1/48 Monogram P-40B Flying Tiger

Gallery Article by Ed Fuquay on Apr 30 2009

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I called this a "nostalgic Build".  I had a lot of fun remembering the first time I got my hands on this kit.  It was in a way kind of a disappointment as I did not find in it all of the working features I had grown used to having in Monogram models. This kit was a departure from the bomb dropping SBD-5 and its retractable landing gear. I was also happy to have more detail, especially in the cockpit area. Monogram started to produce better models with their Mosquito, P-38L Lightning, FW-190, Kingfisher, P-51B and P-39 Airacobra. To my delight they issued their TBD-1 Devastator some years later. 

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This P-40B captures the look of this historical aircraft. Its shape is very accurate and contrary to newer editions, the cockpit floor is at the right depth. The Trumpeter kit in this scale is good, but the cockpit is too shallow. I did not add any after market detailing parts, but a new seat will benefit this kit. Ultracast's P-40 seats are very well detail and it will enhance this model tremendously. I left all of the original raised panel line and rivet detail. I did not have the heart to obliterate it and carving new ones.

Finally, this trip through memory lane will not end with the Flying Tigers P-40B. I will build other kits like the P-39, the Kingfisher and other Monogram classic models. I am looking forward to build some kits with folding wings, retractable gears and sliding canopies. I guess as I am getting older I am returning to my first steps in building plastic models. I hope you enjoy the model. Happy model building and landings.

Ed Fuquay

Photos and text by Ed Fuquay