GB-57 1/72 Curtiss Mohawk Mk.IV - WW2 Foreign Service

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2996 Victor

Feb 25, 2023
Barlborough, UK
User Name: 2996 Victor
Name: Mark
Category: Intermediate
Kit: AZmodel AZ7643 Curtiss Mohawk Mk.IV "Over CBI"
Scale: 1/72
Accessories: Black Cat Decals 72013, Aires 7092 Wright R-1820 Cyclone, maybe some etch too

My subject will be Mohawk XY+C/482 based at Rabo de Peixe aerodrome, S Miguel Island, Azores in 1944.

The Portuguese Arma da Aeronautica took delivery of sixteen Mohawk Mk.IVs from RAF stocks in 1941, although only 11 were ever airworthy and a further six were lost to accidents over the following four years. The remaining aircraft were retired in 1945. The Mohawks remained on the mainland until deployed to the Azores in July 1944 with Esquadrilha Expedicionaria de Caca No.3 (EEC.3), where they replaced the Gloster Gladiators of EEC.1. Lack of fuel and poor serviceability meant that the Mohawks were little used: they were unpopular with their pilots due to problems with the electrical systems caused by the humid salt-laden air of the Azores, and poor engine reliability due oil starvation (RAF Mohawks in Burma were also prone to this, but RAF fitters managed to resolve the problem). Engine problems led to several forced landings, some of which had fatal consequences.

These aircraft were finished in US-equivalent paints*** to the Temperate Land Scheme of Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky Type S, and with the exception of touch-ups remained in this scheme all their lives. The Cruz de Cristo national marking was applied in six positions, the wing markings being on white discs. Flight codes and serials were white, and the green/red Portuguese flag with coat of arms was applied to the rudder.

Ah, but were they? Or were they painted by RAF MUs after they'd arrived in Britain? Research continues.....
Last edited:
Box top, instructions with kit decals, and sprue shots:
The Mohawk fuselage halves and very dodgy engine are on the separate sprue; the other fuselage is for the P&W Twin Wasp version. The cockpit sidewalls have a bit of detail included, the accuracy of which needs a bit of research!

Aires resin Cylone engine, a little kit all by itself:

Reference material:

The Black Cat Decals sheet will need to be ordered come payday, but in the meantime there's more than enough to be getting on with!
Cool, don't see many done and now two in one build.
Thanks - I think its a much under-rated aircraft. Yes, it was obsolescent at the outbreak or WW2, but the Hawk 75 family did sterling work right through until almost the end of the war in the Far East with the RAF in Burma in the adversest of conditions. The Portuguese Mohawks ultimately met their demise due to the maritime weather conditions in the Azores causing corrosion and electrical failures, and the problem of lack of spares.

I really ought to get moving on this one!

Decals ordered (hopefully!), so with a bit of luck I might actually get this one moving!

I've popped an edit in the first post, as I'm no longer convinced that the camouflage colours were the Dupont equivalents to the RAF MAP colours. I've been trying, so far without luck, to ascertain how many (if any) Mohawks were actually ordered by Britain. It sprang to mind that they were all European orders that were diverted to Britain after their original owners fell to the Blitzkreig. But I'm no longer convinced of that either 😵 I've got the three-part article in Air Enthusiast that I must re-read, which will hopefully tell me. I've been on the lookout for Hagedorn & Tincopa's "Curtiss Design 75" but it seems to be OOP and second hand copies are going for silly money. Ho hum!

More soon, hopefully, including the ceremonial Cutting the First Sprue.


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