Whistle Pig Toys P-40C Warhawk

The completed P-40 ready for balancing with the provided
clay. I’ll admit the delicate parts representing the canopy
rails got the best of my fat fingers, but you could leave them in place for a more durable airframe.

My passion for aviation started by playing with free-flight balsa gliders. This led to RC gliders, a love for all things aviation-related, and eventually over 3,000 hours in the P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft. If you’re looking to spark that same love of aviation in your kids, Whistle Pig toys is a way to sneak in some education under the guise of having fun.

Aviation History | History of Flight | Aviation History Articles, Warbirds, Bombers, Trainers, Pilots | Whistle Pig Toys P-40C Warhawk

This is everything included with the kit, two sheets of laser-cut parts, instructions, and a dollop of modeling clay to balance the finished model.

Whistle Pig Toys has several small, free-flight models available that, unbeknownst to a youngster, have the potential to teach many skills they will need later in modeling: building flat and straight, how not to glue yourself to your project, proper CG balance, and even some rudimentary flight trimming and aerodynamics. I was sent their $7.50 Model FF7, a P-40 that looks like a real airplane (they also have a Ki-43 Oscar). I was astounded at the extremely fine laser-cutting. You can barely fit the sharp end of a modeling blade between the tree and the parts! With the precision cutting, everything fit where the instructions showed. I used thin Zap CA to assemble the diminutive P-40 along with a hobby knife and a small emery board that I “borrowed” from my fiancé’s stash.

Aviation History | History of Flight | Aviation History Articles, Warbirds, Bombers, Trainers, Pilots | Whistle Pig Toys P-40C Warhawk

Very fine laser cutting leaves gaps thinner than a #11 hobby blade.

I pictured just punching out the parts and gluing it together, but success comes from both patience and following directions. I’m glad I did as there are a few steps that I had to read a few times to ensure I was doing what I should with the delicate parts. The P-40 went together in about 20 minutes, but of course the joy will come when I get to spend a couple of hours with my grandson Nolan putting one together and flying it in the backyard. You can use colored markers if you want to “paint” your P-40 in a camouflage or fantasy scheme. I’m saving this task for Nolan when he gets back to town. Want to get the kids away from the TVs and smart phones? Give a couple of these a try!

Aviation History | History of Flight | Aviation History Articles, Warbirds, Bombers, Trainers, Pilots | Whistle Pig Toys P-40C Warhawk

More alignment tools are provided to hold the fuselage while you align and glue the empennage in place.


Aviation History | History of Flight | Aviation History Articles, Warbirds, Bombers, Trainers, Pilots | Whistle Pig Toys P-40C Warhawk

The completed P-40 ready for balancing with the provided clay. I’ll admit the delicate parts representing the canopy rails got the best of my fat fingers, but you could leave them in place for a more durable airframe.

Click here for Whistle Pig’s blog post on how to build a home-made gadget for balancing the FF-7.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY ANDREW GRIFFITH

Updated: March 23, 2022 — 1:48 PM
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