1/48 Curtiss Hawk 81-A2 Tomahawk - AVG.China 1941/42 - Aircraft in Foreign Service GB

Discussion in '#12 Aircraft in Foreign Service' started by jjp_nl, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #1 jjp_nl, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2011
    User name: jjp_nl
    Name: Jelmer
    Category: 2, Intermediate
    Kit: Academy P-40C Tomahawk
    Scale: 1/48
    Accessories: EagleCals AVG Tomahawks 1st Sqn decal set + Eduard PE set
    Note: Sofar Terry agreed that this build can also be part of this GB, but if other judges feel it is out of place here, somebody can move it to "start-to-finish builds"

    So, figured I might as well try and join this GB with a little project waiting in the wings for a little while. Subject of this built will be the the Academy P-40C Tomahawk, or perhaps rather the Hawk 81-A2 which was the export version of the P-40B/C. Flown ofcourse by the American Voluteer Group in China, perhaps better known as the ‘Flying Tigers’

    A little background info, although most of you prolly already know most of it. The AVG was formed by a secret order issued by President F.D.R in the spring of ’41. All pilots and groundcrew members consisted of ex-Navy/Marine Corps/Army personnel who had ‘resigned’ from their respective branches and were subsequently ‘hired’ by China to fly with the Chinese Airforce. The AVG existed until July ’42 when it was absorbed into the 23rd FG of the USAAF.

    As for equipement, the first kites the AVG were to receive were Hawk 81-A2, which was the export version of the P-40B/C. The production batch of A/C that ended up being shipped to the AVG was originally intended for the RAF and as such these A/C were painted according to RAF guidelines. Curtiss however did not have actual RAF paints on hand, so they used DuPont paints that closely matched the RAF colors. In other words, something closely resembling Dark Earth and Dark Green. More confusing/disputed is the color of the undersurfaces. According to RAF specs, one might expect them to be Sky, however there’s wasn’t any DuPont color matching this, so a rather cool grey color was used instead (prolly Aircraft Grey which had a very slight blue hue to it) Apparently certain color photo’s/film seem to suggest a much bluer color was used on some A/C. It is however unknown if this was a legitimate variation of the color actually used, or caused by deterioration of the film over time.
    Source: EagleFiles EF#4: Tigers Over China, the aircraft of the AVG

    That concludes todays history class I guess. On to the contents of the kit, and first steps of the actual build

    A box
    [​IMG]

    A pile of sprues, some clearparts and a sheet of decals
    [​IMG]

    The thought of having to work with the more often then not horrible Academy decals was the main reason to go aftermarket with this build, not because I wanted to build a particular A/C. I haven't yet decided on which a/c off of the decal sheet I will build, but I'm leaning towards '7' with the Tiger on the side.
    [​IMG]

    It wasn't until I got to inspect the interior details up close that I decided a little PE set might be in order as well, as the kit interior is really very sparse. I guess it comes with an extra bonus in the shape of some addtional PE parts for the exterior. I have to admit I don't have a lot of experience in working with PE, but in terms of quality this stuff really looks the part. Easy to remove from the fret and easy to clean up. Nice and thin, so easy to bend into shape where needed and bl**dy nice details.
    [​IMG]

    That's it for the contents of the box, on to the first steps of the build.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have to admit I don't know how accurate the Academy P-40C kit is in general or how well it represents the Hawk 81-A2 export version that was used by the AVG, but sofar on little thing that I did notice was the middle part of the frame on the clearpart inserts behind the main windscreen/hood section is depicted in an angled position rather then straight down. I guess I could sand/polish that off, and replace it by maybe a thin piece of (pre-painted) tape to make for a new frame piece.

    I'll be taking lots of pics of each step of the build, but I intend to put those up here in a few large chunks rather then post a pic of every part I glue together. So, don't be surprised if it gets a little silent here every so often in terms of updates (unless problems or questions that could to with some advice). I've found this works a lot better for me.
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I hope the kit is much better than the one of 1/72 scale. Looking forward to the build.
     
  3. Florence

    Florence Member

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    Nice one!
     
  4. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #4 jjp_nl, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
    I bett you already know it isn't ;) I know the kit has some pretty serious accuracy issues. Altenatively there's the old Monogram kit and new Trumpy kit to choose from, but both are not without their own share of accuracy/age issues, but for a 5euro price-tag I'm perfectly happy to work accordig to the "if it looks like a [....] it probable is a [....]" principle, even if it means building the deemed unbuildable HobbyCr*p kit. I would have to cut up the whole d*mn thing to make it accurate...for what that's worth (not much to me anyways for the most part). The decal sheet offers plenty of decals to have a go at another one, whem I feel like it.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The 1/72 scale P-40B of Academy is just "a joke". But I have found out that the one of 1/48 is quite nice kit. However I haven't had any opportunity for comparing it to P-40 scale drawings.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool choice!
     
  7. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Nice one Jelmer, hope the kit turns out okay for you.
     
  8. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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  9. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to this Jelmer.
     
  10. Nxthanos

    Nxthanos Member

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    I love P-40s!
     
  11. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #11 jjp_nl, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
    Thanks guys! I'll try to look up the smaller accuracy issues that can easily be corrected, that is without using the motortool to cut the thing in pieces. As for the wings dihedral and wing fillets (which I believe are the centre points of criticism on this kit among other smaller things) That will have to do. At best enlarge the fairing on the centre line of the lower fuselage which is way to small, or perhaps just leave as-is.

    And while I'm at it, a few pics of some PE and other basic work I started with. This Eduard PE stuff is great to work with. Fits like a glove without the slightest hassle

    Drilled out the the (imho) somewhat oversized exhaust with a small drillbit and motor tool
    [​IMG]

    Metal parts in the wheel bays
    [​IMG]

    Metal parts on the wheel hubs
    [​IMG]

    Some seatbelts and assorted thingys installed in the office.
    [​IMG]

    Pics of the actual thing show the aft end of the lower fuselage fairing to be open
    [​IMG]

    This is how the Academy kit part looks
    [​IMG]

    Until I fired up my motor tool and openend up the aft end of that fairing
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Looks like you have everything in hand mate.
     
  13. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  14. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Great work so far. Those little improvements make a world of a difference.
     
  15. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #15 jjp_nl, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
    Just now worked on another area where the Academy is lacking a bit.

    Pic show a few panel lines to be present on the horizontal stabilizers
    [​IMG]

    I guess the kit stabilizers were tooled up on a monday morning...'cause no panel lines are to be found here
    [​IMG]

    So, out come the scribing tools to deal with that.
    [​IMG]

    Something different, not an area where the Academy kit lacks perse, but for the sake of making it look interesting openen the radiator flaps doesn't seem such a bad idea.
    [​IMG]

    Ran the scriber through the panel lines a few times and gently cut the radiator flaps so they became a little positionable. I think they need to be thinned down a tad to look a little more to scale. I'm still considering removing them all together and replacing them by something way thinner (beer can or plastic card or something) I have to think about how to go about that though, so for the moment I'll leave this in place for now.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good start Jelmer.
    Could you please add the scale to the thread title, for judging purposes? Thanks.
     
  18. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    My bad! Put it in the start post now, as changes in the title are not visible on the forum
     
  19. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I have just edited the title. Now it should be visible.
     
  20. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    Yes it is! Thanks
     
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