Jump to content

Curtiss Hawk H-81A-2 (P-40B), Airfix 1/72


opus999
 Share

Recommended Posts

My next project is one I've been looking to for quite a long time (maybe even longer than my recently completed Rolf Berg Spitfire Mk. IXe). 

 

LAjDTCR.jpg

 

and the obligatory parts shot:

 

3GD4xPM.jpg

 

I've been a huge fan of P-40s most of my life -- I don't know why exactly, maybe it was the mystique of the Flying Tigers or maybe it was because the first model I finished by myself was a snap together P-40.  At any rate, I love P-40s.  In spite of that, I was pretty ignorant about early P-40 B's and C's; I just knew the early ones looked a little different.  Then 4-5 years ago, the cover of one of my dad's aviation history magazines had a refurbished P-40C on the cover.  It was in-flight and all polished aluminum, and I realized how sleek and fast-looking the early P-40s were and started reading up on them.  I think the B/C has become my favorite variant.  Around that time I saw Airfix came out with this kit, and I read some pretty complimentary reviews so I pounced on it.

 

I've done some research on the AVG's paint colors and found this fascinating and informative discussion:

 

I also found a similarly thorough discussion on Rato Marczak's website here: http://www.ratomodeling.com/articles/AVG_cammo/

 

In the end, I've decided to go with Rato's FS recommendations as I found that easier to match to Mr. Color paints.  I don't do Acrylics, and the Britmodeller discussion I linked to had Tamiya XF numbers that I found nearly impossible to cross reference to Mr. Color.  They did a fabulous job of researching and testing, though, so if you are a Tamiya paint fan, you may want to check out their recommendations for AVG colors.

 

I bought Mr.Color 311 (FS36622) gray, and 310 (FS30219) Brown.  The green was recommended to be 2 parts FS34092 and 1 part FS34079, both of which I have in Model Master Enamel.  I'm regretting that decision now, as I've had some terrible luck lately with Model master paints in regards to their performance in the airbrush and rough finish.  I will give it a shot, though.  I believe these recommendations are pretty close though, because Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, WA is meticulous in their research and their P-40B is painted in AVG colors which looked like a nearly perfect match to the recommendations at Rato's website.

 

5ApGhJF.jpg

 

My picture is not well-lit, but going to the Flying Heritage Collection's website, they have lots of good photos of the P-40 flying in daylight.

 

So, today I got started and painted the interior parts Zinc Chromate,

 

DvhSYJD.jpg

 

followed by a Tamiya clear gloss coat for a wash:

 

1Wz8WtU.jpg

 

Looking at ArmouredSprue's WIP I linked above, I see that the seat is an incorrect shape and needs to be NMF, so I'm going down to correct that now.

 

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night I got the cockpit weathered and put together.  Did an oil wash on the parts, then dull coated it.  When the dull coat was dry, I painted some details in the fuselage with black, silver and brown (for the map case).  Then went over various bits with silver dry brushing: The floor (where the pilot's feet would be), the backs of the machine guns and the black doo-dads on the walls. Finished off with some PE seatbelts, because I've decided they're the most effective cockpit detail you can add since they're the most easily seen.  I really notice their absence from my F-80 and P-40M builds.

 

fqhvmgm.jpg

 

BJNxJOb.jpg

 

e5DdIBa.jpg

 

I agreed with ArmoredSprue's observation in the thread above that the seat should be bare metal and squared off, but after some dry fitting I decided that the squared off seat would look kind of funny because of a gaping hole in the bulk head behind it.  So I painted it with Tamiya silver leaf and left the shape as it was.

 

This morning I glued the fuselage and wings together.  The fuselage fit together nicely with only a tiny bit of sanding needed.  I knew the wings would present problems, having read other build threads, and sure enough, there is a decent sized gap in the starboard wing:

 

Nh6UwqU.jpg

 

It will require filling. The left side is acceptable.  I might fill it anyway:

 

LDYcqLs.jpg

 

The starboard wing had a step in it when I dry fit it and I did some careful sanding and cutting and was able to minimize the step, but not make it disappear entirely. :( 

 

The upper and lower wing halves fit together wonderfully, though and it is very difficult to see the seams on the bottoms of the wings.

 

Looking at many, many finished Airfix P-40B's I determined that the engine cover was going to present fit problems, and it did. I had to be very careful to position it just right so that there was no overlap in the seam on either side, hold it tight and use my glue looper to wick CA into the seams.  I will need to do a little clean up sanding to get rid of the excess CA, but I believe that the cover will look just fine.

 

The radiator intake also presented a problem, but a much bigger one as the part is a little smaller than the aircraft fuselage assembly it is mating to.  It was mostly flush on one side:

 

Wtziwqc.jpg

 

But there is quite a step on the other side:

 

Zk0ksvm.jpg

 

There was also a pretty large gap in the seam toward the back of the part, so I used a lot of CA around this part to get the seams filled in and will have to do quite a bit of sanding.

 

A little disappointing, as I thought the kit fit better than that, but besides that, this has been a pretty nice kit in general, so far.

Edited by opus999
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After about an hour-long session yesterday afternoon, I had the nose fixed so all of the seams were flush, and had rescribed the panel lines that were affected by the sanding  or filling).  I wasn't able to get the top panel line scribed all the way to the spinner because I couldn't get the Dymo-tape to grip on the irregular surface.  I forged ahead anyway, and will either pencil that section in at the end, or try rescribing it again today.

 

I decanted some Mr. Surfacer 1500 Black into the airbrush and primered the aircraft:

 

1vWkBiG.jpg

 

I took a close look at the nose and everything looked good, so I didn't need to do any more work there.  

 

After everyone went to bed, I got out the brown and mottled the black base:

 

Xg7hpjk.jpg

 

Normally I would go with the darker green first, but the brown is a lacquer and the green is an enamel and I don't want any interactions. The next step was to use the gray to mottle over the brown for some sun-fading effects:

 

rtJtoVd.jpg

 

...and the bottom:

 

PW8z7gD.jpg

 

I finished off the night with black over the panel lines, which I will tone down with the base color when I get back to the paint table:

 

9LQ6Vcu.jpg

 

I left the rudder off because in the paint diagram, the colors on the rudder are mis-matched from the rest of the tail fin, almost like the rudder was painted separately and attached, or the rudder is from a different aircraft.  So, I'm leaving it off until after painting to make that easier.  The rudder design is not very good; the attachment points don't fit together well, so it will be a bit of a challenge to attach it securely.  Also, the area behind the tail plane is really strange... it's almost like it was short-shot or something because the lower opening of the rudder isn't filled in by the tail-fin, so there's a big opening there. I don't see a big opening like that in the FHC photo I posted above, but the parts match the instruction drawings, so it looks intentional.  I also see it in other finished builds, so I will follow suit. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First top-coat is on!

 

Ovb7RSV.jpg

 

jtfD0m3.jpg

 

Pretty happy about that!  Next is to mask for camouflage, spray it black, marble coat with my Mr. Color RAF dark green (since I can't seem to marble coat well with the Model Master paint), do some sunfade marbling, and then the top coat.  For the brown coat, I used a light gray for sunfading, which works pretty well.  However, for the green I've found the light gray doesn't work so well, but the RAF dark earth works fantastically! 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So a question I'm going to throw out has to do with the decals.  The chinese roundels on the Airfix decals look too washed out.  Actually, on the sheet they look OK, (maybe a little faded), but it seems like in photos of finished models, they look so washed out that they are almost all white in some pictures.  Also as @ArmouredSprue pointed out in his build thread, the shark mouth should have blue in it, and the girl on the starboard side is backwards. The shark mouth I could deal with, but not so sure about the girl.

 

Sprue Brothers has Kits World decals that appear to have fixed all these issues.  I hate to buy new decals and chuck the kit ones, but it seems like that's the only choice.  Anybody have any thoughts?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, opus999 said:

So a question I'm going to throw out has to do with the decals.  The chinese roundels on the Airfix decals look too washed out.  Actually, on the sheet they look OK, (maybe a little faded), but it seems like in photos of finished models, they look so washed out that they are almost all white in some pictures.  Also as @ArmouredSprue pointed out in his build thread, the shark mouth should have blue in it, and the girl on the starboard side is backwards. The shark mouth I could deal with, but not so sure about the girl.

 

Sprue Brothers has Kits World decals that appear to have fixed all these issues.  I hate to buy new decals and chuck the kit ones, but it seems like that's the only choice.  Anybody have any thoughts?

I'll be following your build mate. I'm glad that my build was useful for you.

In regards to decals there are not many options I'm afraid, either you buy an aftermarket decal or buy a new kit and use the other girl figure to make it right (that's what I've done, but I have in my stash extra decals to make a Pearl harbor P-40).

The chinese roundels are  not bad for the upper wing if you want to represent a sun faded markings but should be brighter colours under wing.

The P-40B from Academy has the correct decals (the kit is rubbish though), I have a set of Academy decals here, not going to use it and I am more than help to send it to you, please PM your address if you're interested.

Cheers

Paulo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got the upper camouflage done tonight.  First came the tedious hour-long masking process:

 

iswpqNG.jpg

 

Then did the marbling, which frankly doesn't work really well with a dark color.  Left the brown to show through, as I discovered that brown under dark green makes the green look faded:

 

ngyQ61d.jpg

 

....except, once I painted the green, the brown didn't really show through!  Maybe it was the Model Master paints -- most of my experience is  Mr. Color or Hataka.  So I had to think on the fly and do some post fading, which I don't normally do.  I mixed up a 50//50 mix of Mr. Color FS34079 and Aircraft Gray, thinned it heavily and then dusted it on strategic locations. I then used straight Mr. Color FS34079, heavily thinned, to add some tonal variation.  In the end, I'm pretty happy with it:

 

idIHhP7.jpg

 

OdGNTtV.jpg

 

GHeW2us.jpg

 

The green color I mixed (2 parts FS 34092 and 1 part FS 34079) came out really Emerald-colored.  Almost looked like IJN Green.  So, I dusted some FS35079 on it until it looked right.

 

Not sure if I'm going to paint the bottom tonight... the boys want me to watch Star Trek with them... ;) 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, ArmouredSprue said:

I'm glad that my build was useful for you.

It has been tremendously useful! I should've tagged you sooner, but I kept forgetting...

 

38 minutes ago, ArmouredSprue said:

I have a set of Academy decals here, not going to use it and I am more than help to send it to you

That would be fantastic! Thanks!

13 minutes ago, Thom216 said:

Great shading and painting! Like it a lot.

Thank you! I'm pretty happy with it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was one thing after another this week, so I didn't make any progress until this afternoon.  Decals are on the way, and @ArmouredSprue and I were guessing that the Australian Mail folks' guess that it would take 7-10 days was probably optimistic, so we're guessing it might be more like 3 weeks?  We shall see....

 

In the meantime, I masked for painting the bottom this afternoon

 

elbLo5X.jpg

 

smNJcVR.jpg

 

...and painted!  I'm happy with it, but it looks kind of washed out in this picture.

 

tRVwbRc.jpg

 

So, really all I can do until the decal stage is gloss coat it, and mask & paint the canopy *shudder*. 

 

In the meantime, I haven't quite gotten my P-40 fix yet... and if you haven't either, then I invite you to look in on my Hasegawa P-40N build that I started last night!

Edited by opus999
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ArmouredSprue, just a question: I was looking at your finished build and you didn't paint the front part of the canopy ( the frame around the armored glass ), was that intentional?  Also, the decals came yesterday!  I was amazed they arrived so quicklly!  Thank you, sir!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

painted the blue that goes behind the shark mouth tonight.  I carefully cut the decals out and tried the best I could to use them as a template.  I really hope I got the blue in the right place! Charles Older's plane had blue in the shark mouth as pointed out in ArmouredSprue's build thread I linked to above.  I didn't want to try and paint the blue around the teeth after the decal was put on, so I've painted it before hand... got my fingers crossed.

 

kH2OA0A.jpg

 

IPHlyR1.jpg

 

I also started the tedious job of masking the canopy tonight.  Ugh.... 

 

TGvLwr7.jpg

 

Gloss coated both P-40s tonight so I might get to decals tomorrow!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, opus999 said:

@ArmouredSprue, just a question: I was looking at your finished build and you didn't paint the front part of the canopy ( the frame around the armored glass ), was that intentional?  Also, the decals came yesterday!  I was amazed they arrived so quicklly!  Thank you, sir!

Its internal not actually a frame. Most canopies are incorrect in showing it as such. Here is a link showing it from behind. 
 

https://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/p-40/pages/dsj_p-40b_08.shtml

 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Its internal not actually a frame. Most canopies are incorrect in showing it as such. Here is a link showing it from behind. 
 

https://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/p-40/pages/dsj_p-40b_08.shtml

 

Dennis

Dennis:  Thanks!  I keep forgetting about the resources at cybermodeler, I don't know why! I also remembered to look at the pictures I took of the P-40C at flying heritage collection and it appears that the windshield was one piece.  The Airfix canopy actually has it right because it molded the "frame" for the armored glass on the inside of the canopy, which totally baffled me, but I understand now. 

 

How on earth am I going to paint that? :wonder: 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Very carefully ? Or not... you’d be shocked at how many people forget to paint things like that including me. 

50% of the time I miss stuff like that so don't feel too bad.  Luckily enamel paint scrapes off easily from that clear styrene so maybe I'll give it a go and just take it off if it goes all sideways...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting... Looking at the close ups I took of Flying Heritage Collection's P-40, and the ones of the same aircraft posted at cybermodler, I see that the main struts are painted gray, and that there is a brown fabric lining the wheel well.  Cybermodler's walkaround of the Duxford P-40B shows the same fabric, but the struts might be silver or metal?  Hard to tell. The FHC's tail wheel strut is Zinc Chromate.  Interesting.

 

Normally, I discount what I see at museums because I've seen some that aren't very careful with their research and get some of these details wrong.  FHC seems to go to great lengths to make everything historically accurate, so I tend to trust their restorations more. 

 

Of course, I haven't actually looked at what the painting instructions say yet... ;) 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Felt a little under the weather today, so I didn't spend much time at the bench.  I did some research, and found that the P-40B wheel well had a brown fabric lining around the inside of it.  I couldn't find a picture of the very center of it, but the model makes it look like there was corrugated metal or metal supports running along the center. So, I had to guess about painting the wheel wells.  I tried to match the fabric color I saw in the FHC and Duxford P-40s and ended up using RAF Dark Earth.

 

HpLC8vn.jpg

 

After putting the decals on my P-40N, I had to put the shark mouth on this one.  I couldn't wait to find out if I painted the blue in the right spot or not!  Well, it was about 99% right, but I'm not telling you where it's wrong! ;) 

 

uEcZQJ0.jpg

 

UtnYhiz.jpg

 

I'm really excited about this!  I think it looks great!

 

Tomorrow I will finish the decals, and I need to paint the canopy and landing gears. 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, opus999 said:

I'm really excited about this!  I think it looks great!

I agree it does look great, not a big issue with the blue, you can touch it up or leave it. I dont think anyone will call you out on it. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After reading the reference material kindly provided by @Corsairfoxfouruncle, and doing a little more research on my own, I decided that my wheel wells aren't painted right.  Since the metal strips are visible, it means this aircraft doesn't have the canvas wheel well covers installed and so I need to paint the whole interior Zinc Chromate.  An easy fix and I'm glad I found this out now rather than later. :) 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got all the decals on yesterday afternoon.  It was a tedious process that took much longer than expected because of all the stencils.  Still, it looks great -- as much as I hate putting them on, the stencils really add to the build.

 

uzs45h5.jpg

 

You'll notice the correct Hell's Angel on the Starboard side thanks to the decals from @ArmouredSprue:

 

BZv9OCN.jpg

 

I also used decals from that sheet on the bottom, while I used the Airfix ones on top.  The Airfix roundels are much lighter giving it the illusion of being faded.  Too bad Airfix goofed the decals up so bad on this one...

 

Xu6UwUw.jpg

 

Also notice I repainted the wheel wells as I mentioned yesterday.

 

The new decals are from the Academy P-40B boxing.  I've never used Academy decals before and they behaved very strangely.  They seemed to respond well to solvent and settle into the very deep panel lines very well, but as they dried, they would actually rise up out of the panel lines! I've never had that happen with decals before.  To try to overcome this strange effect, I cut the decals along the panel lines and got out my hottest solvent (Mr. Mark), and was still having problems.  I was able to get one roundel to look acceptable, and the other was partially successful.  Strange.  Still, they look great, even if they didn't settle into the panel lines.  I will just pencil over the lines on the decals after I dullcoat.

 

I'd love to finish this one today.  It seems like I should be able to, but at this stage there are so many little details, that it may take more time than I have today.  We'll see! 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/8/2019 at 5:43 PM, opus999 said:

@ArmouredSprue, just a question: I was looking at your finished build and you didn't paint the front part of the canopy ( the frame around the armored glass ), was that intentional?  Also, the decals came yesterday!  I was amazed they arrived so quicklly!  Thank you, sir!

Yes it was intentional. I was told the front windshield is a round shape and the armored glass is inside it, so I opt for not doing the frame (which is inside the windshield not outside).

Does it make sense?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...