TopFlite P40 gold ed. Kit Vs TopFlite red box kit? - RC Groups
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:10 PM
Registered User

TopFlite P40 gold ed. Kit Vs TopFlite red box kit?

I'm looking to start build a P-40 kit. I have two kits in sight, one is the Gold Edition Classic Kit from Topflite 64in wingspan. The other is a vintage topflite red boxed kit designed by Dave Platt 60in wingspan.

Anyone knows wich one is better?

Any advice will be much appreciated.

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Dec 22, 2012, 10:56 PM
team sleprock
whiskykid's Avatar
apart from the 4" dif. in ws, the redbox is fully sheeted, so it can be glassed!

I have not seen the P40 of either up close, although I have seenand worked on a redbox P47 and corsiar! and have seen the gold edition kits of both P51 and corsiar!

the redbox will give you a more scale outline, and will fly heavier/more scale.

the gold edition kits, sacrifice scale for ease of building and flight qualities, so if your looking for a close to scale tha flys well, get the gold!

if you want more scale in looks and flite, the get the redbox!

thats about all I know!
Dec 22, 2012, 11:08 PM
Registered User
Great info whiskykid

I think both versions are full sheeted and yes the idea is to glass it and paint it full scale..

I always heard that red box kits are much wanted so something good must be around those kits.

Thanks for the info.
Dec 22, 2012, 11:15 PM
Registered User
I am building a Top Flite redbox .60 Corsair and have downloaded the gold edition manual to assist in my build.

The redbox edition is an older kit and the directions assume you know what you are doing and are not very detailed vs the gold edition as well as being dated; circa late '70's early 80's. Example, Top Flite redbox instruction manual is 15 pages vs the gold edition manual of 44.

Both kits are fully sheeted and can be glassed. The gold edition manual is more detailed and offer better instructions on the build. Following the redbox manual is suitable for the kit at hand and combining the two instruction manuals has proven to be a valuable tool. You can download the gold edition manual at

The redbox kit may cost less vs the gold edition kit. You can make a great redbox kit by simply modifying the build along side the two manuals. I would suggest comparing the two, read both directions, know what you want to accomplish on each step and stay two steps ahead of your build so you get it right the first time. It may take some time but a good looking unique plane is always awesome at the field. Good Luck
Dec 23, 2012, 02:54 PM
Scale Builder
Originally Posted by whiskykid
the redbox will give you a more scale outline, and will fly heavier/more scale.

the gold edition kits, sacrifice scale for ease of building and flight qualities, so if your looking for a close to scale tha flys well, get the gold!
Actually in almost every case the newer Gold Edition kits are much more scale than the old red box/yellow box kits. In the case of the P-40 (and P-39) it's not even a close contest! The only exception might be the Corsair which was one of the better red box kits. The Gold Edition Corsair is an almost exact duplicate of the redbox version with a few areas of construction updated to newer methods. All the rest of the Gold Edition kits are entirely new designs that share no commonality with the old kits and they are light years better both in engineering and scale outline. The only other red/yellow box kits that maintained a modicum of scale fidelity were the Zero and Bearcat (And the latter might be debatable!) neither of which has been re-released in a Gold Edition kit. If you are interested in scale fidelity then go with the Gold Edition kit. If you want something that is a quicker build with more sport type flight characteristics then the red box might be a better choice.
Dec 23, 2012, 06:57 PM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
Chad is dead on , the Gold Edition P40 is head over heals more scale then the red box .
This is the key differences besides size .
Gold has split flaps , built up tail , ailerons , counter balances in the tail , retract housing, rear windows , and the fuse is much larger despite the wings only being 4" larger .

The red box tail is plank wood , no counter balances , no split flaps , solid ailerons , no rear windows , wings lack scale sweep , no retract housing ,

How do I know , I have built both and bashed the red box using the gold edition plans and gold edition retracts housing , added rear windows, retracts etc .

One other really big difference , the gold edition kit has a design problem with the wing washout that creates a really bad flying habit on takeoff and landing , its a total handful that can be corrected if you know how to add washout .
The Gold Edition that is ARF has the washout corrected and flys like a dream .

I have a new in box red box P40 , planning on a total bash with electric power , electric retracts etc because I know its worth it as the plane has great habits.
Dec 23, 2012, 08:04 PM
Registered User
I have had the gold arf and am building the gold kit right now. One major notice was the built in right thrust. The kit had hardly any but the arf has a few degrees more. When I get to building the fuse I am adding a bit more right to see if that corrects the "stall"
Dec 24, 2012, 05:31 AM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
Good catch , I forgot to menthion that !
Dec 26, 2012, 12:53 PM
dweeb7944's Avatar
Well, I guess I can throw my $.02 in the mix, as I have little knowledge of the RedBox & GE P-40 kits.Chad & Ldm are BOTH right on the money, and as seeing them both on this site for a long time now, I highly value both thier opinions.

As I said, I have little experience with the P-40, but alot of experience with the P-39 Redbox, Yellowbox, and GE kits, which are not unlike the P-40 kit. First to start, the manuals can't be compared, as most Redbox kits have the '10 steps to completion' on the plans themselves, where as the GE have actual manual with steps and photos. As stated earlier, the redbox kits didn't have built up tail surfaces, just a plank of wood. Alot more carving on the nose of the P-39 for the Redbox kit, where as also the GE kit is completely redesigned. My redbox kits all came out much heavier than the GE kit.

Prior to the ARF coming out, I did buy a GE P-40 kit from Ebay. The builder had started the stab, doing a horrible hack job, then stopped the build. I hadn't started the kit because I needed to find someone with the stab ribs to template (yes the guy hacked it that bad that I can't retrace from the originals, as well as he threw out the laser cut sheet they came in). The ARF came out years later, and I was going to cheat and just buy the ARF stab, but I had heard about the wing wash problem somewhere that LDM was talking about, and in fear, the kit still sits in my pile of misfit kits. If I can figure out that problem, I would like to start the build, but I have my concerns.

Between the two kits, in my opinion, I think you would be happier with the Golden Anniversary Edition over the Redbox in both building & flying.

helifann, good to know about the right thrust. I'll need to make a note and throw it in my box to remind myself. Thanks.
Dec 26, 2012, 10:18 PM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
Dweeb great points and thanks for the kind words .If I can find the info on the washout i will get it for you but I know it was on RCU and diffucult to simply pull up.
I have a funny story (but 100 true about my red box P40) .
The gold edition was not out yet while I was in the process of doing my bash .
I was in college so my work was very slow and only when home from school .
I shelved it for about 5 years and TF comes out with the gold edition , I thought wow that is great , all the work I am doing on mine so that its unique and scale and they go and do it for everyone !! So I buy the Gold Edition plans before every owning the kit , I also buy the retract houseing knowint it will be bigger but I made it work .
So I added 615 robart retracts , they were medal scissor but the internal parts were plastic, I even had robart rotating gear that was servo activated (really old) !!
Ok so long story short, I has this thing as scale as you could want it to be for standoff .
I flew it a few times over the summer , great plane , great habbits , really a sweet flyer .
Too busy with life and no time for RC , I heard of this thing called ebay . I could not post so I took it to an ebay seller that list for a fee , you write the description and he sells it .
This is the part that you wil think is fiction , $79 for the kit , with everything it was about $350 in total cost.
The ebay seller gets 10% of the sales but ships and packs, this was around early 90ties before the real development of arfs .
so , two weeks go by and my ebay buddy does not call me , so I call him .
he says " Oh ya I sold it , $895 dollars is your take "
Trust me , I did not believe it either , it was being purchased by a collector who owned a bar that was WW2 so the cost was nothing to him .
Talk about luck !!!!
Dec 27, 2012, 01:33 AM
Scale Builder
I had the Gold Edition P-40 but I did not build it so I'm not familiar with the washout situation. My bird slowed down quite well, better than I expected actually based on the somewhat nasty reputation the airplane has garnered. However, it did exhibit some interesting takeoff characteristics that I have never experienced in any other model. It was a bit hairy on roll out after landing as well but that's just typical P-40. I'd have another one in a second despite the "unique" handling as I really enjoyed flying it and nothing looks better on a low pass than a P-40!

Dec 27, 2012, 10:43 PM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
Sweet nice finish !

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