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  1. P-40D Warhawk/Kittyhawk Mk.I ‘Four Guns’ (SH72367) 1:72 Special Hobby First flying before the outbreak of WWII, the Warhawk was a development of the P-36 Hawk, and although it was never the fastest fighter in the sky, it was a sturdy one that took part in the whole of WWII in American and Allied hands, with large numbers used by Soviet pilots in their battles on the Eastern front. The various marks garnered different names such as Tomahawk and Kittyhawk, so it can get a mite confusing if you're not familiar with the type. It was unable to keep pace with the supercharged Bf.109, but was used to great effect in the Far East and Africa, which may have assisted in the feeling that it was a second-string aircraft of inferior design, when this actually wasn't the case – certainly not to the extent inferred. It was robust, cheap to make, and easy to repair, although its high-altitude performance dropped off somewhat. The early marks were under-armed with just two .50 guns firing through the prop from the top of the engine cowling and a pair of .303s in the wings, but later models benefited from improved armament. The B model was a revision of the initial airframe with lessons learned from early production, self-sealing fuel tanks and armour in critical parts of the airframe, although this extra weight did have an impact on performance. The -D was a partial re-design, eliminating the nose guns, narrowing the fuselage and improving the cockpit layout and canopy. In British service it was known as the Kittyhawk Mk.I, but only a small number were made before the -E replaced it with a more powerful Allison engine, and an extra pair of .50cl machine guns in the wings bringing the total to six, but even that wasn’t sufficient to let it keep up with the opposition. It wasn't until the –F model that the Allison engine was replaced by a license built Merlin that gave it better high altitude performance and a sleeker chin. The Kit This is a rebox of a recent tooling from Special Hobby with new parts to depict this variant, and it arrives in a red/white/grey themed top-opening box with a painting of the subject after a brief but successful tangle with an Italian Macchi that has since developed a smoking habit. Inside the box are two sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue that’s separately bagged, a tiny bag of two 3D printed parts, decal sheet with a small fret of PE in the same bag, and the A5 portrait instruction booklet printed on glossy paper in colour. Detail is good, with finely engraved panel lines, raised and recessed details around the airframe and a few spare parts that can stay on the sprues, which are marked with a red X on the sprue diagram. Construction begins with the pilot’s seat, which is mounted on a frame, then attached to the bulkhead and given a set of four-point decal seatbelts, after which it is set aside for a few steps. The fuselage sides are fitted with sidewall inserts, with sections further forward painted silver as they form part of the intake pathway, adding the core with three circular intakes inside, and the intake lip in front once the fuselage halves are together. The rear bulkhead with seat and the instrument panel with two decals for the dials are trapped between the two halves of the fuselage as it is closed, and for one decal option, the intake on the top of the cowling is shortened and the resultant hole should be filled with styrene strip or your filler of choice. A small triangular shape on the cockpit side is removed and smoothed over at this stage too. Moving on to the wings, the full-span lower has the perimeter around the bay openings painted, as are the side-walls that are glued in the recesses, and the roof that is moulded into the upper wing half. The cockpit floor is moulded into the centre of the upper wing, and that is also painted the same colour, so quite convenient while you have the paint out. The control column and another lever are inserted into the floor, then the wings can be joined to the fuselage, taking care not to ping the stick off as you do so. The wing-mounted machine guns will need some adjustment to correctly match the guns carried by the decal options, with three scrap diagrams showing the mixture of removal and/or addition that you will need to carry out for accuracy’s sake. The PE sheet will also see some action at this stage too, as it is used in the removal and reinstatement of a panel line in a different place to extend the gun bay panel lines. The elevators are each a single part that affix with the usual slot and tab method, with a separate rudder that can be posed deflected if you wish. The exhaust stubs are supplied as three paired inserts per side, and are far too small to drill out unless you have the world’s steadiest hands. There is more adjustment needed under the wing, filling the panel lines and spent brass chutes marked in red, and using another side of the template to scribe new panel lines as marked in blue. A raised section behind the ejection ports is sanded away and replaced by the 3D printed parts, but the adaptations don’t end there. There is a choice of two styles of pitot probe, the kit part used for just one, the other three requiring some alteration of the part. The end is cut away and a new L-shaped section is fabricated according to the measurements given in the scrap diagram, with all options inserted into the port wingtip. The last option is straight forward and involves selecting open or closed cooling gills behind the radiator housing. The main gear struts have an additional bracing leg fixed at the top, then the tripod arrangement is inserted into the sockets in the bay, adding the two doors to each side of the bays, and another two with a cross-brace in the tail bay and a single part strut/wheel to complete the undercarriage. You then have a choice of three loads under the centre of the fuselage, consisting of two types of fuel tank, or a bomb for ground-attack operations. Each option is made from two halves plus four braces for the fuel tanks, and two for the bomb. Flipping the model over allows the last step to be completed, fitting the coaming and gunsight into the cockpit and adding the windscreen with optional rear-view mirror, and the two side windows into the scalloped sections behind the canopy, which can be posed open or closed as you like it. Markings There are four options available on the decal sheet, two of which are British desert standard schemes, the other two are out of the ordinary. From the box you can build one of the following: Kittyhawk Mk.I AK578/GA-V, No.112 Sqn. RAF, North Africa, January 1942 Kittyhawk Mk.I AK51/CV-J, No.3 Sqn. RAF, North Africa, January 1942 P-40D Warhawk, Captured by the Japanese Army at Malaybalay base, Mindanao Island, Philippines, 1942 P-40D Warhawk, 79th Pursuit Sqn., 20th Pursuit Group, Hamilton Field, USA, Autumn 1941 in temporary wargames markings. The decals appear to be printed by the same process that Eduard use, and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. I mention Eduard because from 2021, the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion The P-40 is an interesting aircraft, and played some important parts in WWII, as evidenced by the number of notable pilots that gained their reputation in this doughty fighter. This is a well-detailed kit of a short-lived variant, and has some interesting decal options that make it an appealing prospect, bearing in mind that for improved accuracy, you’ll need to make a few minor amendments to the plastic. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. How about it? A Curtiss GB from the beginning to the end, everything and anything Curtiss?
  3. This is an idea I've been kicking around a while, and this seems a good opportunity to take a shot at it. The original P-6 resembled the eventual P-6E only in the way all Curtiss Hawk biplane fighters had major components in common. Everything from the original P-1 pursuit to the final Hawk III export fighter shared a common basic structure. A variety of engines, both vee and radial were employed. The basic girder structure of the fuselage did not change as it was variously fleshed out with stringers. Undercarriage arrangements varied, little variations in the tail assembly were rung. The wing structure remained the same (with the disastrous exception of the 'metallized' BF2C) throughout.. Here's a couple of pictures of the original P-6: The P-6D was basically this machine, fitted with an early turbo-charger: So, I'll be starting out with this: I will need to scratch a fuselage, and details, but wings and tail will certainly be from the kit....
  4. This is a marker, I can't get started on this till next weekend. Still.... The three 'yellow wings' Monogram kits are among the best vintage kits ever made. This 'Goshawk' must be a contender for some 'shortest service life' distinction, as within a few months it was modified into the BFC-2. I expect to detail this a bit, but won't be directly using the Starfighter resin. Metalwork on this should be lacquered aluminum, not grey. Recently Mr. Dana Bell discovered a letter from the Navy to Curtiss saying that since the change would go into effect soon, the company should just use the new finish on these.
  5. Having watched the entertaining Top Gun [not Gear] Maverick last week (and going to see it again tomorrow!) its time to consider an earlier Hollywood blockbuster about the US Navy. DIVE BOMBER - watch as Errol Flynn smokes, dive bombs, smokes, crashes, smokes, dive bombs and smokes again. But seriously another great and entertaining movie, with colourful biplanes plunging through the air! Okay from memory the biplanes are fairly transitory as it was the change to monoplanes, and the USN repainted or provided older colour scheme "Golden Wings" aircraft to help with continuity. See the trailer here! The USN was a big proponent of dive bombing as the only way to accurately deliver a killer aerial blow on a moving naval target. Ernst Udet whilst in the US saw demonstrations and enthused the early Luftwaffe with the technique. The Curtiss SBC-4 was the final incarnation of the Navy biplane dive bomber, subsequent aircraft would be monoplanes. I picked up this kit at a show, somewhere along its previous 30+ odd years it had lost the front windscreen - though unlike many secondhand kits it still had the stand, is there a black market in purloined stands? Never fear, after an appeal on here @Marklo kindly posted me one of his vacforms to save the day! Why so late starting? I am trying to do one kit at a time but completing my latest one-a-month 370z kit had dragged out for three months, so will I make it? I have this week off so there's a good chance by Sunday. Here's the parts prepared: Subsequently I have drilled for rigging (likely Prym elastic thread, I am not mad enough to do double wires at 1/72 though) and primed. Tonight I plan to paint the interior and can then assemble the fuselage. Cheers Will
  6. Hi, I have to confess, that I have not heard about this machine until I saw Pavla kit in a model shop.... This is Curtiss observation airplane, O-52 Owl. One can read more about this US countrpartner to Lysander on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_O-52_Owl. So, 203 were build, out of that number some about 20 were flying in Soviet army within a Lend-Lease project. Markings are taken from profile in wing palette web page, presents airplane belonging to 42nd OKAE (Independend Observation Squadron) 7th (Soviet) Air Army bsed near Segezha in May 1943. Comments welcome Regards Jerzy-Wojtek
  7. Whilst starting into my Matchbox Bipe Triple build, I also concluded that it was time I finally finished up the last few details on a few other kits. One of them is the Airfix 1/72 P-40B, finished as a P-40C operating in the Panama Canal Zone, as seen below. Most of you will already know this, but the Airfix kit builds reasonably well. My biggest gripe with it is attaching the intakes on the nose of the fuselage, as I have yet to pull off doing so without also needing some filler. In any case, I think that my final result is acceptable. Next up will either be a Swedish Avro 504K or a Chinese Gladiator 1. Additionally, I have finally returned to armor modelling after picking up a UMMT 1/72 T1 Combat Car, which should be up in WIP soon. Thanks all, Stay safe, Tweener
  8. Good day! Recently, I was approached by a man with a request to paint his model. In addition to painting, it also had to be finalized. After almost complete disassembly of the model, improvements were made. Modified the cockpit, drilled machine guns, exhaust pipes. All identification marks, serial number and mouth are completely handmade paint mask. Prototype Complete model Azure blue - AKAN Dark earth - Gunze Middle stone - Tamiya Dull Red - AK Real Colour Roundal blue - AKAN Yellow - AKAN White - RealColour Interiour green - AKAN Lacquer - Alcad II Wash - AK
  9. Curtiss P-40B Warhawk (A01003B) 1:72 Airfix The Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2, known in US Army Air Corps service as the P-40B Warhawk and in RAF service as the Tomahawk Mk. IIA, was a single seat fighter based on the radial engined P-36 Hawk and first flown in 1938. The P-40 series went on to be amongst the most produced US fighters of the war, with more than 13,000 rolling off the production line. A popular aircraft with its pilots, the P-40 earned a reputation as a manoeuvrable yet tough aircraft. The Kit This was a new tool for Airfix back in 2011. The kits 47 parts are split across 2 light grey sprues and one small transparent sprue. The quality of the mouldings looks very nice indeed; as you would expect from a newer tool there is no flash present and there are no sink marks. The panel lines are crisply rendered and, although they are quite deeply engraved, they are certainly not too broad or ‘trench like’ and I imagine the majority of modellers will be very satisfied with them. The surface of the plastic is also smooth and glossy as opposed to the slightly textured finish that has featured on some recent kits from Airfix. From the layout of the sprues it would appear that slide mould technology has been used to create the hollow intake on top of the engine cowling too. Cockpit detail is comprised of a floor, instrument panel, seat and control column. The instrument panel is devoid of raised detail as a decal is provided to represent the instruments instead. The cockpit sidewalls feature convincing detail, the majority of which is embossed into the sides of the fuselage rather than standing proud. The lower wing is moulded in one piece and the main gear wheel wells are moulded with convincing depth and detail. Two different main gear wheels are provided – a pair of nicely weighted wheels for the undercarriage down option and a pair of thinned wheels for the undercarriage up version. The tail wheel is moulded in one piece and the fabric cover for its bay is very nicely represented. Two types of radiator flaps are provided, giving the modeller the choice to pose them open or closed. The tail planes are perhaps the one area of the kit where the panel lines are too pronounced, but by happy coincidence this would be the easiest area to rectify should you so wish. The rudder is moulded separately to the tail and can be posed in a deflected position – a nice touch for a relatively simple series one kit. The exhausts are moulded separately to the fuselage and can be dropped in at the end of the build, which will make painting these parts much easier. The transparent parts are beautifully thin and clear, so much so that it’s a shame that the sliding canopy is moulded in one piece with the windscreen as it can’t be posed open without some surgery. Decals A small decal sheet from Cartograf (so you know the quality is there) provides decals for aircraft only. 284 from the 6th Pursuit Sqn, 18th Pursuit Group Wheeler Field, Hawaii December 7th 1941 Conclusion As with other recent releases from Airfix, this is a great looking kit that features nice details and a host of clever little touches. If the fit and engineering of this kit is up to the same standard as their other recent kits then this will be a very buildable little model indeed. This kit can be firmly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Mikromir is to release a 1/48th Curtiss Robin kit - ref. Source: https://www.facebook.com/mikro.mir.dnepr/posts/3084263231651392 3D renders V.P.
  11. Here is the Aeroplast Mi-2 which is my last completion. I have to start out and say overall the kit is great but there are a couple odd things about it, namely that there are no real clues to any colors. The instructions are great with that exception. They have a very nice table with colors at the front of the instructions but no further references to this. The other falt I have is that there are no decals for the instruments and no raised detail on them if you chose to paint them. Given that the decals for the kit are great and you have a large number of options this one addition would have been great. Otherwise a great kit and a great addition to any helicopter collection. This particular chopper flew out of Krakow, Poland in the late 1990's. The reason I did this version is I believe all the Mi-2's were built under contract in Poland so it had to be Polish and I have been to Krakow and it is one of my favorite cities, just a lovely place to go. And I thought I would include a couple shots to see the relative size: in 1/48 is the Special Hobby Mi-1, the Aeroplast Mi-2 (these two are virtually the same size) and the Monogram Mi-24. It is astonishing how large the Mi-24 is .
  12. Here is another one of my lockdown builds, which now that I have taken pictures I realize I need to add the wires from the end of the wings to the antenna mast. No model is ever perfect so it is probably not the only mistake that I have made but at least it is something I can easily add after the fact. The kit itself was somewhat of a struggle as the resin wheels were of no use and did not fit and it was difficult to determine part locations. I used Testor 1110 enamel paint in the little square bottles for the blue as I could not find anything else that seemed closer to the color. This particular aircraft was flying out of Wheeler Field in Hawaii in 1937. Thanks for taking a look!
  13. Kit - Airfix Paint - All enamels & AML vinyl camouflage masks. Decals - Academy, Kits World 48058, Kit & spares. Extras - None Curtiss Warhawk 81A-2 Sq. Ldr. John Van Kuren Newkirk 2nd Pursuit Squadron (Panda Bears) American Volunteer Group Burma, early 1942 One of those subjects that I've wanted in the cabinet for so long. When Airfix brought this kit out - like the B-25 - I ordered it directly and may have been one of the first folks here in NZ to get my dirty paws on it. Long-story short, it wasn't an easy build, all the locating tabs and pins needed to be removed from the wings in order to get a proper-looking dihedral, and even now I think it's too shallow, there was also a fair amount of chamfering needed where the root meets the top of the wing. No matter it's all done now and I'm really pleased with it. I found the AML camouflage masks by accident in the Hannants catalogue and bought them without hesitation - d*mn glad I did, because getting the Curtiss factory applied pattern would have been quite tricky. If you haven't tried them for your more complicated camo patterns, I'd say give them a go, they worked great for me - your experience however, may differ. Also first time using Kits World decals... won't be the last, they are superb, reminded me very much of the much-missed Eagle Strike sheets in the way they performed, clarity, register etc. Not much else to say, other than the wing-fit issues, it's a delight, cannot see me doing another 'Curtiss', but along with the (already built) Defiant, Hurricane and Mk.V Spit, this is a superb addition to the Airfix 1:48 range, looking forward to the next one, (don't tell Frau, but I bought the (early) P-51D this morning aswell). Next from me will be a (very) 'Old Skool' Airfix build, which has already consumed more filler and sheets of wet'n dry than my last six builds combined. Best from NZ, AFN Ian.
  14. Old Heller model, well known to all of you. But nothing is thrown at me but everything is made. They said only aftermarket. Here's the picture.
  15. Hello All, I'm new here. I hope that this is a reasonable topic for this forum. I'm working on a 3d-printable model of a classic aeroengine--basically an (intermittently) working prototype from the early history of aircraft. This is the Curtiss No. 3, which famously powered Silver Dart, Cygnet II, and various other experimental craft created of the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) that included Alexander Graham Bell, Glenn Curtiss, and others. The engine first ran on 23 October, 1908 and was used by the AEA through at least February 1909. It was later used in a small fishing boat in Nova Scotia, which sank. The engine was later recovered and now sits in a display case at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM) in Ottawa. The good people at CASM made a scan of it for me a month or two ago. I've been using that scan as the basis for a printable model. Here's a rough 1/8 version FDM printed version in primer: Here's a 1/25 version in UV-cured resin that I've painted up:
  16. The well known and loved by all Special Hobby's kit is well worth the manufacturer's brand. Special in every aspect: quality of the molds, fit, level of details, accuracy. And isn't our hobby (inter alia) a struggle against the efforts of producers, how to do something wrong, if it could be good. So everything is all right. If you are interested in details and have strong nerves, please look for the workshop thread. The construction process was marked by numerous problems, caused by myself. First the fuselage broke twice where it was connected to the engine cowling, then after assembling the airframe and painting, I dropped it on the desk and the instrument panel inside fell off ... reinstalling it perfectly did not succeed, poor access, but I didn't want to make such a large step back and brake the fuselage into halves. Decals were too transparent, had to overpaint them. I broke one leg of the landing gear, lost one gear leg cover (the one in the front of the gear nacelle, finally I made them both of an aluminium sheet obtained from a tin of Felix peanuts), I lost the fuel filler cap too, replaced with a scratch-built one. At the end I unfortunately grabbed it with dirty fingers and the marks had to be removed ... But finally, here it is. Here it is and it proves that even with medium abilities and skills in the use of putty and file, this model can be put together. And this is probably the most important thing. Few things added: rivets, missing panel lines, modification of armament in the wings, antenna mountings on the wings, vertical stabilizer and fuselage, 0.2 mm Uschi van der Rosten antenna cables with insulators made of hygienic stick stretched over fire (does anyone use them for any other purpose, btw?), wheel well covers from CMK resin, barrels from Master. The rest - straight from the box. Painted with MRP Paints. Colors according to the AJ-Press monograph: old leaves - early US Olive Drab, young leaves - early US Medium Green, underside of wings and horizontal fins painted silver, with upper surface color over the leading edge. In combination with the orange markings (Dutch Decals DDS003 R.Netherlands East Indies Air Force) - it looks very nice and different, I think. Hope you like it :). Best regards and Happy New Year! Hubert
  17. LukGraph is to release in 2019 1/32nd - ref. 32-16 - Curtiss F6C-1 U.S. Navy Fighter - http://www.lukgraph.pl/?p=1182 - ref. 32-17 - Curtiss F6C-2/3 U.S. Navy Float - http://www.lukgraph.pl/?p=1185 - ref. 32-20 - Curtiss F6C-3 float - http://www.lukgraph.pl/?p=1219 - ref. 32-21 - Curtiss F6C-4 US Marine Corps - https://www.lukgraph.pl/?p=1333 Also sources: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2135392270108168 https://www.facebook.com/lukgraph/posts/2020420451374642 V.P.
  18. French H75C-1, has been restored to flying condition by The Fighter Collection at Duxford, United Kingdom. It is flown in French camouflage with markings on either side, for the same example (n°82) at two different periods in its career. Pics by Mark Mills Pics by Martin Lawrence
  19. Airfix Scale: 1/48 Type: Curtiss P-40B Extras used: Eduard exhausts and wheels, and Montex masks Paints and colours used: Vallejo model air Curtiss Brown, Green and Grey (AV71125, AV71294 and AV71296), Vallejo metal colours on exhaust, Vallejo Interior Green, various Tamiya where applicable, Flory Dark Dart, Flory Mug pigments, Aqua Gloss and Tamiya Matt Clear. Hi everyone, sorry it's been so long since I've last posted. I'm hoping to be back here a bit more regularly. Well, what can I say? What a kit! This is what Airfix can do when they put their mind to it! Well detailed, restrained panel lines, lovely cockpit construction and detail, and a near perfect fit, aided by the darker grey, stiffer plastic. This is, in my honest opinion, as good as an equivalent Tamiya kit (the new Spitfire Mk.I excepted as that is the next level). Painted with the newer Vallejo colours which went down flawlessly. Here's the pics. After watching Phil Flory's build of the Hasegawa/Eduard kit, I did a bit of research and found I'd over-done the exhaust staining a bit. However, I used a bit of Tamiya Buff, well thinned, and I think they look ok. The instrument panel is just the raised kit details with the perfectly-fitting decal. I think it's as good as photo-etch in this scale; nice work, Airfix. I used Montex masks throughout and that includes the markings (except the tiger and the lady). They worked well. but a lot of work on the roundels, which could have probably been ok with the excellent-performing kit decals. The lights on the wings are the only things that aren't great, just a moulded lump. I painted them first silver, then a mixture of clear red or green mixed with Krystal Klear glue. Chipping work was done with Vallejo Metal Color Steel and a torn sponge. The staining work was all done with oils. That's it folks! A fantastic kit, highly recommended. The wheels are probably of from the kit, but the Eduard exhaust stacks are nice. Thanks for looking, Val
  20. LukGraph is to release in March 2019 a 1/32nd Curtiss P-1A resin kit - ref. 32-18 Sources: http://www.lukgraph.pl/?p=1189 https://www.facebook.com/lukgraph/posts/2020420664707954 V.P.
  21. I have discovered that group builds seem to be a good way for me to finish making models, so I decided to enter this group build with the following kit: The 1:72 Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk by Antares courtesy of my wallet and Mr EBay. First Impressions There is an excellent review & WIP thread for this kit here on Britmodeller by EricP from a few years ago, so I'm not going to repeat what he said in depth. My impression is that this is a basic kit, so there are fewer things to go wrong; by the same token, it's also a basic kit (with emphasis on the basic) which means a lot more work to make a decent model than the typical modern kit. But, forewarned is forearmed as they say. I'll be leveraging my spares box to the max and I've already gone ahead and sprung for an aftermarket resin R-1820 powerplant. The Aircraft I must admit I had never heard of this aircraft prior to this build and it is quite a handsome kite. Intended to replace existing the biplane and monoplane floatplanes in the Scout role for the US Navy, the Seahawk was also Curtiss’ attempt to redeem its corporate reputation after the Seamew debacle. What they produced has been described the best US floatplane of WWII. Seeing frontline action at the tail-end of WWII, the Seahawk soldiered on into the immediate post war era until being rendered obsolete by technological advances in radar gunnery and the helicopter. The Seahawk was quietly withdraw from service in 1949 with no examples surviving in wild or captivity today. More information can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_SC_Seahawk Long, B. J. (2004). Naval Fighters No 38: Curtiss SC-1/2 Seahawk. Ginter Books (I think this is the definitive reference text on this aircraft) The Build As this is a maritime patrol group build, I intend to model a post-war Seahawk in floatplane configuration. I’m still vacillating on the exact scheme. Proper plastic-bashing will start after the 1st when the build officially starts.
  22. ROCAF Hawk III/BF2C-1 (18009) 1:48 Freedom Model Kits During the interwar period, Curtiss developed a biplane fighter bomber, the Goshawk, which initially had fixed landing gear and spatted wheels, and underwent a number of improvements, although it never really reached a satisfactory level of maturity and was little used. The later Model 68 that became known as the Hawk III had a more powerful engine, improved .50cal armament, with retractable landing gear, and 138 were made, with just over a hundred purchased by the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF). It saw action during the Sino-Japanese war, and was responsible for a number of kills during that period, until it became obsolete and was replaced by Soviet i-16s in the front line, allowing the type to soldier on as a trainer until 1941. The Kit This is a complete new tooling from Freedom Model Kits, and the initial boxing comes with a few extras that might not be seen in later editions. The kit arrives in a pretty standard box with a dynamic painting of a couple of Hawk IIIs successfully tackling a Japanese bomber that is smoking badly and listing to port. Inside is a nice print of the box art on top, two individually bagged sprues in olive green styrene, a clear sprue, a large nickel-plated fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two poly-caps, a resin pilot figure, two decal sheets, instruction booklet and separate painting guide for the pilot figure. The decals and the figure are sealed within ziplok bags, which allows you to peruse these parts without worrying about them being exposed to moisture, which is a particular worry if your stash isn't in a warm dry location. The detail on the sprues is very good, and the addition of PE parts for rigging, engine harness and other small parts all help to improve the realism of the subject matter. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is simple due to the era of the aircraft, but could benefit from a set of seatbelts, although the rest of the moulded-in detail is excellent. The instrument panel has recessed dials and a decal on one of the sheets, which fits into the 'pit, and is sealed into a robust tub to be added to the fuselage later. The engine comprises a single bank of nine pistons, has a PE wiring harness, a set of push-rods, reduction housing, an exhaust collector ring, with a poly-cap in the reduction housing allowing the prop to be removed at will. The exhaust stubs are all moulded separately to the ring, with recessed tips for realism, and a scrap diagram showing where each one should fit. Special care in handling will be needed until it is safely installed, or you'll be gluing them back on again! An engine ancillary assembly is built up and inserted into the front of the fuselage with the cockpit behind and a choice of three types of tail wheel unit, depending on which decal option you will use. The underside of the fuselage is heavily recessed, so is added later after a little detail is installed, but at this stage it is important to drill four 0.5mm holes for the rigging in the sides of the fuselage, which can be done from the outside, as the locations are clearly visible. The top cowling, a choice of side cowlings (again depending on decal option), and an optional extended fairing for the Thai option are fitted at the front, and the tail feathers at the rear, each one via the usual tab and slot method. A choice of PE or styrene actuator roads are added, and PE balance horns can be used to replace the moulded in bumps if you'd like to improve the detail further. The engine is applied to the front of the fuselage, and the two .50cal barrels are threaded through the pistons, with PE brackets holding the muzzles in place, and a scrap diagram showing their correct positioning. After this the cowling halves can be closed around the engine, and the seam hidden before painting. Curiously, the next diagram doesn't show the engine during the install of the lower fuselage inserts, so it might be best to add these sooner than mentioned, in case they interfere with the exhaust stubs. The lower wings are thin enough to be moulded as a single part each, and these are fitted at the roots with tab/slots, after which you can glue the interplane struts to the slots in the wings and top cowling, taking care to use the upper wing to align them while the glue dries. The thicker upper wing is comprised of top and bottom halves with separate ailerons, and it too has slots to accept the interplane struts, as well as holes for the PE rigging. The rigging parts have little pegs at the ends, which need bending to the correct angle, and should allow for quick, painless rigging for anyone that's phobic of doing it the manual way, and you are walked through the process over the next few pages, with plenty of scrap diagrams providing confirmation along the way. Bracing parts are included for the wing rigging, which are again shown from two angles to make sure you put them in the correct place, which will again please anyone performing the task. Your Hawk hasn't got its legs yet, and here again the modeller is assisted with plenty of scrap diagrams showing how things should be done. The main struts each have three additional parts to the retraction mechanism, with the wheels each being two more parts split vertically around the circumference. Two of the decal options have cylindrical chin-scoop intake between the wheels, and it's scrap diagram time again to show the correct location of the support structure. The cockpit is only partially enclosed, and consists of a windscreen and movable aft canopy section, both of which are thin and clear. The rear section has a thick lip at the front, so don't let that confuse you into thinking the rest is as thick, which should become evident after painting of the frames. Two small bombs can be fitted under each wing, and a centre fuel tank is provided for the fuselage, which can be used or left in the spares box. Resin Pilot Figure Supplied in an heroic standing pose, with separate arms for detail, this gentleman is wearing a flight suit with a bulky fur collar and leather flight helmet typical of the era. He has one glove draped over his hand, clasping them together while he looks up admiringly either at his own aircraft or something else above his eyeline. His parachute hangs low behind him, and he has his helmet chin-strap open. Sculpting and casting are excellent, and clean-up should be the work of moments, while construction will be easy due to the arms having square pegs moulded into the mating surface for a good strong bond and certainty of pose. Markings There are two non ROCAF options, plus eight ROCAF choices, and if you're so minded there are also a selection of large white codes to let you make up your own. The larger sheet contains all the white codes and the ROCAF roundels/tail flashes, while the other markings are held on the smaller sheet with many more colours printed. From the box you can make one of the following: Royal Siamese (Thailand) Air Force, 1940 Argentinian Air Force, Squadron No.1 of Fighter Regiment No.2, 1938-39 ROCAF 1936-1940 2101 2401 2204 IV-1 2503 41 2405 Unmarked airframe The text for the ROCAF options is all in (I'm guessing) Taiwanese, so I can't provide any further information, and each airframe is the same apart from the large white fuselage codes and the occasional slogan on the tail or underwing. Decals are included for the instrument panel, plus a further two dial faces for ancillary instruments below the main panel. Decals are printed anonymously, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin semi-gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The red of the Siamese option is very slightly offset on my sample with microscopic bleed of that and the darker blue here and there, but it isn't something that's visible to the naked eye, so not really work worrying about unduly. Conclusion An unusual subject matter that should prove very popular in their home territories, and should entice anyone looking for a good quality modern tooling of a lesser-known interwar biplane that has some interesting markings options. Rigging shouldn't put you off due to the inclusion of the PE "wires", so what are you waiting for? Available soon in the UK from H G Hannants, with a 10% pre-order discount applying at time of writing. Review samples courtesy of
  23. Have just began work on the Curtiss Y1A-8, using 2 of the ancient Rareplanes vacform kits. So far, work has been easy enough, though I fear I may have sanded down too far in a few places. Seeing as the kit includes no interior, decals, or paint schemes, I was hoping perhaps somebody on the forums might know more than I've been able to find. So far, I think I'm going to try to finish the build as one of the Shrikes used in camo trials in the early 30s, with Olive, dark green, and purple upper surfaces, yellow wing bottoms, and blue and white wheel pants. For reference, and to prevent confusion with the A-8 Shrike, here is a photo of one of the Y1A-8s. Note that the B-10 is not on hold- just taking a place on the side until I can clear enough space from the workbench.
  24. I picked up the 1/72 Hasegawa Curtis SOC-3 Seagull on the cheap and although it was just supposed to be a test bed for spraying, I'd at least like to get the colours close! I also intend to get another at some point and do a higher quality build using the Starfighter resin interior, and in some ways this is advanced research for that. Should it be ANA 611 Interior Green: Hasegawa's instructions show Mr Color dark green, which I assume is C70 as they don't give the actual colour number that I can see! However, I've also found some sources that specify aluminium (surely not?!) http://pducos61.free.fr/Maquettes/e_usa/usa_seagull.htm https://modelingmadness.com/review/allies/us/dorrsoc.htm A fairly lurid green: And various shades of grey from haze grey to something so dark it can't be realistic: And then, there's this very dark metallic colour. http://www.histomin.com/Aviation/Classic Aircraft Between the Wars/Curtiss SOC-3 Seagull/gpclassics Curtiss SOC-3.htm Any help much appreciated!
  25. Airfix is to release in September 2016 a 1/48th Curtiss P-40B Warhawk kit - ref. A05130 Sources: http://www.airfix.com/uk-en/curtiss-p-40b-1-48.html http://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/p40b_and_b5n1_Meteor V.P.
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