by: Luciano Satornetti [ ]
HistoryWe’ll start with some history as most will have not heard of the XP-40Q.
The fastest and arguably the most elegant of all the Warhawk variants, the Curtiss XP-40Q was an attempt to develop the existing P-40K Kittyhawk into a modern fighter. The modified aircraft were so radically altered that they bore very little resemblance to the original design.
Two P-40K’s (Sn. 42-9987 & 42-45722) and one P-40N (Sn. 43-24571) were extensively adapted and fitted with revised cooling systems, two-stage superchargers and their appearance was altered by structural changes. The first XP-40Q was modified from 42-9987, fitted with a new cooling system, a lengthened nose and four bladed propeller, the radiators were moved under the fuselage with the intakes between the undercarriage legs.
The most prominent modification, as displayed by 42-45722 and 43-24571 was the cutting down of the rear fuselage and the addition of a bubble canopy. Further modification included clipping the wingtips and fitting the V-1710-121 engine with water injection which gave a top speed of 422mph at 20,500ft.
The proposed production models were to have been armed with either six 0.50inch machine guns or four 20mm cannon, but the XP-40Q proved to be inferior to the P-51 and P-47 already in service so all further development was curtailed.
As an end note, after WWII the second XP-40Q, 42-45722 was briefly used as a racing aircraft. Registered as NX300B it was an ‘unauthorised’ starter in the 1947 Thompson trophy race, it was in fourth place when it caught fire and had to drop out of the race.
The KitWhat we get is a sturdy lidded box with a colour artist rendition of the XP-40Q-2 gracing the top and both ends, inside are two A4 sized double sided instruction sheets and two sealed bags which have been sub-divided to keep the larger parts separated while the smaller parts are within another bag inside a large bag. The decals, photo-etch, film and canopy occupy the last section.
The resin parts are a cream colour and consist of 58 parts plus 25 photo-etch, one film for the instrument panel and two vac-formed canopies. The main fuselage is split vertically like most aircraft of this type, while the wings come as one piece, a test fit of the fuselage shows everything to line up and all parts to be straight. The cockpit is made up from a mix of resin and photo-etch (which comes from Eduard) and the film for the instruments, detail on the resin is superb although some may have preferred the seat to have had pe belts the ones moulded on the seat look good. The box lid notes that the undercarriage legs are stiffened and holding the legs up to the light you can make out metal rods running through them so that should mean no sag with age. The exhausts and gun barrels have been mould with the openings hollow, the tyres/wheels have good detail and tread pattern with a very slight flat spot/bulge just at the point where they attach to the casting block. A down point is the intakes, both nose and wing are devoid of any detail.
A going over has only revealed three air bubbles/pin holes and these are all on the large parts, none will cause a problem, one has been circled in the photos on the underwing radiator outlet.
The InstructionsTwo double sided A4 sheets make up the instructions, the first page covers the history of the type and a parts break down. The next two pages cover the eleven stage construction process of the exploded type which in the main is clear but there are a few areas where you do need to study them with part in hand.
The last page covers the two marking options, through out the construction there are colour call outs but by name only.
The MarkingsTwo marking options are provided:
1. XP-40Q-2 in olive drab ANA613 over neutral grey ANA603, this is the original scheme with a sharks mouth and black outlined ‘stars and bars’.
2. XP-40Q-2, 2-45722 in all over natural metal as seen in the last phase of testing.
The decals are printed by Aviprint and are in perfect register with very little in the way of carrier film.
In Conclusion Overall very nice moulding of an unusual subject which will make a interesting talking point. Could do with some detail in the nose/wing air intakes.
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