The Curtiss Model 75 first flew in 1935 and was a competitor in the USAAC fighter selection competition. The competing Seversky aircraft had crashed on route to contest and Curtiss took the opportunity to install a new larger engine and rework the fuselage.
When the competition commenced, the new engine failed to deliver the rated power and the Seversky entry was selected becoming the P-35 fighter.
In 1936, the USAAC was concerned about Seversky’s ability to deliver the new fighter and wanted a back up so three prototypes were ordered from Curtiss.
In 1937, the Model 75 again competed for selection and this time easily won. 210 were ordered as the P-36.
Following that success, the Hawk, as it was named by Curtiss, was order by many international countries including France where they were used to resist the German invasion.
In US service, the P-36 suffered numerous teething problems. By the time these were resolved the P-36 was obsolete so they were used for training or sent to less important oversees locations such as Alaska and Hawaii.
During the attack on Pearl Harbour five P-36 scored two victories for the loss of one of their own.
Heller 1/72 kit completed by Steve Pulbrook in 2011.