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Completed: 1/48 Airfix P-40B Warhawk

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  • Member since
    January 2015
Completed: 1/48 Airfix P-40B Warhawk
Posted by BrandonD on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 11:49 AM

Hi all,

So as you might know, I have been beyond excited for this release, and I pre-ordered two from Airfix back in August. I got them last week and cracked the boxes, but I haven't gotten far.

If you want my impressions, I did a little review on a side project I have that I just sort of mess around with as a distraction from my day job, but I posted an in-box and partial mock-up review here: https://modelsbybd.wordpress.com/home/reviews/review-148-airfix-p-40b-warhawk/

Anyway, here is the plane held together with tape, and I'm glad I got two.

So I got started by priming with Mr. Surfacer 1500 Black, then sprayed Model Master Interior Green on the interior components.

I was hoping to use the kit seat and throw on some PE or HGW belts, but the detail just didn't cut it for me, so I ordered a pair of Ultracast replacements and got them last night.

The kit part is on the left in the photo above, then the Ultracast as it comes, then the modifications I made to make it fit the kit seat frame (right). The lower cross piece on my seat frame was broken already, but it isn't visible so not worth fixing. It's intact in the other kit, and Airfix does provide a separate seat frame for the other type. This one will be Welch's plane during the Pearl Harbor attack, and references show that those ones had the rounded seat, so I went with it.

I cut the center portion of the top of the seat frame with sprue cutters and removed it, so the joint will be where the straps meet it, and there will be no reason to make it extra smooth.

As for the resin piece, it was most likely made for the Trumpeter kit (appears it was done in 1999), so it is way too short for the Airfix kit, which does NOT have the shallow cockpit of the Trumpeter offering. I could have just extended the bottom, but the top of the frame misses being a perfect fit by about half a millimeter, and I didn't want to mess with trying to heat it and bend it.

Hopefully I can get some paint on it today.

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 1:23 PM

I've got my eyes on this one! Watching intensely!  :D

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 1:06 AM
Dah!...beat me to it. I got my two from Hannants last week when I thought Airfix blew me off only to find out those were now on their way.....oh well. As soon as I'm done with these Brits I'll be diving in too with either the same markings or perhaps Ken Taylor's ride. Thanks for info about the seat. I'll probably just grab the new PE set available for this turkey on the first one. You should paint that seat silver as most were in early 'hawks. Eyes glued here bro...

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 4:29 AM

Interesting start, you have my attention!

Toshi

On The Bench: Revell 1/48 B-25 Mitchell

 

Married to the most caring, loving, understanding, and beautiful wife in the world.  Mrs. Toshi

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 12:00 PM

Thanks, guys!

Lawdog - yeah the seat is called out to be interior green, but that doesn't make sense to me, and I painted mine Alclad Polished Aluminum.

Here is the cockpit for now. It still needs some detail painting and light weathering, but it's getting there.

The IP is a decal over the kit piece, but unlike some manufacturers, the inclusion of a decal wasn't an excuse to not provide instrument detail molded in. So if you don't like the decal, you could easily drybrush it to hit the instrumentation.

I realized I painted the backs of theformation lights silver, and I think the port one should actually be blue, so I'll fix that tonight. What color is the starboard one? Airfix provided them as clear pieces you insert from inside, which is a nice touch.

So far, this isn't causing me too many issues. Getting the seat sorted was pretty easy, and I'm glad I chose to make the joint where the harness passes over, because there is a step, but it's not too noticeable unless you're looking for it.

-BD-

  • Member since
    September 2014
Posted by rooster513 on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 12:35 PM

Add me to the list of people looking closely at this one:) You didn a great job with the pit! Looking forward to seeing more!

-Andy

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 3:49 PM

Brandon,

Nice work on the cockpit!  I must admit, the cockpit seat might be either, though I would go for painted, but looking at this image it's hard to tell.

https://wwiiaircraft.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/p-40-warhawka.jpg

Later seats were apparently painted, however, as the Kittyhawk's seat they found in the Sahara a few years ago certainly was painted.

Gary

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Friday, December 2, 2016 1:22 PM

GAF - yeah I am not sure 100 percent, but I like the unpainted because it gives a little more definition inside the cockpit if nothing else.

Hard to tell on this pic of a Pearl Harbor wreck if the seat had the paint burned off or if it was unpainted to begin with. I'm going with unpainted to begin with, but I'm not certain.

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Friday, December 2, 2016 1:33 PM

Ok, an update on the progress. The pic below is how it's currently sitting on my table. Hoping to get some primer on it at lunch, but we will see.

As for fit - mostly it's really nice. I can now confirm that if you do put the fuselage halves together without first putting in the radiator and the ring at the front that accepts the prope assembly, it CAN be done after the fact. It just involves lots of time and the invention of new swear words.

Anyway, with that said, the piece that slots into the front that serves as the underside to the prop area and meets the front end of the top of the radiator appears to have a gap with the radiator. Given that I installed the radiator after the fact, I am not sure if this is an issue with the kit. It's less than 1mm and won't really be visible, so I'm not worried by it.

The horizontal stabilizers fit really tight, which is nice, since they don't want to droop at all. The elevators are a single piece and are positionable, which is a really nice touch that should be standard on all kits these days, since they tend to droop slightly when planes are parked.

The only area of difficulty I ran into is with the pieces that form the front of the landing gear shroud at the leading edge of the wings. These don't fit great, and will require a bit of work. But overall, it's a great fit. The wing root engineering is nice, and there are no seams or gaps where there shouldn't be.

I ended up sanding the underside of the upper wing halves to make the trailing edges thinner, though it had little effect because I didn't want to overdo it. I do think it helped with the fit to the fuselage, as maybe they would have bee slightly proud if I hadn't. I forgot to check before I sanded, so I can't really say.

So far I am still really happy with this kit and am looking forward to getting it into paint next week. This weekend is pretty full for me, so I doubt I'll get a chance to work on it.

-BD-

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Friday, December 2, 2016 2:45 PM

I see nothing short of amazing.  Even with the issues you so described, everything looks fantastic.

Toshi

On The Bench: Revell 1/48 B-25 Mitchell

 

Married to the most caring, loving, understanding, and beautiful wife in the world.  Mrs. Toshi

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Friday, December 2, 2016 3:24 PM

Thanks, Toshi!

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Friday, December 2, 2016 3:46 PM

Ok, well I got primer on it at lunch, and used some Perfect Plastic Putty to fix the gear knickle issue.

For the first time, I'm getting to see how it really looks. I'll post a bunch of pics to give you an idea.

In the pic above, you can see the top of nose, which is essentially four or five parts, depending on how you count it.

Each fuselage half has a gap to accept the panels that house the machine guns. These are joined at the front by a small piece of plastic that you later remove to put the gun panels in. Remember when I said I left out the innards? Well, to fix that, I had to remove the bits of plastic to flex the central part (half of which is on each fuselage half) to insert the radiator. I think I created a bit of a step in the plastic when I did that, which took some sanding to clean up.

Adding the panels was pretty easy, and I did it after inserting the ring that serves as a bracket for the prop assembly. Again, this should have been added before closing the fuselage halves. Would have made everything line up easier. Also, you can see an expanded gap at one point. This is because I slipped with the knife when cutting off the sprue attachment point, and took a little off the piece. I may hit it with putty and re-scribe the line. Depends how I feel about it.

All of that is a long way to say that had I just followed the directions, I think this part would have looked nicer, but even with the issues, I'm fine with how it turned out. The decision to make the gun fairings separate pieces makes cleanup MUCH easier, and I appreciate that if you're reading this, Airfix.

Above, you can see the port wing root. There is no filler here. The blemish at the front of the wing walk area is from an alligator clamp I put on to hold the landing gear knuckle shroud in place. I'll fix that before paint. Adjacent to it is the small gap where the curved piece of the wing root (which joins wing to fuselage) mates to the forward part of the fuselage. I will probably put some Perfect Plastic Putty in that spot to smooth it a bit. All in all, I'm really impressed with the fit here.

Here you see the rear portion of the port wing root. There is a small seam where it joins the underside of the wing, which I will fill and sand before continuing. The joint to the fuselage runs along the raised rivets. Again, there is no filler here, and the fit was great. The piece itself has a flange that slips over the inside of the fuselage, allowing you to glue it without any seeping out and creating a mess along the rivet line.

The door above it is a separate piece. Be sure when you assemble it that the tab is facing the correct way. The picture in the instructions shows itcorrect, however, if you just look at the part, it looks like it's meant to go in upside down. But this is not the case, and it fits correctly as the instructions have it.

Above is the starboard wing root. It looks like it has a substantial gap, but that is just the lighting in the picture. In thiscase, itis raised ever so slightly more than the port wing root, and I am not certain as to why, but I did sand the underside of the trailing edges, and I think I took more off the port wing, which would account for the difference. On my next one, I'll be testing this area more when doing that.

You can also kind of see the gear knuckle shroud, which with Perfect Plastic Putty filler looks as it should, at least to my eye.

In the pic above, you see where the lower wing comes into contact with the fuselage. It stands a little proud because the fuselage seam was sanded and tapered a bit there, so I stuck in some Perfect Plastic Putty and sprayed it, but this will get a bit more work before it gets paint. I haven't sanded the seam yet. There is also a slightly raised seam on the spine of the rear part of the wing that I will sand off, unless I find a reference to show that it belongs there. Here, you can also see the gear bay with the ejector pin mark fixed (I used the chisel blade of an X-acto knife after putting in a drop of Gunze Mr. Dissolved Putty).

Above is the top view of the tail feathers. I will drop some putty in the gap at the roots just to make them smaller, and sand off the small blemish that's left from the sprue gate on the leading edge of the starboard (on the left, in the pic) one. As you can see here, the elevators actuate, and I will leave them slightly dropped after paint. The fit is tight, so they stay wherever I put them.

Thanks for looking. Typically I wouldn't do so much with this minutiae, but given that it's a new kit, I thought I'd try to point out the fit as I go.

-BD-

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Friday, December 2, 2016 3:47 PM

P-36, P-40, P-40B/C seats were unpainted as shown in this photo here:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/thread/1320861846/What+was+the+cockpit+color+of+P-40s+based+in+Pearl+Harbor+on+Dec.+7+1941-

The Egyptian P-40 was an E-1 so a later model.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Saturday, December 3, 2016 7:45 AM

richs26

P-36, P-40, P-40B/C seats were unpainted as shown in this photo here:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/thread/1320861846/What+was+the+cockpit+color+of+P-40s+based+in+Pearl+Harbor+on+Dec.+7+1941-

The Egyptian P-40 was an E-1 so a later model.

 
That's an interesting discussion, though most of the photos are missing now.  Which brings up the question:  What about the P-40s for British service?  What was the standard for seats going to England?
 
Gary

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Saturday, December 3, 2016 9:10 AM

Wow BD. Moving right along. Looks like a great kit. I just read a review on Modeling Madness by Tom Cleaver. He had some pretty good insight on the colors

http://modelingmadness.com/review/allies/cleaver/us/usaaf/tctom.htm

 

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Saturday, December 3, 2016 10:01 AM

richs26

P-36, P-40, P-40B/C seats were unpainted as shown in this photo here:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/thread/1320861846/What+was+the+cockpit+color+of+P-40s+based+in+Pearl+Harbor+on+Dec.+7+1941-

The Egyptian P-40 was an E-1 so a later model.

 

Richs26 is correcrt about the seats in the photo; but the color will depend on the plane you are modeling. Some were not painted and some were painted!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Monday, December 5, 2016 2:59 PM

Thanks for the comments, all. I just read there were even wooden seats in some of these.

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Monday, December 5, 2016 3:03 PM

Ok, so I had some unexpected bench time on Saturday morning and was able to get the underside color on. Thisis currently how it's sitting, but I can hopefully mask and get to olive drab on the topside today. Maaaaaybe even clear coat and decals. One can hope.

-BD-

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 7:18 AM
Your work is encouraging. Looks fairly painless assembly-wise. The instrument decal looks great.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Thursday, December 8, 2016 11:14 AM

Thanks, Lawdog. Yeah it's pretty painless overall.

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Thursday, December 8, 2016 11:18 AM

Girlfriend has been sick for a few days, so I was taking care of her and didn't get bench time, except to mask it. She looked over as I was laying down the tape and said, "Everything about that hobby would drive me nuts. I have no idea how you have thepatience for it."

And this is just a two-tone scheme! Haha.

Anyway, she's doing a bit better, and I managed to get the olive drab (Model Master, in this case) sprayed on top.

I'm not in love with the shade, but I think this is closer to what they had on Dec. 7 than Tamiya's shade, which was my primary one on my Aleutian Tiger, as those appeared darker. In the end, I don't really care that much, as shades of paint can vary so much between aircraft in the same unit.

This one will be pretty clean, as I'm building it to represent the plane right before Welch hopped in to KA and TN.

Thanks for looking.

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Thursday, December 8, 2016 11:20 AM

Side note - it's currently sitting on its gear legs, which are not glued in yet. They fit really well, and they even stay in without any sort of glue on this one. Lawdog - you mentioned the fiddly legs on the Airfix Spitfire, and I can assure you, this one has them rock solid. I don't even have the support piece on the struts, which give them a third attachment point.

-BD-

  • Member since
    September 2014
Posted by rooster513 on Thursday, December 8, 2016 12:20 PM

Very nice Brandon! Like the way your preshade breaks up the mono colorYes

 I will be getting one of these kits for sure.

-Andy

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Friday, December 9, 2016 12:21 AM

BrandonD

Side note - it's currently sitting on its gear legs, which are not glued in yet. They fit really well, and they even stay in without any sort of glue on this one. Lawdog - you mentioned the fiddly legs on the Airfix Spitfire, and I can assure you, this one has them rock solid. I don't even have the support piece on the struts, which give them a third attachment point.

-BD-

 

Looking great Brandon.  Before I switched to Gunze OD, I used to mix my Tamiya OD with their Khaki to brown it up, as I prefer a browner shade.  It might be another option for you.  Good news about the gears....alas! the perfect P-40! 

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Friday, December 9, 2016 11:15 AM

THanks, Lawdog. That's a good idea. But I think I will just toss some Gunze on my next order from Sprue Brothers, because I like the tone your OD builds have. I say I don't care and I won't obsess over it, but...

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Friday, December 9, 2016 11:30 AM

Also, Lawdog - yes, it's easily the best 1/48 P-40B available to us at the moment, but it isn't perfect. Last night, I found some minor frustration when it came time to do the decals.

It seems the decal team and the mold making team were't working from the same plans. When I place decals, I typically use panel lines for reference, and there are several places that just doesn't work on this kit. For example, the wing root fairings show panel lines on the decal guide that aren't present in the kit. I am not sure if they were present on the P-40B, but I know they were on the P-40E. That's minor, but leaves me wondering.

Another spot is the oil drain stencil on the ventral spine. It just sort of goes there, and there's no panel or drain or anything. My guess is it's likely a panel on the real aircraft that just isn't reproduced here (FWIW the Hasegawa P-40E has a panel there, but that's the extent of my 'research' on the matter, and it's problematic at best to reference witha model kit of a different variant).

The worst offender is the inspection/access pieces on the ailerons and nearby wing panel. Airfix has made this one decal for two tiny stencils, with a thin strip of film connecting them. That's fine, but not only does the strip need to traverse the gap where the aileron meets the wing, it's in the wrong place. An easy fix was to cut the film and move them about so they fit where intended, but detail on the guide is not on the aircraft, and placement was vague.

One last thing - the port side trim tab on the rudder is not scribed. I didn't notice this until I placed the stencil where it should be. I'll go back and make a few lines that should fix it easily, and if I'm careful, I won't have to touch up paint.

Those are minor annoyances, and you're likely to get that sort of thing with aftermarket decals, but not typically on decals that come with the kit. It does leave me wondering if Airfix forgot or omitted some panel lines, but it's far too late for me to worry about that on this build. I'll figure it out for the next one, though.

Another issue is with the paint guide/box art discrepancy (I know, I know). Just be aware that the box art (including the markings profile) shows the Neutral Gray curving up from theunderside to meet the horizontal stabilizers, and the decal guide shows it being Olive Drab there. I went with Olive Drab, as that's how other U.S. aircraft were painted, including other P-40s. But I don't know if this is 100 percent correct.

As for the decals themselves, they are top quality (Cartograf, I believe). They went down well and mostly sank into panel lines with ease. Even the large U.S. ARMY lettering on the underside was easy to place, and the carrier film disappeared when I pressed it onto the surface. Some areas of the film didn't quite sink into the panel lines, so I scribed them lightly, and it was no problem. Normally, I would mask and paint the black at the wing roots, but in this case I used the decals and am glad I did, because they fit perfectly, and it's a lot easier to get them the exact same length.

Hmm, I suppose I should have painted the wheel wells by now, but oh well. Sorry for the garbage picture quality - I shot these with my phone on my way out the door this morning.

-BD-

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Friday, December 9, 2016 12:54 PM

This is getting me so pumped up to build another P-40 it's not even funny. 

Looking fantastic Brandon!

I can't wait to get this kit. Until then I'll be quenching my thirst with another Monovell P-40. LOL!

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, December 9, 2016 1:32 PM

Brandon,

I think you can rest easy.  This reproduction at least shows where the panel lines 'should' be.

http://fighter-collection.com/cft/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/P40B1.jpg

I noticed the gun access panels seem to be missing on this one, though you can just make them out on the P-40B in the Naval Air Museum (port wing).

http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/nnam/item_images/P-40B.jpg

Gary

 

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Friday, December 9, 2016 2:15 PM

Brandon, I think your OD 41 is about perfect as these were brand new aircraft.  The first B model had first flown on March 13, 1941 with the first C model flying in April, 1941.  Everybody seems to think that they had to be extremely weathered aircraft, but they weren't.

Gary, that photo of the Navair Museum's P-40B/H81-A2 shows a historical boo-boo as it should have a British cranked pitot tube instead of an American straight barbed one.  It is one of the 22 RAF birds shipped to the USSR.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, December 9, 2016 4:57 PM

richs26

Gary, that photo of the Navair Museum's P-40B/H81-A2 shows a historical boo-boo as it should have a British cranked pitot tube instead of an American straight barbed one.  It is one of the 22 RAF birds shipped to the USSR.

My source says 23, but eh...  Wink  Yes, I cut them some slack as this was not originally a British bird.  It's painted to represent one, however.  I never complain that a B-25J is painted up as a Doolittle raider, so a pitot tube is a minor inconsistency.

Gary

PS> Does this Airfix bird have two different pitot tubes?

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