Wednesday, April 5

Triple review – Ultracast's new props and exhausts for the Curtiss P-40 in 48th scale


After his recent P-40 build of the Bronco kit here on TMN, we thought that Bruce from Cutting Mat Capers should be the one to look at these new enhancements from Ultracast. See what he thought about them in today's review... 


Triple review – Ultracast's new props and exhausts for the Curtiss P-40 in 48th scale

Curtiss P-40B/C Tubular Exhausts
(fits Airfix kit #A05130 and similar)
1/48th scale
# 42866
Price: $6.95 CND
Product Link

Early P-40B Hollow Steel Prop & Spinner, Curtiss 11' dia, Blade 614-1C1.5-12
(fits Airfix kit #A05130 and similar)
1/48th scale
#48267
Price: $12.95 CND
Product Link


P-40B Aluminum Prop & Spinner, Curtiss 11' dia, Blade 89301-3
(fits Airfix kit #A05130 and similar)
1/48th scale
#48368
Price: $12.95 CND
Product Link

These three recent sets from Canadian Resin Producer, Ultracast, improve on the Airfix kit parts, Two separate sets allow you to model a machine with steel propeller blades or the later aluminium blades, whilst a further set gives you hollow exhaust pipes.
All sets come packed in small zip-lock bags with cardboard headers that have tips for working with resin printed on the reverse
No assembly instructions are included, but Ultracast parts are usually direct replacements for the kit parts, the exhausts even being cast with the same location aids as the kit parts they replace.

In the case of the propeller blades, they are moulded with a location plinth which one simply glues to the backing plate, the modeller then adds the spinner, and Bob’s your Uncle! A more accurate propeller!!

Parts are cast in a creamy yellow resin, my samples being free from any air bubbles, warpage or flash, truly amazing for resin parts this thin. The spinner and backplate being attached to the pour block by a thin wafer, which should only need scoring with a sharp scalpel before being snapped away from the part. As mentioned before, there is a flat sided location aid cast onto the hub end of the blades. Ensure you do not accidentally remove these.

Looking at the sets in detail, we have, in no particular order

Early P-40B Hollow Steel Prop & Spinner, Curtiss 11' dia, Blade 614-1C1.5-12
(fits Airfix kit #A05130 and similar)
1/48th scale
#48267
Price: $12.95 CND
Product Link


All Blades fitted to Tomahawks were 11’ Curtiss Electric, however, these Steel ones seem to have been fitted to early Tomahawks. Most of the Flying Tiger aircraft seem to have been fitted with this type. They look to be slightly narrower in chord than the later Aluminium ones



P-40B Aluminium Prop & Spinner, Curtiss 11' dia, Blade 89301-3
(fits Airfix kit #A05130 and similar)
1/48th scale
#48368
Price: $12.95 CND
Product Link

Aluminium blades seem to have been fitted to later Tomahawks. I imagine most RAF Desert Air Force Tomahawks were fitted with these, but I could not definitively establish this.
Careful study of period photos of the particular airframe you are modelling will be required to establish which propeller blade your subject was fitted with. Good luck with that as I found it quite hard to distinguish between the variants unless you had a head on shot.

If it helps, where the root enters the spinner looks to be an oblong opening on when the aircraft was fitted with the larger Aluminium blade. Ultracast providing the correct backplate with each respective set


Curtiss P-40B/C Tubular Exhausts
(fits Airfix kit #A05130 and similar)
1/48th scale
# 42866
Price: $6.95 CND
Product Link

A set of hollowed out exhausts which are designed as direct replacements for the kit parts. Not just hollowed out though as the Ultracast pipes are cast with very fine weld seams which will benefit from dry brushing and washing to again bring your Tomahawk up to the next level.


Check out the original here...
...And the kit part, notice the seams on the hollowed out exhausts.
Like all Ultracast products, these new releases are designed to bring better accuracy and add detail to the more visible components of your model. They are designed to fit the new Airfix kit, but I am sure the propeller sets could also be adapted to the recent Bronco kit, the kit blades in that kit being moulded far too thick.
These kits are a good replacement for the kit parts, they are easy to add to your model and Ultracast has done a very good job in engineering them and sculpting them. From what you see here these are a worth (and an inexpensive) addition to your kit...

Bruce Anders

Thank you to Ultracast for providing these sets for review