Man, Airfix's newtool stuff in 1/72 is very, very impressive for the price. And while this kit retails for some 30 dollars U.S., it's been on Amazon for sale for the last several months (as of August 2017) for under 15 bucks (before shipping and tax.) I paid 13 dollars for mine in June 2017. What an incredible bargain. Recessed panel lines, plenty of detail, reasonable accuracy to the subjects displayed, and nice fit and finish. It has decal instrument panels, which I've come to kind of prefer at this scale, but different strokes for different folks and all. The kit even includes some option parts for displaying it wheels up or gear down. As well as a couple of odd ones I noticed like the choice of older style pitot tube on the P-40B or the correct straight one from the George Welch 160 marked plane on the box. It also included up or down engine cowling variants for the P-40, and a conformal fuel ("drop"
tank for the Zero. Not to mention the kit includes a stand you can build for display purposes of both models as well, if that's your thing.
I've had just a ton of fun with this kit especially considering how much I paid for it. At MSRP it's not a bad purchase at all, but especially if you can get a deal on this kit it's a must-buy for anyone who likes 1/72 and especially people who are starting out, either generally or at this scale.
Really you could stop reading here if you just want to buy and build something for cheap that looks awesome, particularly to the untrained eye, and will give you some decent 1/72 practice and a nice display commemorating an incredible real historical event (the flight of George Welch over Pearl Harbor) However if you're looking to take this kit further than what's included you might be interested to read in the only complaint I would remotely have with the kit, which is with the included colors. I mean it's a very small problem to have and I'm really just nitpicking this one, because paint is so cheap and you can buy some more to supplement what's included, but again just thought I'd mention it because I personally did, just to challenge the kit and have this info, attempt to complete my models with only that which was included (except I did cheat on brushes and break out a handy 3/4" flat brush which I'd recommend for the wings, fuselage and underside.) And it can't be overstated that for anyone wanting to build the kit, if they are wanting to go further than the kit's included paints, this information will be helpful; I would definitely want to know under different circumstances.
First of all I have to say the quality of paint is nice, it's real Humbrol acrylic paint (in little sampler pots with the Hu # stamped on top) which I actually have found I like almost as much as Tamiya. Now considering they're in those little sampler pots, the chances of them being dried up when you get them do increase, but it shouldn't be a huge concern if you're buying from a reputable source. The only issue with the paint when it really comes down to it, is the colors given, in terms of PALETTE, are not going to give you perfect accuracy, or anywhere near it really, again, not that I would expect it to for this kind of kit. I just want to leave helpful information for anyone considering more.
The colors? I received some kind of yellow for the P-40B's interior which you can mix with the included olive drab to make due, but it'll never look nearly like the proper interior green / chromate primer type color used on U.S. WW2 planes. The instructions show an interior green number for the Zero's interior parts, but the kit in fact includes a medium gray in its stead which wouldn't be at all correct for the A6M or the P-40B. It's also kind of a redundant color to include with so few in the kit, because you've already got U.S. compass gray which you could darken with the included flat black to make different gray shades, or simply buy (if you even need to) some white on the side to lighten it.
I'll defend the fact that of course this kit doesn't include anything even close to the aotake primer the Japanese used for priming / interior parts, but I think the kit could've really benefited from the inclusion of a limier, zinc green of some sort even in the case of the Japanese plane. Yes the Zero. Here me out. Had they included the interior green close to U.S. or Brit planes of the day, not only would you have had the perfect P-40B choice, you would've gotten something at least a bit closer to some of the paint chips they've recovered for aotake, which varied in color from blues and teals to something at least not completely unlike the U.S. and Brit greens. And then for some improvement from your personal paint collection or a trip to the store, that color with just a spot of blue or teal mixed in would make a rather nice aotake stand-in. This would save you on the number of extra paints needed for a more "serious" build, had they included it instead of the second gray shade.
You might also consider getting a few extra metallic colors because this kit only contains Humbrol's silver which is really the bare minimum you could get away with. I ended up darkening it by adding slight amounts of the included #33 black to produce multiple subtle shades so that everything metal didn't look so samesy. Staying in the metal realm, in addition, the engine exhaust heat pipes on this era's P-40B would've been a metallic copper color which I don't blame them for not including either, but just be aware and consider picking some up if that's the level of accuracy you want to pursue.
Finally, and this is definitely a "last but not least" mention here as it could be a bigger issue than the ones listed before: the beige green gray included to do the Zero's hull is quite a bit darker and greener than what would be correct. Yes I know the Zeros of Pearl Harbor were not brilliant arctic white as in so many movies and pictures, but this is quite a bit different from the references I've been able to study. Adding a spot of white (again that you'd have to purchase if you don't already have) would get you right on the money though, I think.
The bottom line though, is beside some nitpicking on colors of paint included in the starter set, it's a pretty phenomenal kit ESPECIALLY considering the price range. I would recommend this kit to all but the most jaded and experienced of modellers. It's so good I consider it, along with a few others all by Airfix, a benchmark for all-in-one starter/gift sets.