The P-12 was powered by a 500 HP Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine which gave the aircraft a cruise speed of 189 mph and a maximum speed of 257 mph. The service ceiling was 26,300 feet and the range 570 miles. The Boeing P-12 was armed with two .30 inch machine guns or one .30 inch and one .50 inch machine gun as well as 244 lbs of bombs slung externally.
This kit is the Matchbox P-12E from the early 1970s. It was molded in two colors to enable it to be built without painting by the novice modeller, and the fit is rather nice. It is very sturdy for a 1/72 biplane, and the details are adequate. I decided to add a Revell pilot instead of detailing the cockpit, and I used stretched sprue for the rather simple rigging. The Matchbox decals were not used, and I opted for Starfighter Decals' markings of a Squadron Leader of the 24th Pursuit Squadron in the Canal Zone in 1934. It is difficult to imagine what it must have been like to be deployed around the Panama Canal in 1934, just a couple of years after the Great Depression, but hot, humid and lonely seems to be a fair bet.
Boeing P-12E at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, in markings of 6th Pursuit Squadron, 18th PG, Wheeler Field, Hawaii
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