1/48 Hasegawa - Dutch P-40N ML-KNIL - Aircraft in Foreign Service GB

Discussion in '#12 Aircraft in Foreign Service' started by jjp_nl, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #1 jjp_nl, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
    User name: jjp_nl
    Name: Jelmer
    Category: 2, Intermediate
    Kit: Hasegawa P-40N Warhawk
    Scale: 1/48
    Aftermarket: some decals to turn it into a Dutch a/c (a small set of Dutch markings came for free with the kit, but technically they are aftermarket decals made by Dutch Decals/Dutch Profile)

    My Tomahawk has been shelved temporarily :rolleyes:, but I did feel like making some sort of contribution to this GB. Since this GB will keep running for a little while a new subject came to mind that doesn't deviate too much from my first contribution. A Dutch P-40N serving in the Dutch East-Indies during the mid to late nineteen fourties. Initially I had the Italeri P-40M/N kit in mind, but it turned out to be out-of-stock and the webshop offered to send me a Hasegawa kit in stead for the same prince....well, needless to say this was an offer I couln't refuse ;) So here goes.

    Most of you have heard of the P-40, so I’ll skip the development/tech history of the aircraft and leave that for you to figure out. The story of how the Dutch came to fly the P-40 is all the more interesting. With war looming over the Pacific the Dutch government in exile was looking to reinforce the ML-KNIL (Military Aviation Service of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army) with more modern fighters in 1940-1941. They were looking to buy P-40 Warhawks, but this was impossible since the US was in the process of equipping it’s fighter units with P-40’s and all available production capacity was allocated to that (and prolly to producing P-40's for the RAF as well). Ultimately an order for some 100 Hurricanes was placed but they never made it to the Indies. The ML-KNIL did end up with a handful of Hurricanes though, which originally were meant for the RAF defence of Burma and other British areas in the South-East Asia, but they were directed else where due to the speedy Japanese advance. The same goes for a handful of partially assembled P-40E’s that ended up being shipped to Java on two ships. On of these two ships (carrying assembled a/c) was attacked and sunk by the Japanese and on 28 febr. 1942 the other ship (carrying mostly unassembled P-40E’s in crates) arrived on Java. Just in time to be destroyed by their new owners (to prevent them from falling into enemy hands) shortly before Java fell to the Japanese. A few P-40E’s apparently were assembled, and got to make a few test flights, but that was it. Very little additional information on these P-40E’s (and Hurricanes too) is available.

    Part of the ML-KNIL personnel had escaped from the Dutch East Indies to Australia and they were at some point sent to the USA to be trained as fighter pilots. They did so, training on a ragtag fleet of poorly maintained P-40E, P-40F, P-40L and ultimately a few P-40N which (given all the different types and poor condition of the a/c) was a difficult task. But sometime in late 1943 early 1944 the Dutch pilots finished their training and were sent back to Australia where in the mean time 120th Sqn (under RAAF command) was established and the first new P-40N were beginning to arrive. In Australia 120th Sqn completed (combat) training. Sometime in July 1944 120th Sqn flew it’s first operational missions. Until the end of the war 120th Sqn (under RAAF command) was mostly involved in ground attack missions (over New-Guinea and Indonesia) since Japanese airpower in those areas had all but disappeared by the time 120th Sqn became operational.

    From early 1946 until 1949 120th Sqn (no longer under RAAF control) took part in operations against the recently declared republic of Indonesia to assist attempts of the Dutch Government to re-establish Dutch control over the East-Indies. This included many missions during the so-called ‘police actions’ of 1947 and 1949. Conditions were trying and spare parts and maintenance facilities were limited so apparently Dutch maintenance units resorted to looking up American/British and Australian equipment dumps to look for usable spare parts. When one compares unit logs of the day it’s interesting to see how, despite trying conditions and in time the worn out state of the equipment, P-40’s flew way more hours/sorties then any other type involved in these operations. Which I guess is evidence of their ‘tried-and-trusted-warhorse’ reputation and the creativity of the maintenance units to keep them flying. By 1948/1949 the Dutch P-40’s were completely worn out with only 9 a/c still serviceable and 10 remaining airframes being cannibalized to keep others serviceable. All this out of some 60+ a/c originally allocated to 120th Sqn during 1944-1945) . From early to mid 1949 the remaining P-40’s were replaced by some long awaited P-51 Mustangs and by July 1949 all P-40’s were gone. None of them were sold/turned over to other owners, all went to the scrap yard too worn out to be of any use to others.

    A box containing the excellent Hasegawa kit. OOB a very well detailed kit indeed.
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    Some Dutch markings for an overall NMF P-40N
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    Which by cutting up the decals can be used to turn it into J-302 (profile obviously for J-301, but the color scheme for J-302 is indentical) I do need to make some new decals for the small J-302 in front of the windscreen. Basically the standard color scheme of Olive Drab over light gray with bare metal patches on the fuselage and rudder. Interesting to note is that according to my sources J-302 prior to 15 August 1945 was the perhaps a little better known P-40N 'Wham Bam' C3-502. This a/c came into service on 01-01-1944 and on March 3rd 1949 made a wheels-up landing near Purwakarta, Java, and subsequently was scrapped in september 1949.
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    On to the actual build

    Cutting out and cleaning up some of the basic parts. Fuselage and interior parts prior to painting
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    Spraying on some basic interior colors
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    Dry brushing the intake a little bit
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    Forward fuselage section glued together and (due to the multi-version part breakdown of the kit) rear fuselage/tail section glued in place.
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    Nose area need some minor filling/sanding. A bead of Mr.Surfacer was enough though
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    Same goes for the forward fuselage/rear fuselage join. Fit was excellent, but some cleaning up of the join is inevitable. I ran a bead of Mr.Surfacer over it as well (better be save then sorry) A few panel lines still need to be restored
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    Sanded and polished you'll get a perfectly smooth join
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    The interior was also painted. A basic mix somewhat resembling zinc-chromate green was used and details were picked out by means of dry brushing
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    A wash of Van-Dyke brown was applied to add a little dirt/shadow effect and some future and ultimately a flat coat was used to blend it all together into this
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    With the interior done in terms of painting, it could be glued together and inserted into the fuselage
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    Upper wing parts were glued to the fuselage first
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    Then the lower wing part was glued to the fuselage/upper wings
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    The part needed to accomodate the revised hood was also glued in place. Obviously a little cleaning up of the join was needed and I ran a bead of Mr.Surfacer over it as well and sanded/polished that smooth.
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    This is the work of the past two or three days. The small upper nose intake area needs a little more attention in terms of filling/sanding, but othert then that this has been a smooth build sofar.
     
  2. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    That was fast! Interesting scheme Jelmer!
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Quick work Jelmer. Should be an interesting addition to the GB.
     
  4. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great job so far. I like how you handled the wing roots.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool choice Jelmer.
     
  6. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #6 jjp_nl, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
    Thanks guys! Might seem fast, but it's the work of about three days. Besides, we're talking Hasegawa, so fit is mostly excellent, which also speeds up the build. Making sure the coat of future I used to seal the interior prior to going in with a wash actually took the most time :p

    Thanks Andy. Dry fitting did show it was a bit of a fiddly area so to say and this seemed like a good way to avoid any endless filling/sanding of the wingroots and get zero gap/ridges. This approach has helped me quite a bit lately. It takes some practise as there is also a chance of messing it up and still end up with a lot of sanding/filling, but provided you line up the wings very carefully it can save a lot of time, even on more difficult kits (like say the ICM Spit I'm working on) I usually glue it in place with extra thin polycement and reinforce the join by running a bead of extra thin CA down the inner side of the join as it is a bit of a weak construction until the lower wing is glued in place as well.

    Nothing I hate more on such well detailed kits to be honest, and it's easier to have to sand leading/trailing edges of the wings a bit. When it comes to sanding/filling those Hasegawa can't handle too much of that before details starts disappearing.
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  8. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Fast and good.
     
  9. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #9 jjp_nl, Dec 28, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
    Thanks Vic!

    A quick and perhaps a little silly question for the P-40 nutters out there. As I was glueing horizontal stabilizers and was busy lining them up looking down from nose towards the tail section to make sure the stabilizers line up I noticed the wingtips appear to be slightly raised. At first I thought I might be fault in the kit or maybe some slight warping of the plastic. But as I looked more carefully, I noticed both wingtips are slightly raised compared to the rest of the wing. Is this correct for the P-40N?
     
  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Correct, the win tips are slightly raised.


    And yes, the first pic is a 120 squadron bird :)
     

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  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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  12. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #12 jjp_nl, Dec 28, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
    Thanks a lot for for clearing that up Wildcat! And thanks again for the extra information on 120Sqn. I have a few more interesting (color) pics of the wartime P-40's of 120Sqn. Perhaps you already have them, but it you're interested I could scan them for ya. How did you develope your interest in this particular unit? Very interesting piece of reading indeed! Even among us Dutchies this isn't a very well known piece of our (aviation) history, as opposed to say 322 Sqn. I guess the involvement of 120Sqn in the post-war operations over the East-Indies (or the military operations in general againt the Indonesian Replublic) still makes this a bit of a controversial subject, even to this day. It's a lot less black and white/good guys vs bad guys then say 322Sqn's fight againt the Germans.

    It wasn't until recently that I learned about a two (recently deceased) family members that also served in the East Indies (either during WWII and in the post-war operations againt Sukarno) A truck-load of pics from the post-war days also surfaced. Gotta try and go through them sometime.
     
  13. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    Jelmer, i have the Italeri kit, i can send you the decals for the dutch P-40 wham bam ! included if you wish ?
    send me a PM with your address if you want them
     
  14. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    Cheers Rochie! I wouldn't mind getting a few extra Dutch decals. I'll drop you a PM right away
     
  15. Nxthanos

    Nxthanos Member

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    Ha ha, another warhawk!
     
  16. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    Yup. I have to admit that for some reason I never was too interested in the type and as such never really looked into the different color schemes and such, but recently I did and came to the conclusion that there are many striking schemes and planes with beautiful nose art that can be made into real eye catchers. In the mean time I've come to appreciate the shape of the P-40 a bit more as well. Pity she is doomed to be in the shadow of other types such as Spitfire's and Mustangs. She deserves better given her 'hold the line' work in opening stages of the war and under the right circumstances she could hold her own against a good many enemy type.
     
  17. Nxthanos

    Nxthanos Member

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    P-40s remain my favorite WWII era fighter.

    Often called the best 'second best' fighter, they had surprising sucess againt zeros, 109s, 202s and japanese army types.

    Never 'as good' as the lovely spitfire or the graceful mustang, they were the air war's true foot soldiers, doing the dirty work and paving teh way for the glamour boys.
     
  18. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Great work Jelmer. That kit looks wonderfully detailed, I've never done a Hasegawa P-40, just about every other make but not a Hasegawa. I like the way you did the wing, I never thought of doing it that way. I see how it could save a lot of hard to do sanding. I'll have to try it.
     
  19. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    Thanks T-bolt! This approach to getting the wings in place works great with kits that have a fiddly wingfit. I also sometimes place a little spacer (just made of a piece of sprue) and use it to slightly widen the area where the wing meets the fuselage. Can make that extra bit of difference between an OK fit and a great fit
     
  20. brucejscott

    brucejscott Active Member

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    Nice build Jelmer. Interesting subject. Great skills.
     
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