by: Darren Baker [ ]
When Bronco Models announced they were working on the P-40 there was a lot of baited breath as to what we would get. Well the models appeared to excitement, and that excitement quickly turned to despair. Bronco Models has now released a third option of the P-40 Warhawk, this time it represents the fighter as it was when war came to the US in World War Two, the attack on Pearl Harbour.
The model is supplied in the usual box utilised by Bronco Models, a cardboard tray with a card lid. The printing quality on the lid is very good, I particularly like the box top artwork. Inside you will find:
4 grey sprues
1 clear sprue
1 photo etch fret
A decal sheet
A cream resin figure
An instruction booklet
A decal placement guide
An examination of the contents from this offering presented by Bronco Models is quite pleasing. The injection moulded plastic parts are very cleanly moulded and so far as I can see free of moulding imperfections such as flash and sink marks. The placement of the parts is good, having good access to remove the pieces from the sprue. Further examination also indicates that parts are logically placed on the sprues, this makes locating the various parts easier than it might otherwise be.
The instruction booklet is a good glossy offering. The guidance looks clear to me and so it should be a relatively easy task of building the model. The decal sheet is very nice and offers seven finishing options:
P-40C 91, 33PG, USAAF, Panama Canal Zone
P-40C 12/31P, 39FS, 31FG, USAAF, Selfridge Field, Michigan, 1941
P-40C 337/44P, 44PS, 44PG, USAAF, Bellows Field in Hawaii, Pearl Harbour, December 1941
P-40C 62/18P, 20PS, USAAF, Clark Field, Philippines, 1941
P-40C Hawk 81A-2 7, 23FG, 14AF, USAAF, China, 1942
P-40C Lt. Ken Taylor 155, 47PS, 15PG, USAAF, Pearl Harbour, December 7 1941
P-40C, 33FS, 8FG, USAAF, Iceland, August 1941
Lets get the bad news out of the way first. Bronco Models has not corrected any of the issues previously raised reference their P-40 offerings, for me the biggest issue is the shape of the tail rudder, the shape is very poor and I have found reference images to redeem the shape if it was a K variant . There are complaints about the cockpit, but these do not really bother me due to most not even being aware of the issues there and they are not really in your face when built. The rear vision panels are correct for very early P-40s, but the Port side glass is wrong for the P-40C model
The rudder is another area where Bronco Models has come in for criticism, but checking book reference indicates that the shape is correct for a P-40C; however the balance portion of the horizontal rudder extends to far into the tail and this has also thrown off the accuracy of the panel lines present. The engine fairing flaps at the rear underside of the engine have also come in for criticism for various reasons, but my reference searches indicate that the flaps are correctly spaced if not correctly shaped, and that the rear flap detail is missing which makes everything look wrong.
Lets switch to covering some high areas of the model of this P-40C from Bronco Models. The recessed panel lines are very nicely recessed and for the most part are fairly accurate in their placement, while talking about the panel lines it is also worth mentioning the excellent rivet detail that has been replicated at this point. As model go these two aspects should make for a great looking model.
Another of the high points in this offering from Bronco Models is the Allinson engine. The detail present is very nice and Bronco Models has supplied clear side engine covers if you wish to display this aspect of the model. There are 40 or so parts that go into the assembly of the engine and this does present the model a stunning little gem to display if wished. I also like that Bronco Models has decided to provide detail painting for the engine as the build progresses.
Back to the negatives again and it is the canopy that comes in for stick this time. The front portion of the canopy has been moulded as if it is a single shaped piece of glass, and that is where all the complaints about bulbous or rounded glass come from. It should have been moulded as a flat glass panel at the front with separate shaped glass panels on each side of it. This is another of those occasions when I am at a loss as to what Bronco Models had been looking at when they designed this element. The frame work of the sliding portion of the canopy is correct in design and so no issues there, but there are a lot of complaints about the width being too wide; I can neither confirm nor deny this aspect of the model, but it does look off to the Mk 1 eyeball.
Back to the pluses to the close this review. The undercarriage looks very promising requiring the addition of some wire to replicate the cables that should be present. The tyres and wheels have fair detail present, but I would have liked to see weighted tyres provided with the model either as is or as an option. I have seen complaints about the blades of the propeller being of a poor shape, but I have taken a look at quite a few images from various angles and I cannot see what the issue is. In closing I will say that the cream resin female figure is a very nice inclusion, and I suspect it represents Kate Beckinsale from the Pearl Harbor film, but I would keep it for a different purpose.
There are some serious errors with this model that should not have occurred as they stand out quite a bit, with that said it is still easily identified for what it is. The price being around the £30 mark would make me stop and give serious thought to if I should purchase it due to the errors I have listed.