Arsenal P-40EModel: P-40E

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by Darwin, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    Model: P-40E
    Publisher: Kartonowy Arsenal, 2/2004
    Designer: Marcin Grygiel/Marcin Dworzecki
    Scale: 1:33
    Format: Hardcopy
    Distributor: Lighthouse Modelart

    Six parts pages (4 cardstock, 2 thin paper). Text Polish, 3 pages of construction diagrams. Sufficiently detailed construction diagrams for most card modelers to successfully perform the build. Construction aids are 3D-CAD-generated drawings, not just line drawings. Wow. Just about the time you think Maly is catching up with the rest of the industry, someone raises the bar. The parts are printed on good quality card stock. Paper size is the Arsenal's A3. Print quality color voids, excellent color registration. Draftmanship excellent. Artwork excellent, good shading and just enough weathering. Detail just short of freakin' amazing....nicely done wheel wells (INCLUDING THE TAIL WHEEL), drop tank, and separate (moveable) control surfaces. There still is a little room left for further raising of the bar....a detailed engine and machine gun bays would really put this model over the top. Construction method is a combo of eggcrate, butt-joined sections, and joiner strips, which I haven't seen before. The fuselage is built in four major subassemblies. Each subassembly is built using eggcrate construction, and the skin sections making up the subassy are put together with joiner strips. The segments then butt-joint together. At least I think this holds throughout the comes the only weakness I've detected. One section of the Kit (turtledeck portion of the fuselage) is not shown in the construction diagrams. There are so many framework parts that I can't tell if this subassy is configured like the other three; I may not know for sure until I get the other three built and see what parts are left over. However, this flaw is pretty minor, since there is not much complexity in that segment of the fuselage and it should be easy to figure out even without a diagram. The first North American distributor I am aware of having this kit in inventory is Lighthouse Modelart. I strongly suspect the others will have the kit in stock shortly. Price is a bit more than most other P-40 kits on the market (I suspect this will range from $12 US to $15 US once all distributors get it in stock), but with the degree of kit quality, still gives a lot of bang for the buck. I would definitely not recommend this model to beginners/novices, and hazard a guess it will challenge those with intermediate papermodeling skills....however, similar to my evaluation of the Gambier Bay, the construction graphics are good enough that an intermediate modeler should be able to get through the build by thinking of it as lots of little builds rather than one overwhelming structure. Overall grade an A-, with a corresponding value-for-cost rating.

    Instructions: A-
    Paper quality: A
    Level of detail: A-
    Printing quality: A
    Artwork: A
    Value for money: A
    Skill level: Skilled intermediate

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