P-40B/C Replacement Parts
- Kit No. QB 72 374 Exhaust & Damper Cooler, $5.50
- Kit No. QB 72 375 Gun Barrels, $5.50
- Kit No. QB 72 376 Undercarriage Covers, $5.50
These are simple but clean sets of precisely cast resin replacement parts that quickly and easily improve already good 1/72 scale early P-40 kits. Each set consists of one gray resin block with easily removed molded parts. The hollowed-out exhausts, scale thin damper cooler flaps, machine gun barrels with oblong cooling vents, and detailed undercarriage covers (landing gear doors) are intended for Airfix’s new-tool 1/72 Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 (P-40B/C) kit, but can fit other kits as well. QB 72 374 has two rows of six round exhaust pipes attached to the resin block by a narrow feed that can be easily sawed free, as can the Damper Cooler (the cowl flaps underneath the rear end of the engine). Each bank of exhaust pipes is connected to a base so it can drop in as a single part into the slot molded into the model’s fuselage. QB 72 375 holds the machine gun barrels which include the four wing .30 cals and two nose .50s. QB 72 376 provides the undercarriage covers. In addition to the Airfix kit, I also have the Trumpeter and AML Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 (P-40B/C) kits and will comment on them, too.
I believe the Academy P-40B/C is one of that company’s first 1/72 aircraft models, and it looked a lot like the very basic Frog kit. For the longest time, the Frog kit was the only early P-40B/C kit in 1/72 scale. Then the Academy kit came along, although it was no particular improvement. Now, modelers have excellent choices to build a 1/72 P-40B or C, especially with Quickboost to give the modeler a quick boost towards a contest winning model!
The Quickboost Exhaust Pipes are superior to any of the kits parts. Airfix displays flash along the seam that could be cleaned up (or left alone as the real P-40B/C had weld seams). The true value of the replacement exhausts is that the ends are hollowed out. That saves a lot of work if you were to drill out the kit parts – or, alternately, you could simply use the kit exhausts as they are and paint the ends black. Trumpeter’s exhausts also have flash, but not as pronounced. AML‘s exhausts have even less of a seam. As a bonus, AML provides 2 sets of exhausts: the round pipes as each of the previous mentioned ones, and flattened “fishtail” end pipes that would replace the round ones on later P-40s.
Quickboost’s resin Damper Cooler has scale-thin flaps dropped and splayed open. Airfix gives you two versions of this part, giving you the option to display it with the flaps open or closed. Quickboost’s part is thinner than Airfix’s, but Airfix tapered theirs to give the scale appearance. The Quickboost part is superior to Airfix’s very good part, but even so, some modelers might be happy with the kit part. Trumpeter’s Damper Cooler is molded closed, so it will be improved with the resin replacement. AML’s Damper Cooler is provided both open and closed, so you decide whether or not to use Quickboost’s resin replacement.
Quickboost’s Gun Barrels show that they did their research, as the early Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 (the export version of the P-40B/C) carried British-style .30 cal. wing machine guns (.303) that had distinct oblong-shaped cooling vents in the barrels. They also stuck out of the wings a fair distance and weren’t just short stubs. Airfix got it right, but it is almost impossible to make out the oblong vents. Trumpeter’s wing machine guns are little stubs, representative of later P-40s and definitely can use the Quickboost .30s. AML’s resin wing machine guns on my kit were not fully molded and only one .30 barrel is complete. It has the proper oblong cooling vents and looks out of place in company with the others. Somehow, Quickboost managed to keep the barrels looking properly scaled and have the prominent oblong shapes. Amazing!
Quickboost’s third set is Undercarriage Covers that continue to make it easier for you to build a state-of-the-art P-40B/C. These resin parts have pleasing scale thinness, but the big difference is that the door that lies attached crosswise to the wing and covers the leg has interior lightening holes. You could do this yourself with the time and skill with thin plastic sheet, a drill, and a round file to thin the kit parts – or slam bang, Quickboost has done it for you. The Airfix undercarriage covers are acceptable but Quickboost’s are scale thin and show the inside lightening holes. Both Trumpeter’s and AML’s undercarriage covers are also acceptable but Quickboost’s are much better.
Care should be taken not to apply too much pressure to the resin parts when handling them – you don’t want to collapse the hollowed exhausts or break the very thin gun barrels. Replace the kit parts and paint your favorite color. The re-sealable clear cellophane packet with orange header, typical of Quickboost, allows you to examine them, paint them, and store them again as necessary. Recommended for modelers who want to upgrade their P-40B/C model at a modest cost. The exhaust pipes and machine guns especially are a prominent feature of the P-40B/C and can make or break a model. Quickboost definitely helps your model make the cut.
Quickboost’s fine line of resin accessories is produced in the Czech Republic by Aires. This series gives the modeler a quick replacement that boosts the quality level of your model to a much higher degree with minimal work. Hence – Quickboost! Pretty good play on English words, these Czechs! Available in better hobby or mail order shops.
Thanks to Quickboost for providing the review samples and to 1st V.P. Steve Collins at IPMS-USA for letting me review them.
- American Volunteer Group Colours and Markings by Terrill Clements, published by Opsprey.
- The Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk by Ray Wagner, Profile Publications.
- Curtiss P-40 In Action by Ernest McDowell, Squadron/Signal Publications.
- P-40 Warhawk Aces of the CBI by Carl Molesworth, published by Opsprey.
- Curtiss P-40 From 1939-1945 by Anis Elbied, published by Histoire & Collections.
- P-40B/C Airfix parts. The Airfix Damper Cooler kit part with open cowl flaps is at the top left and is nicely done. The wing machine gun barrels are nicely done but are too true to scale for the oblong cooling vents to stand out. Airfix’s exhaust pipes are the usual fare but drilling them out takes a steady hand.
- P-40B/C Trumpeter parts. The Trumpeter landing gear doors, the rectangle left of the pitot and the small square on the right, are nice and thin but offer no interior detail like Quickboost does.
- Quickboost’s P-40B/C exhaust pipes and damper cooler offer amazing detail.
- Quickboost’s P-40B/C gun barrels are drilled out and the wing gun barrels have the well defined, oblong-shaped cooling holes that will blow everyone away. The shorter barrels are the two top of fuselage .50s.
- Quickboost’s P-40B/C undercarriage covers are scale thin and feature lightening holes as appropriate.