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1:32 T-6 Texan


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1:32 T-6 Texan

Kitty Hawk Models
Catalogue # KH32001






Kitty Hawk Models is quickly making a name for themselves with well-engineered kits of interesting and neglected subjects. Their newest release is their first foray into 32nd scale, the North American T-6 Texan. Let's have a look!


The Texan is one of the more underrated planes in aviation history and underrepresented planes in the scale model industry. It was trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1950s, and was used by many countries for various purposes for decades.


Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The USAAC and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces, the Harvard, the name it is best known by outside of the US. After 1962, US forces designated it the T-6. It remains a popular warbird aircraft used for airshow demonstrations and static displays.


Okay, moving on to the kit! The packaging is a nice sturdy box with attractive box art. Inside the box, the kit is broken down into six sprues of grey plastic, one clear sprue, a small photoetched fret, and THREE sheets of decals. Overall the parts are very nicely molded, with minimal flash mostly isolated to the sprues themselves and not on the parts. The instructions come as a 24-page booklet, including EIGHT color pages of markings.


Sprue A



The first sprue contains the main fuselage halves, engine, propeller, cowling, and other various parts. The surface detail is excellent, with very crisp recessed and raised detail where appropriate. The airframe is fully riveted - noticeable but restrained, not overdone. The crank case looks very nice with excellent raised detail, and the engine is not bad at all including molded-on ignition wires. The prop hub, blades, and smooth style spinner all look nice as well.














Sprue B



The next sprue contains the lower halves of the outer wings, the horizontal stabilizers, a few cockpit parts, covered wheel hubs, etc. Again the surface detail on the wings and stabilizers is top notch. The detailed rear side of the forward instrument panel is a nice touch. The covered hubs look nice as do the halves of the optional spinner, though the sprue attachments may be a little tricky.








Sprue C



The third sprue is comprised of the upper halves of the outer wings, the ailerons, and rudder halves. Once again, surface detail on the wings is superb and the navigation lights look nice for molded grey plastic. The ribbing on the control surfaces is passable, but could use some toning down with sandpaper. Aside from that, the control surfaces look excellent.








Sprue D



The fourth sprue contains the upper and lower halves of the center section of the wings, cockpit parts, inserts and optional radar for the upper fuselage, elevators, tail wheel, flaps and other various parts. The quality of the wing parts is consistent with the rest of the airframe, with refined raised and recessed detail. The elevators are the same as the rudder and ailerons as far as ribbing and surface detail. The upper cowling in front of the windscreen looks especially nice, and will really pop with some paint and weathering.










The cockpit parts overall look good for injected plastic. The seats look nice, and will look even better with the kit-supplied PE belts installed. The floor, rudder pedals, and other parts are pretty standard for plastic cockpit parts of this scale. The side consoles have excellent raised detail and should look really nice with careful painting. One weak are of the cockpit is the instrument panels – while the two-part panels have nice detail on the back, the faces leave a bit to be desired, but I'm sure the aftermarket industry will address this issue. The flaps are supplied as separate pieces and do have some framing detail on them.










Sprue F



Skipping over the E sprue for now, we move on to sprue F which contains the remainder of the cockpit parts, wheel bays and gear doors, main wheels, optional short and long exhausts, etc. The framing for the cockpit is nicely molded and like other cockpit bits should really pop under paint. The wheel wells are adequately detailed for such small areas, with hydraulic lines molded on. The main wheels with their spoked hubs look very nice should you choose to use them without the hub covers. Both styles of exhaust are provided in separate halves and should look convincingly hollow after assembly and seam cleanup. They also snuck another cockpit console onto this sprue, which looks as great as the others.








Sprue E



Circling back to the E sprue, we find mostly a large variety of underwing stores including T-10 rockets, rocket pods, 250kg bombs, 7.7mm gun pods, 20-gal drop tanks, and all associated pylons. These all look very nice, with the exception of some glaring sink-marks on the gun pod housings, but nothing an experienced modeler can't handle. I don't imagine too many people will opt to use the gun pods anyway. Also found on this sprue are the undercarriage parts, with some very attractive gear legs with separate oleo scissors. The intake is found on this sprue as well, and looks the part.










Sprue GP

Rounding up the plastic parts, we come to the clear sprue. These are packaged in their own fancy protective box – a considerate precaution. The clear parts are perfectly transparent and the rivet detail from the rest of the plane is continued on the frames of the canopy. Very nice!













The single small photoetched fret contains the seat belts for the front and rear seats, which should go a long way to dress up the cockpit.





The instructions come in the form of a 24-page booklet with 38 easy to follow steps of construction (or 30 if you choose not to hang anything underneath the wings). The parts breakdown of the kit is neither overly complex, nor oversimplified at the expense of detail. Assembly appears to be quite straight-forward, and if Kitty Hawk's past releases are any indication there should not be any fitment issues.











You can't look through the contents of this kit without the two HUGE 8.5"x10 decal sheets jumping out at you – this thing has a ton of decals! That's no surprise when you consider that markings are provided for EIGHT different aircraft. The decals themselves are quite thin and in perfect register. Carrier film is minimal and by all appearances these should go on nicely. In addition to the two large sheets is one smaller sheet with decals for the instrument panels, prop blades, and some attractive nose art.













Included in the instruction booklet are 8 glossy color pages of profiles showing decal placement. Markings are provided for the following options:

  • USN
  • US Marines
  • RCAF
  • Luftwaffe
  • Italian Air Force
  • SAAF
  • RAF





Kitty Hawk's first release in 32nd scale is no disappointment. As with their previous releases in 48th scale, the engineering and surface detail is extraordinary. As far as I know this is also the first kit of the T-6 Texan in this scale, and they have certainly done it justice. The large number of marking options and quality decals are certainly a plus. While it does have a few minor shortcomings in the cockpit, I have no doubt that this kit would build up to a most impressive model of this significant part of aviation history straight from the box, and for modellers inclined to do so there is much room for scratch-building and detail work.


Highly Recommended


Sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for providing this review sample.


Jason Brewer



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Hi all I am currently building this model and have just got to step 16 so far I can report that it fits well and has been very enjoyable to work on so far. Even at this early stage I know I will be buying several more of this model for the future.



  • Like 1
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How does the cockpit paint up John? The instrument panel looks quite basic.

Hi James


The cockpit is ok and there is an issue with the instrument panels bung green whereas I think they should be black! I simply punched out the instruments and laid them onto the painted black panel. The decals do not actually match the detail they are supposed to go over but if you do what I did then it is not an issue, you could always paint the dials. The end result is ok. I suspect it will not be long before we see colour etched for this kit. I am beginning to think the decal options are not actually in service birds but most likely they seem to be warbirds in civilian hands so the green instrument panels might be appropriate


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Beware that the decals -except the Bundesluftwaffe option- are all for warbirds, NOT operational aircraft.

I personally hope there will be aftermarket decals that cover the "plain Jane" USAF training aircraft and the operational aircraft in use in Korea.

And of course I hope for a Noorduyn Harvard Mk.IIB, as the Dutch Air Force used.

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I believe the SAAF one is the other exception. That's what they looked like for years as trainers - until 1995 in fact. 7111 was the oldest Texan in SAAF service and I believe it still flies for the SAAF museum.


Beware that the decals -except the Bundesluftwaffe option- are all for warbirds, NOT operational aircraft.

I personally hope there will be aftermarket decals that cover the "plain Jane" USAF training aircraft and the operational aircraft in use in Korea.

And of course I hope for a Noorduyn Harvard Mk.IIB, as the Dutch Air Force used.

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I see frames on the pictures of Texans that are missing from the three canopy clear parts. The box art shows a Texan (TA 349) with the vertical frames missing from the side glazings. Apparently the clear parts are not included which contain all the vertical frames - one only gets the newer (AT-6G) style which are definitely not correct for most of not all the other 7 marking options...... That is bizarre as it gives the plane a very distinctly different look and will not build an accurate depiction of an AT-6C,D etc. It is hilarious how the instructions show all of them with the vertical frames!?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jason, you did a very good and elaborate review of this kit. Thank you! I now know what I'll get if I buy it and that's what it's all about!


As I stated above; most of the decal options seem to be of warbirds flying today. The exceptions seem to be the Bundesluftwaffe version and according to NOVAmodeller probably the SAAF example. Maybe that the warbirds I found in these colours are painstakingly painted as originals when they were flying operationally, but having seen the paint schemes of most warbirds, I have my doubts...


Aside from that, the kit isn't always the right type for the decals because the Canadian-built Harvards did have a different rear canopy.

Of course, the Brits used different designations to make it easier for us!


The USAAF BC-1 was also delivered to the RAF as Harvard I.

The AT-6 became the Harvard II.

The AT-6C was named the Harvard IIA.

These aircraft were U.S. built and had the short canopy rear with straight bottom.




Noorduyn Aviation Ltd from Ontario, Canada built the Harvard IIB. This version was known in the US as the AT-16. Distinguishing features are the long exhaust that also houses the cockpit heating and the larger canopy rear with a curved bottom.


Finally, Canadian Car and Foundry manufactured the Harvard IV, which also featured the canopy rear as seen on the Harvard IIB.


To summarize; the short canopy rear as in the kit:



And the type that is correct for the Harvard IIB and the Harvard IV:



When I found out that the kit-decals were for contemporary warbirds (the US versions even have the civilian N-registration on the decal sheet) I did a quick search on the 'net for some live pics:


Deb, TA-349, good luck with the canopy... ;)


See also http://www.flickr.com/photos/kennethpagliughi/7356196040/


SNJ-5, USN "049 Popeye" registration N29931:



SNJ-5, USMC "War Dog" N1038A:

_BEL7063 SNJ-5 N1038A War Dog left side taxiing l.jpg


Canadian Car & Foundry Harvard Mk. IV "CAF 213", Registration CF-UUU:


Mind the canopy, gents!


Bundesluftwaffe Harvard Mk. IV, TSLw 1, Kaufbeuren.


Also that canopy!


Italian Air Force warbird I-SSEP:

MM54101  T-6G   4-06.jpg


South African Air Force Museum:

Nelson 7111.jpg


Nelson 7111a.JPG


And finally Harvard Mk. IIB G-BIWX:


Mind your canopy!


Although it's a gorgeous kit, providing almost only warbirds is somewhat dissapointing to me personally. Let's hope that the aftermarket people are motivated enough to market some nice decal sheets of operational aircraft! Korea anyone? :)







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Erik, correct, the rear canopy is very different on many, but also the main canopy. Look at the photos posted above - some have large frameless side windows and others have additional frames (3 per side). It gives the aircraft an entirely different look. Regarding the SAAF, yes, the Dayglo scheme was used operationally (as in training) for decades, right until 1995 when they were retired. The "warbirds" still flying are often painted to match that.

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  • 2 years later...

Lots of interesting shemes here.

I read somewhere that the kit-decals are a nightmare to work with.

I will build mine as a Portugese T-6 and avoid possible problems, while using Zotz Decals "North American T-6 Texan in the African Wars" #ZTZ32-062

Very unusal versions on that sheet. If I'm in the mood of building more Texans I would choose the paintshop of Biafra or Katanga or possibly Belgian Congo.

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