully reproduced in resin. The seat itself is admirably thin too. American-style harnesses are moulded as part of the seat. However, note that many Commonwealth Kittyhawk Ias were fitted with the British Sutton Harness. Check your references!
The oxygen blinker, regulator and kidney armour plates are supplied as separate parts because they were not fitted to all aircraft. The finishing touches are rudder pedals, control column, hydraulic pump handle, gunsight, map light, selector box and headrest.
Instructions are in Cutting Edge's usual thorough format. They include notes and eight photos/diagrams, plus colour notes for painting the cockpit.
As an aside, Cutting Edge has labelled this set "P-40E/Kittyhawk IV". This is probably a simple typo, as the Kittyhawk IV was the Commonwealth counterpart of the later P-40N, and differed considerably in cockpit details to the P-40E. The correct label should be "P-40E / Kittyhawk Mk. Ia".
Cutting Edge's P-40E cockpit is a worthwhile accessory that will make a noticeable difference to your AMtech Warhawk/Kittyhawk.
Oh, and while you are preparing the parts, look for the two "secret messages"!
Recommended for anyone building the AMtech P-40E..
Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review samples.
Cutting Edge Modelworks products are available fromMeteor Productions Website
Text and Images Copyright © 2002 by
Brett T. Green