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Build Report: AMT’s 1/48 P-40E


I’ve built quite a few of the AMT P-40 kits, and I plan to build a few more, looking at my kit stash. While the Hasegawa kit has better detail out of the box, and is better engineered overall, the AMT (and AMTech) P-40 kits are a great bargain, and build up into a respectable looking Warhawk.

For this build, I added in an Ultracast seat and exhausts, and Eagle Strike decals.

The cockpit, out of the box, looks pretty good. It’s reasonably detailed, and when painted, drybrushed, etc., is acceptable for an open cockpit build. The seat is a bit weak, so if you’re able, a resin replacement is not a bad idea. I like Ultracast’s seats for P-40s, as they have the belts and the mounting bar built in. Just paint them and they’re ready to go! (They also have versions with RAF builts, square top seats, and seats without builts!)

The fit of the fuselage was pretty good. A little bit of filler was needed here and there to clean up the seams. The fit of the wings left a little bit of a gap, but I added in some Tamiya basic putty, smoothed it out with some nail polish remover & a cotton bud, and moved on.

I also added some Ultracast resin exhausts, which look far, far better than the kit exhausts. They have a backing piece that needs to be added prior to closing the fuselage, allowing the exhausts to be added after painting & weathering, which is my preferred method.

I used the kit supplied wheels, though I wish now I had used some resin replacements. (Ultracast makes some nice ones for this part too!)

On the underside, I used a mix of Tamiya paints to produce a light gray. The uppers were Gunze for the Dark Earth, and Tamiya for the Dark Green. I wanted to experiment with a heavily weathered look using acrylic masking fluid, so I put down some Alclad aluminum before the other paints, and added the acrylic masking fluid over it. Once the paint was down, I removed the masking. I went a bit too heavy, but I like the effect. Next build I plan to use this and just tone it down a bit. Other weathering was accomplished with artists oils and airbrushing. The decals, an old set from Eagle Strike, went down with no problem. I went with this scheme simply because I’d never seen it done before. it’s not fancy, but it is colorful.

Overall, the AMT kits are a great bargain and go together well. You can get them on Ebay, find them at shows, or hobby shops. Italeri has reboxed the M/N versions, and Hobbycraft has reboxed the long tailed F/L version. (The short tailed F is a bit harder to find.)