Built Review
Curtiss P-6E
Curtiss P-6E ''All The World's Aircraft'' ''The Golden Era''
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Curtiss P-6E
"All The World's Aircraft"
Series: 1: The Golden Era
Item: SK-1

AHM 'All the worlds aircraft - Historical Aviation in Scale Models' Curtiss P-6E in 1/100. For aircraft modelers, these are niche models. For model railroaders and war gamers, they offer the opportunity to supplement vehicles propelled by beast, and engines of steam and diesel, with aviation.

Associated Hobby Manufacturers ( reincarnated as INTERNATIONAL HOBBY CORPORATION until IHC’s demise in 2010) was a multi-faceted hobby powerhouse c.1960‘s-80’s. Modelers -- especially model railroaders -- of that era no doubt had some of AHM’s products. AHM airplane model history is at the bottom of this review.

Curtiss P-6E Hawk
    Starting in 1925 with the P-1, Curtiss built a long series of fighters carrying the name "Hawk." Of the eight different P-6 models produced, the P-6E remains the best known. Originally designated the Y1P-22, the U.S. Army Air Corps redesignated this aircraft the P-6E because of its similarity to the other P-6s. Curtiss delivered 46 P-6E Hawks, the last biplane fighter built in quantity for the Air Corps. Never used in combat, the P-6E is recognized as one of the most beautiful aircraft of the 1930s.

    Armament: Two .30-cal. machine guns
    Engine: Curtiss V-1570 of 600 hp
    Maximum speed: 204 mph
    Cruising speed: 167 mph
    Range: 480 miles
    Ceiling: 24,400 ft.
    Span: 31 ft. 6 in.
    Length: 23 ft. 2 in.
    Height: 8 ft. 11 in.
    Weight: 3,432 lbs. loaded †

Popping the tab
I have collected most of All The World's Aircraft. AHM's F4B-4 (see my review) built into a pleasing model. In an era when accurate scaling was played fast and loose AHM deceived modelers as to the scale of this series by advertising them as 1/87: HO scale. AHM was heavily into HO model trains and was the importer of Roco MiniTanks, also HO. Most of these airplanes are 1/100 - which is sort of model railroad TT scale. "Sort of" because TT is 1/100 on the western side of the English Channel yet 1/120 on the continental side. Further information can be found below at both AHM Airplane Model Kits and for scale info, Click here for additional images for this review.

AHM also sold these models fully assembled and packed in plastic display cases, and example of which shows the built P-6.

These kits are packed inside end-opening boxes with litho box art, including imitation wood grain and brass plaque. Painting and decal placement is printed on the back. Chrome yellow sprues are sealed in a plastic bag.

Molding is good for the era with some flash, thin trailing edges, minimal mold seam lines, no sinks or visible ejector marks. Parts consist of:

24 yellow parts
2 x clear windscreens
1 x black chunk for the cockpit

AHM must have designed this model with modeler input as they included two gun sights and two windscreens.

Surface detail for this little Curtiss is raised. Simulated fabric over wing structure is oversized while the airfoil parts are fairly thin. I noticed in a photo that AHM molded an insignia circle on a wing although I can't see it with my naked eye. Unfortunately, the canopy has a blue tint. The control surfaces are positionable--they just snap into place. Test fitting is encouraging.

Decals and instructions
The 40-year-old decals are well registered and thin. They display slight discoloration. Markings for one airplane are provided: Capt. Ross G. Hoyt, Commanding Officer of the 17th Pursuit Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, based at Selfridge Field, Mich. in 1933.†

Assemble is guides via text and an exploded-view diagram. Painting guidance is printed on the back of the box.

For aircraft modelers, these are niche models. For model railroaders and war gamers, they offer the opportunity to build aircraft of the era when many vehicles were still propelled by the beast and engines of steam. While most of these kits are not rare, you will have to search to find them, and they vary in price; mine have cost from a few dollars to over thirty dollars.

I greatly enjoyed building the stubby Navy Boeing and look forward to building this classic yellow wing-era Curtiss.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.

AHM Airplane Model Kits
AHM also released model kits of different aircraft in 87th scale*. They were in the 'All the worlds aircraft - Historical Aviation in Scale Models' product line. There have been at least three series of aircraft. All models were released in 1974 or later. * Information received from Wayne Calder:
    several of the kits were actually made in 1/100. These later turned up as Roco models.
Additional information received from Jens Mehner:
    Having almost owned all of them at one time or another, I can assure you that none of them was in 1/87 scale, with the possible exception of the "Spirit of St Louis", the only one I never had, they were all more or less in 1/96 scale.

Information received from J.D.:
    I was the purchasing director Far East for AHM in the mid 70’s. We took over the Cox line of built-up planes and produced them in both kit and built-up models. I don’t recall just how many we did, but it included some like “Spirit of St. Louis” as well as the StuKa, P-38 Lightning, most of the famous WWII fighters (US mainly) and the F4 Phantom. The built ups were nicely done.

Model railroaders and war gamers of OO [1/76] through TT [1/120] (including E and QO SCALE [1/96], OOC SCALE [1/100], 3mm SCALE and TM SCALE {a version of TT}, [1/101.6]) desiring aircraft had, and still suffer, a small field to choose from. AHM filled the void with a good selection of common and popular aircraft c. 1930-73:
Series Name Kits

    1. 'The Golden Era' (6)
    2. 'The Famous World War II Fighters' (6)
    3. 'The Classic War birds’ (?)

      SK-1 1 Curtiss P-6E 'Hawk' 1/100
      SK-2 1 Grumman F3F-3 1/97
      SK-3 1 F4B4 Boeing 99 1/100
      SK-4 1 P26A Boeing 'Peashooter' 1/99
      SK-5 1 Ryan 'The Spirit of Saint Louis' 1/110
      SK-6 1 Lockheed Vega 'Winnie Mae' 1/100
      SK-7 2 Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M 'Zero' / 'Zeke' 1/103
      SK-8 2 Kawasaki Hien K1-61-1 'Tony' 1/100
      SK-9 2 North-American P51D 'Mustang' 1/100
      SK-10 2 Messerschmitt BF-109E 1/100
      SK-11 2 North-American P51D 'Mustang' 'Miss America'-version 1/87
      SK-12 2 Curtiss P-40 'Warhawk' (Flying Tigers decals) 1/96
      SK-13 2 Bell P-39Q 'Airacobra' 1/102
      SK-14 3 McDonnell F-4E 'Phantom II' 1/90
      SK-15 3 Lockheed P-38L 'Lightning' 1/89
      SK-16 3 Junkers Ju87G 'Stuka' 1/85 ? ?
      McDonnel F-3B 'Demon' (announced but never issued)”**

    1/87 (HO scale) is 21% smaller than 1/72
    1/87 15% larger than 1/100


†. National Museum of the USAF. Fact Sheets, Curtiss P-6E Hawk. [Web.] 5/23/2011.

*, **. Used with permission of 87thScale.info

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Reasonable molding and positionable control surfaces.
Lows: Flash. Raised detail.
Verdict: For model railroaders and war gamers, they offer the opportunity to build aircraft of the era when many vehicles were still propelled by the beast and engines of steam.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:100
  Mfg. ID: SK-1
  Suggested Retail: varies
  Related Link: Built F4B-4
  PUBLISHED: Aug 29, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


I just updated this review with photos of the built model.
SEP 20, 2013 - 02:06 PM
ah, is it 1/100 or 1/87 The box sez 1/87, but sometimes boxes lie.
SEP 20, 2013 - 03:11 PM
Hi Mark, Yes indeed! AHM's misrepresentation (intentional or accidental) of the scale may be why these didn't survive. The model wingspan is 3¾ inches and the real P-6E's is 31½ feet. That scales out to 1/100.8. AHM presumably claimed 1/87 to coax HO railroaders to buy these, although 3¾ inches in HO would make the 1/1 wingspan 23.2 feet. Tsk tsk, AHM!
SEP 21, 2013 - 02:26 PM
Ah, Clever marketing strategy... You had me intrigued with the P-6E, so when I saw the old Monogram kit at a model show today I had to get it. Peeked into the box and it was a buch of 1/72 tank bits.
SEP 21, 2013 - 04:37 PM
I hope it was an accident - someone just unloading boxes without looking in to it - instead of a rascal out to cheat people.
APR 29, 2016 - 09:21 PM

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