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Found 37 results

  1. 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
  2. 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:
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. After Curtiss had won a contract for the P-36, the Army wanted to look into performance of the new Allison V-12 motor, equipped with a turbo-charger. Curtiss took the original Hawk 75 prototype, and fitted an Allison motor in place of the Twin Wasp radial in a lengthened nose. Prestone (glycol) radiators were fitted behind the motor, fed by air scoops, and the pilot's cockpit was therefore moved back to a position very near the tail. The turbo-charger was mounted under the engine. All this was done in a bit less than three months. The result was accepted by the Army as the XP-37 in June. In December, 1937, the Army ordered a trial batch of 13 machines, under the designation YP-37. These were slightly different than the original, with a longer nose, and with the fuselage lengthened a bit behind the cockpit, which was fitted with rear vision side panels, and some extra glazing on the fuselage spine. Building these took a great deal of time, with the first machine not being delivered till the end of April, 1939. Prior to official acceptance, this first YP-37 participated in a competition for a 'pursuit' contract in February, 1939, the other entries being a Seversky AP-4 and a Curtiss XP-40. A participating test pilot described the contest as having been won by the XP-40 by default. The YP-37 was more a test-bed than a serious attempt at designing a combat machine, Poor visibility, particularly in taxi-ing and landing, made the type quite unsuitable for service use. The machine's worst problems were inherent to the turbo-supercharger (by General Electric). These ran from basic metallurgy (finding materials that could stand up to the stress and heat of the turbine's task) to difficulties of controlling operation of the thing (early controls were manual and both difficult and distracting to work). These difficulties led the Army to discard turbo-chargers for the Allison in single-engine designs. The full batch of YP-37s was not delivered till then end of 1939. Ten were delivered to the 8th Pursuit Group and the 36th Pursuit Group at Langley Field in Virginia in 1940 for service trials. In short order at least four were wrecked in accidents. The rest did not last long. Several went to Maxwell Air Base in Alabama, two took part in cold weather tests in Alaska. One fetched up in camouflage at a display of camouflaged equipment arranged for a Congressional delegation at Bolling Field. Their final destination was Chanute Field, and the 10th Air Base Squadron of the Air Corps Technical School, where they shed their turbo-chargers and served as instructional airframes. This model represents one of the machine delivered to the 8th Pursuit Group, and the '102' number indicates it was 'extra' equipment of that Group's HQ flight. It is based on a photograph I found on a memorabilia site, where someone had posted up some of his father's pictures taken when he was a ground crewman at Langley. It is the only picture I have seen showing the old GHQ Air Force markings on a YP-37; most pictures of these show them marked with the later designator system. The model is built from an LS Models resin kit, and if anyone offers you one of these, back slowly away, showing your palms, and shaking your head. You do not want it. The model is finished with aluminum foil, boiled with egg-shells to take off the shine, and prepared with MicroScaIe foil adhesive. I built this early last year, as part of a P-40 STGB, and the whole sorry tale can be found here: One note; the framing on the cockpit 'hood' is wrong', it should be centered, not off to the rear. But with vacu-formed canopy there is only so much can be done....
  13. This is a throttle quadrant I picked up from eBay last week - following research online, I am pretty certain it's from an SB2C Helldiver. Can anyone confirm or deny that? It's all seized up, but one of my friends owns an aircraft instrumentation restoration and refurbishment company, so I'll enlist his help in how to tackle it so that the levers are operable.
  14. Source: http://www.largescaleplanes.com/whatsnew/whatsnew.php V.P.
  15. I've just finished this one; I had the P-40 left over from the Dogfight Double set when I built a couple of Zeroes, so I thought I'd get it finished just for tidyness' sake as much as anything... I managed to get all the small parts off the sprues without breaking any, which I believe is a record for this particular kit which has some rather excessively large attachment points; I built it more or less OOB with the exception of the addition of Eduard Microfabric seatbelts, EZ-Line aerial wires and I drilled out the exhaust stacks and the cowling .50 guns. The interior was painted in Sovereign Colourcoats ACUS23 Zinc Chromate Yellow and the exterior was ACUS13 Neutral Gray underneath with ACUS15 USAAF Olive Drab 41 on the uppersurfaces - thanks to Jamie for pointing out the difference in the early and later versions of Olive Drab as I would otherwise have been blissfully ignorant. The transfers are from the Dogfight Double set and represent the aircraft flown by 2nd Lt George Welch of the 47th Pursuit Squadron, 15th Pursuit Group based at Wheeler Field, Oahu, (though the aircraft in question seems to have been temporarily moved to nearby Haleiwa airfield to take part in a gunnery exercise), on December 7 1941. He had quite a busy day of it by all accounts. Anyway enough verbiage, here are the pics: Confessions: I have no idea of the wireless fit for this aircraft so the aerial wires are based on those of other P-40 models I have seen on the internetz. I am equally uncertain of the location of the aerial attachment points in the upper side of the wings, so copied these from the approximate location of other models, it was hard to see in most cases where the aerials attach. The upper cowling was a cow to fit and eventually I just stuck it on as best as I could. I painted the seat silver for the hell of it, probably it should have been zinc chromate yellow too, Airfix certainly indicated it should be. I still enjoyed myself building it Cheers, Stew
  16. Pro-Resin (Olimp) is to release a Curtiss P-1 Hawk resin kit - ref. R48-003 Source: http://www.olimpmodels.com/catalog_2.html V.P.
  17. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk / Tomahawk / Kittyhawk. Even though shown in the markings for The Flying Tigers at Pensecola this P-40B was an RAF Machine which was then supplied to the Russians. Pics thanks to Bootneck Mike.
  18. RetroWings (https://retrokitonline.net) is to release a 1/72nd Curtiss P40E/VK-105 Kittyhawk VVS - ref.PRS7201 AZ model kit with extra resin parts to create a Russian P40 with Klimov Engine. Sources: https://retrokitonline.net/product/curtiss-p-40e-with-klimov-engine-single-seater/ http://www.aviationmegastore.com/curtiss-p40evk-105-vvs-prs7201-retrowings-prs7201-aircraft-scale-modelling/product/?action=prodinfo&art=135066 V.P.
  19. Retrowings (https://retrokitonline.net) is to release a 1/72nd Curtiss P40E/VK-105 two-seater Kittyhawk VVS kit - ref.PRS7202 AZ kit with extra resin parts to create a Russian twin-seater P-40 with Klimov Engine Sources: https://retrokitonline.net/product/curtiss-p-40e-with-klimov-engine-twin-seater/ http://www.aviationmegastore.com/curtiss-p40evk-105-two-seater-vvs-prs7202-retrowings-prs7202-aircraft-scale-modelling/product/?action=prodinfo&art=135067 http://modelweb.modelforum.cz/2016/02/08/172-curtiss-p-40evk-105-retrokit/ V.P.
  20. LukGraph Model (http://www.lukgraph.pl/home.html) from Poland is to release in mid April 2015 a 1/32nd Curtiss A-3 Falcon resin kit - ref.32-01. It'll be the first 1/32nd kit from this company! Source: http://www.lukgraph.pl/products.html V.P.
  21. Lone Star Models is to release a 1/72nd Curtiss NC-4 resin kit - ref. Source: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1615655042037398&id=1439743759628528 V.P.
  22. Hi guys, Here's my Curtiss Seamew from Czechmodel, a nice short run multi media kit with plastic and resin. Did not fall together by itself but very much buildable and fun: Erik
  23. Lukgraph is to release a 1/32nd Curtiss F7C-1 Seahawk resin kit - ref.32-03 Release is expected late September 2015. Source: http://www.lukgraph.pl/products.html V.P.
  24. Hello Everyone, Well this is my second build for the Remembrance Day Lunch that the librarian, Karen, at work will be holding. This Tomahawk will be displayed next to a Spitfire, Bf-110 and Bf-109, possibly a Lancaster too. I decided to add this one as who doesn't love a Sharkmouth?! Plus I was trying to convey the notion that the world war was just that, worldwide... you know what kids are like. Anyhow, this the newer tool mould from Airfix of the classic Tomahawk (always liked this aircraft). I had a few issues with it, I think most of those issues where my own doing. Live and learn huh? I had to strip the paint as the xtracrylix didn't wanna play for some reason. I had to resort to Tamiya and mixing the middlestone colour. I am quite impressed with it. On to the pictures. Still learning how far I can stretch the EZ-Line, unlike the Spitfire, I dont think the weather is heavy enough. I had fun making this model and it went together really well, apart from a few silly bits. Once again, please let me know what you think. Kind Regards, Dazz
  25. The Curtiss company sold aircraft all over the world in the twenties and thirties of the last century, but its greatest export success came in China, and was attended by intrigue and skullduggery which would not have been out of place in the 'Yellow Peril' tales so common in the pulp magazines of the day. Curtiss' first large sale to China, booked in spring of 1932, set the tone: 18 export Hawk I fighters sold, through an intermediary company, to a body in open rebellion against the internationally recognized central government of China. How there came to exist in 1932 two governments, one at Canton and one at Nanking, each claiming to be the Nationalist Party government of the Republic of China, is, I hope you will agree, worth some small digression. I assure you what follows is brutally compressed.... Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his Nationalist Party (Koumintang/KMT) made the revolution in 1911 that established the Republic of China, but were expelled from any share in governing it by Yuan Shi-kai, the premier general of the day. The good Doctor and his Party survived only by the patronage of local generals in the south who resented the dominance of the northerner Yuan Shi-kai. When Yuan died in 1916, and China entered the War Lord Period of conflict between generals for hegemony over the land, Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his Nationalists remained little more than pawns of military figures at Canton. To provide the Nationalist Party an army of its own, Dr. Sun sought assistance from the Soviet Union in 1924. Part of the price was alliance with the fledgling Chinese Communist Party. While the Communists focused on organizing laborers and peasants, the new National Revolutionary Army came into being, led by Gen. Chiang Kai-shek, a young revolutionary activist who had become Dr. Sun's counsel on military affairs. Dr. Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, and leadership of the Nationalist Party devolved on his old comrade Hu Han-min, with Chiang Kai-shek directing military affairs from his base at the Whampoa Military Academy near Canton. In the summer of 1926 Gen. Chiang Kai-shek led the new National Revolutionary Army on the epic Northern Expedition, engaging in turn and defeating (or co-opting) the various war lords controlling eastern and northern China. In the course of this open hostilities broke out between Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists, with much of the political and intellectual leadership of the Nationalist Party caught in the middle. Chiang's final victory in the north was greatly assisted by a populist war lord, Gen. Feng Yu-hsiang, but once Chiang had secured allegiance to his government at Nanking from his last remaining opponents in Manchuria, in 1930 he turned on Feng with assistance of troops from Manchuria. When Chiang Kai-shek placed Dr. Sun's old comrade Hu Han-min under house arrest early in 1931, generals in Kwangtung and Kwangsi provinces joined remaining leftist Nationalist political leaders in opposing Chiang's dominance of the Party and the country, led by the commander of the Canton garrison, Gen. Chen Chi-tang. He declared a new 'National Government' existed at Canton in June. Chiang at Nanking was unable to move immediately against this combination of Kwangtung and Kwangsi, as his forces were deeply involved against Communist guerrillas, but that summer it was clear civil war impended. Japan's invasion and occupation of Manchuria, begun with the Mukden Incident of September 18, 1931, made it politically impossible for Nanking and Canton to come to open blows, and Chiang's decision not to resist Japan militarily gave the Canton government grounds to assail him in the name of national patriotism. The purchase of 18 Hawk I pursuit ships by the Canton government was no trifle: when the order was placed in May, 1932, these were greatly superior to any aircraft the Nanking government possessed, though by the time delivery to Canton commenced in July, 1933, Nanking had placed an order with Curtiss for some 32 similar Hawk II pursuits. The radial engined export Hawks were broadly similar to the F11C-2 'Goshawk' going into service with the U.S. Navy early in 1933, but differed appreciably in detail, being little more than P-6Es with a radial motor replacing the glycol-cooled Conqueror V-12 employed by the U.S.A.A.C. pursuit already in service some years. The Curtiss Co.'s operations in China from the start of 1933 were in the hands of an extraordinarily lithe and ruthless fellow, one William Pawley. It was he who sold the Nanking government its first Hawk pursuits, and the following year, even as that order was still being completed, he was negotiating with the Canton government to build an aircraft factory on its territory, to assemble both Vultee and Curtiss designs. He went on to sell new Curtiss machines to both Canton and Nanking, with Canton beginning to receive parts for assembly at its new factory early in 1936. By then Gen. Chiang Kai-shek, having driven the Communists to the northwest fringes of China, was concentrating troops in the south. In May, 1936, the old revolutionary Hu Han-min died, and with him went most of the political legitimacy of the Canton government. Gen. Chen Chi-tang at Canton re-christened his forces as 'The Anti-Japanese Salvation Army' and set out in June marching northwards. Little enthusiasm was displayed, and the matter was brought to an end by the defection en masse on July 18 of the Canton Air Force, whose pilots flew their equipment, including fourteen or fifteen Hawk I pursuits remaining serviceable, to fields controlled by Nanking loyalists. Two days latter Gen. Chiang Kai-shek's soldiers were in Canton itself. The aircraft and personnel of the Canton Air Force were incorporated into the Chinese Nationalist Air Force, maintained as a separate unit. Its men were never completely trusted by Chiang --- after all, they had show themselves capable of turning on their leader, and for all the use Chiang made of suborning betrayal, he himself valued loyalty above all else, even competence. The Hawk pursuits purchased by Canton which still survived when open war commenced between Imperial Japan and Nationalist China in July, 1937, were expended in combat over northern China, mostly against Japanese Army fighters. The visible differences between the radial engined export Hawk and the Navy F11C-2 are considerable. The Goshawk had extended landing gear legs, a turtle-back behind the cockpit incorporating the headrest, and a tail-wheel at the stern-post with a cut-out in the rudder to accommodate a shock absorber. The export Hawk I (and Hawk II) retained the original landing gear, separate head-rest, and rudder of the P-6E, though it did employ a simple tail-skid rather than a tail-wheel. Accordingly, this model is a blend of several kits. It is basically an old 1/72 Monogram Goshawk kit, but it has grafted onto it the rear fuselage of a Monogram P-6E kit (remains of an Accurate Miniatures re-issued 'double'), while the motor, landing gear, slipper tank, rudder, and decals, as well as much cockpit detail, comes from an RS Models Hawk kit. That I have chosen to treat the RS kit as a sort of 'detail pack' in this build should not be taken to indicate I think the RS kit is a poor one; it most definitely is not. Among its virtues is that it is the only kit I have yet seen that does a decent job of replicating the general arrangements of a Curtiss biplane cockpit. It does, however, have some noticeable differences in dimension from the Monogram kit, in wing chord and fuselage height; I do not know which is right, mind, but I have built up several of the Monograms, and prefer their leaner look. One thing the RS people definitely do get wrong, however, is attributing the plane they provide Chinese decals for to the Kwangsi Air Force. Kwangsi never bought any Curtiss machines, and the markings they provide definitely are for a Canton machine. The red ring around the 'sun in the sky' was the original Nationalist marking, which the Canton and Kwangsi aircraft maintained down the several years of independence. I also think it is incorrect to indicate the machine is painted in aluminum dope. Photographs of Canton Hawks show a deeper grey tone than usually associated with aluminum finishes, and Boeing 281 pursuits delivered not long after the Hawks were painted an overall pale grey. I have finished this model accordingly. I have been informed that 'the characters on the side read (in standard Mandarin pronunciation) Guangzhou Shi Xiao Hao, which is ambiguously 'School [of] Guangzhou City' or 'City School [of] Guangzhou', so their meaning would seem to be that the machine was paid for by funds collected from or by a university or university students in Canton. On edit, 25/8/15: I feel rather dim; I called this done before it actually was. The project had sat on the shelf a good while, hovering just short of completion, and I guess I lost the thread a bit. When wife got back from hospital last month, after an extended stay (long story...), and I could relax and start at least a little modelling, I picked this as one to finish. But I noticed looking back at these pictures I had neglected a few wires on the tail assembly. They are on now, and here are a few fresh shots to repair the omission....
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