1/72 Academy Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk Tutorial

Tutorial: Academy 1/72 P-40B Tomahawk – Part 1 – Research

Welcome to our first All About Kits Tutorial!
The idea behind this tutorial is to bring information and ideas about how to build a 1/72 Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk from Academy.

This first part is about research – collecting information about the real object, in our case here, the Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk airplane. As every single project, it’s very important to spend a few hours doing a detailed research in your personal library or Internet and understand the instructions in the kit’s “User’s Manual”.

After all, I’m positive that these actions will make a significant difference during the assembly of your kit. Also, any additional information, picture, examples of other kits, will bring some good ideas in how to add details to your model.

Reference from Internet

The Internet links listed here helped me mostly to visualize the details in the cockpit, instrument panel, flaps position, internal compartments and landing gears – including hydraulic cables installed in the landing gears.

I had a few problems to identify how to paint this model due to the lack of the paint and color schemes. Therefore, these references were very important to create a plan and to get the correct colors to use in the airplane, specially in the cockpit and other internal parts.

Here are the sites that I used for my research:

Analyzing the Kit

The kit itself is very simple. It contains only 46 parts (1 is transparent – canopi) distributed in 3 separated sprue. The panel lines are engraved and you can choose the landing gear position and weapons. You will also find the decal card and the user’s manual. There is only one decal option in this kit – the Chinese Air Force.

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User’s Manual

Academy 1/72 Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk User's Manual

The User’s Manual of this kit shows all its simplicity. In fact, this is one of the simplest manuals I’ve ever seen so far (click on the link on the left to view or download it). Here are some of my findings there:

  • The manual has only 2 pages and you need just 8 steps to complete the kit’s assembly.
  • There is no part numbers identifying the parts.
  • Some individual parts appear already assembled in the pictures. This problem can cause some confusion for beginners.
  • There is no information about how to paint the parts and airplane. Therefore, there is no list of paints that should be used in this kit.
  • There is one instruction mentioning that more details about painting diagrams can be found in the kit’s box. But there is no such information in the box.
  • Since there is no clear information about how to paint the model, therefore there is no list of paints that should be used in this kit.
  • The information about decals and where to place them is also incomplete.
  • Basically, you will decide how to paint your P-40B Tomahawk.


Anyway, this kit is great if you plan to add some external details and improve your planning process and creativity. Fortunately, this kit is not expensive and there are a lot of variants of this airplane for reference. Therefore, you can make some mistakes without big regrets 🙂

Hope this tutorial is useful and don’t forget to check out our next tutorials, including some more about the Academy 1/72 Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk kit.


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