Airfix 1/48 P-40B: A Tiger Flies

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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

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