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In-Box Review
Curtiss P-40B Detail Sets

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Originally published on:

Eduard has released a pair of new sets for the P-40B:

#32150 - P-40B Tomahawk Exterior - r.r.p. $19.95
#32553 - P-40B Tomahawk Interior - r.r.p. $14.95

#32150 P-40B Tomahawk Exterior
This set contains a single fret of 78 parts and details Trumpeter's kit in two main areas: the undercarriage and the engine cooling gills. Added to these are several extra items such as ring and bead sights, trim tab actuators, access panels and etched cooling jackets for the machine guns.

The undercarriage gets the bulk of the attention. The mainwheel legs receive a number of brackets and towing eyes, and the wheel wells are partially lined with new details. The plastic doors are replaced with new etched parts, each made up of a two-piece sandwich which must be carefully curved to shape, before new actuators are added. The tailwheel comes in for similar treatment, again getting new doors and actuating arms.

The cooling gills are folded from a single large piece which to which are added actuators and tiny folded brackets. The main part is very impressive with delicate etched rivets on both sides.

#32553 - P-40B Tomahawk Interior
Eduard provide two frets, one of which is pre-painted, containing a total of 112 parts to detail the kit's cockpit, along with new faces for the oil cooler and radiators.

The big problem with the Trumpeter kit is that the cockpit is badly too shallow, resulting in undersized sidewalls and seat. The problem is so pronounced that there wouldn't be room for the pilot's legs to reach the rudder pedals under the instrument panel! Sadly, Eduard have missed a golden opportunity to correct the cockpit and have merely provided new details to fit the inaccurate kit parts.

The sidewalls should really have been replaced with new, deeper, items. As it is, one must shave off a number of details to fit the new metal parts, which include new throttle levers and console faces. There are a couple of boxes to fold, but this isn't as complex as many Eduard sets. The floor is completely re-faced with a new metal part with beautifully done riveting. Strictly speaking, it's still not accurate, as the original floor was curved (being the top surface of the wing), not flat as represented in Trumpeter's kit.

The instrument panel is replaced with a beautiful two-part sandwich with the instrument faces printed/painted on the rear piece. As with all Eduard's latest sets, the detail here is quite superb.

The problem with the shallow comes home to roost with the seat. It's beautifully etched with detail on both sides but, no matter how you look at it, it's simply nothing like as deep as it should be. The seat-harness is another matter though, with beautifully pre-painted details and separate buckles and catches; it should look fantastic when assembled.

The instructions are clearly illustrated in colour and the assembly sequence is easy to follow, so neither set should present any problems for anyone used to working with etched parts.

I can't help but feel disappointed that Eduard haven't really tackled the kit's problems head-on. On their 1/48 scale re-boxing of the ex-Mauve P-40s, Eduard have supplied a beautiful replacement resin cockpit with etched details. That's really what was needed here and their decision to live with Trumpeter's faults is a bit of a mystery to me, because I would imagine the modellers that would buy detail sets like these would do so precisely because they are unhappy with the original kit. As it is, set #32150 will certainly help improve the appearance of the undercarriage and #32553 isn't wasted - the instrument panel and harness are superb and the most of the other details will be very useful if you bite the bullet and decide to build a deeper cockpit from scratch. But I'm afraid the seat, lovely as it is, will have to go...

Thank you to Eduard for kindly supplying the review sample.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA
Trumpeter's 1/32 P-40B Tomahawk has aroused a certain amount of controversy since its release a few years ago; it's basically a very fine kit, let down by some surprising errors - particularly in the cockpit. With this in mind, I was excited to see Eduard was bringing out etched detail sets for the kit, which I hoped would address its faults.
  Scale: 1:32
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 08, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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