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Curtiss P-40N Warhawk


Curtiss P-40N Warhawk

by Ian Robertson


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Eduard's "Profipack" reboxing of the 1/48 Mauve P-40N Warhawk (Kittyhawk IV) includes replacement cockpit and radiator details (resin and metal), weighted resin tires, as well as Aeromaster decals.



These additions make an enormous improvement to a very good kit that nevertheless shows its age.



The kit is molded in the shiny dark brown plastic characteristic of some older kits. Panel lines are finely engraved and up to modern standards.



The parts fit well, although careful dry-fitting is necessary to ensure that the resin cockpit is installed properly to allow for the attachment of wings to fuselage. In the end the model required remarkably little in the way of filler, although at times it seemed touch-and-go.


Details, Paint, Decals and Weathering

The cockpit was painted US interior green and weathered with various chalk pastels and by drybrushing. In addition to the replacement cockpit details supplied in the kit I used dabs of white glue (suitably painted once dry) to make knobs for the throttle controls and other cockpit gadgets. This was the first time I tried such a technique and I am now tempted to use it regularly as it makes the cockpit look intricate and "busy". Dabs of white glue were also used for the lights on the upper and lower wing tips (in place of the overly large and fiddly clear parts supplied in the kit). These lights were painted with Tamiya clear red and green acrylics.


I chose to build my model in the markings of an aircraft in the 89th FS, 80th FG serving in India in 1943. Rather than use the kit's nose art decals I opted to paint my own skulls - each aircraft in this outfit had a unique skull design. I painted the nose of the aircraft white and then used Tamiya tape to mask the skull motif.

Next I sprayed the entire aircraft with SnJ aluminum metallizer. Once the metallizer dried I pre-shaded the panel lines black. A standard USAF camouflage of neutral gray over olive drab was applied using Polly Scale and Aeromaster acrylics. Many shades of olive drab were used to give the appearance of uneven fading and wear on the upper surfaces. Medium and fine grain sandpaper was used to make surface abrasions and expose the SnJ aluminum beneath, particularly on the wing roots and leading edges of the wings and tail.


After removing the skull mask I used a fine tip marker to draw the black outline, eyes, teeth and cracks on the skull. Unfortunately, I mistakenly used a water-soluble marker, which became all too evident when I sprayed Future on the model and saw the ink dissolve and blur across the entire nose in a pattern of blue and black. Luckily the ink residue was easily removed with a damp cloth (before the Future dried). I reapplied the marks with a PERMANENT fine tip black marker, followed up by an application of Future. Decals were added once the Future dried. One day later I added a coat of clear dull-coat lacquer over the model. As a footnote, the water-soluble marker was banished from my model room.

Exhaust stains were applied using highly thinned black paint. The exhausts stacks were painted with burnt iron metallizer and then dusted with orange/brown chalk pastel. Machine gun barrels were hollowed out with a fine drill bit. The kit-supplied pitot tube was replaced with a much finer piece of syringe tubing and wire. The antenna wires were made from stretched sprue and painted dark grey..


Text, Images and Model Copyright 2001 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 15 October, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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