Airfix 1/48 P-40B: A Tiger Flies

The Airfix P-40B is finished.

When it was first announced in late 2015 that this kit would be released, everyone was asking “will this be the ‘definitive’ kit?” of the type. To that I must answer….

Sort of.

In my opinion.

I do believe it is the best P-40B kit in 1/48 scale, by a fair margin. It’s far more modern and detailed than the old Monogram kit, much better detailed and shaped than the Hobbycraft/Academy kit, and far more accurate and without the Umpa-Lumpa cockpit of the Trumpeter kit, and whatever that was that Bronco released doesn’t even come close.

The fit is very good, the detail is very nice, and all of the pointless whining about “nun’s hats” aside, the shape is very good. If you’re wanting to build a P-40B, don’t waste your money on another kit. This one is not only a great kit, it’s basically cheap. (In a dollar sense….) Yeah, you could get the Academy kit for a few bucks less…. but why?

Now, having said all of that…. it’s not Tamiya or Eduard. While Airfix made a great improvement with this kit over previous efforts in terms of plastic and casting quality, it could be a bit sharper. I would also have liked to have seen a bit more surface detail. But please don’t take this as a sharp criticism- I truly mean it as constructive. Just a bit more precision and they are right there with the titans that Tamiya and Eduard are. And that is no small feat.

Aside from a very slight bit of fiddliness installing the instrument panel into the cockpit, I had no issues with this build. It is fun, straightforward, and looks great. And I am stretching a bit to even list that criticism- I do so more to illustrate how good the kit is than to try and find something to criticize. 

Bottom line- build this kit, sooner than later. You’ll enjoy it.

For a full build report, please visit

2 responses to “Airfix 1/48 P-40B: A Tiger Flies”

  1. Anything but late to dinner Avatar
    Anything but late to dinner

    I’m not really enjoying building this and while things do fit,in the case of the lower wings there was the need to apply a lot of pressure and no discernible fulcrum. Even sanding everything down on the bottom of the cockpit assembly which was snug up topside did not help so I glued and held the thing for 15 minutes as a clamp wouldn’t stay in place.The carrot and stick of tamiya thick and thin took thankfully . Alas the upper wings were also in need of excessive hand holding. Offhand I would say the lower wing was out of tolerance and emulating their 1/24 Spitfire which had no dihedral though in this kit the landing gear housing at least was meant to brace things up it seems. Hopefully the rest is less bothersome.

    Long post but I bought this on the strength of your original review after swearing off Airfix. At least I don’t see any fiddly bits on the landing gear as on their Mk I Spit. To me Tamiya’s Spit may not be as accurate but it was enjoyable to build and the two blade prop from the airfix fits perfectly if the anemic blades of Tamiya trouble one. Also everything fits without persuasion. You might even say glue was just insurance…..

    I used to love building airfix in the early 90s. Whole flight of Mk Vs in 1/72 and all the airfield kit from bowser and ambulance to control tower.


  2. Anything but late to dinner Avatar
    Anything but late to dinner

    Well it appears above was the Quatre Bras…no other issues but those attributable to the monkey behind the curtain.

    As a last sigh at Waterloo: I like the Revell kit for the adjustable flaps. If you build wheels down it’s a nice touch when suspending. I built the airfix cleaned up. Ironically I didn’t do the pilot at the beginning figuring I’d Jerry rig something later. It turned out to be the pilot from the revell. The airfix pilot slipped into the revell perfectly and seemed to want to grab the stick lol.


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