1/48 Hobbycraft P-40

Gallery Article by Darius Aibara on July 13 2003

 

RAF Curtiss P40 Tomahawk Mk II

This is the Hobbycraft P40 kit modelled as an RAF Tomahawk Mk II of 112 Squadron RAF somewhere in North Africa in 1941.  I assembled the kit essentially out of the box but with the help of an Eduard photoetch set for the cockpit and flaps.  The kit is fairly straightforward but the plastic is somewhat brittle and needs careful cutting to accept the photoetched parts - which are fairly good.  The Eduard flaps have separate triangular stiffeners that need to be individually cemented with cyano - my technique for this is to place a few drops of glue on the top of a jam jar lid and then just touch the stiffener to the glue drop using tweezers before transferring it to the flaps.  This is about 80-90% successful with the stiffener being stuck to the tweezers in the remaining 10% (as opposed to my fingers, which is what used to happen).

 

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I brush painted the model using Humbrol enamels and coated it with Johnson's Kear acrylic varnish before applying the decals.  The kit decals are not good (thick, glossy with incorrect colour shades) and so I used an aftermarket set for Curtiss P40B's.  After sealing in the decals with a further coating of Klear I applied a coat of Humbrol "matt cote" and had a go at weathering with some pastel chalks.

The kit canopy can be posed open but the sliding portion broke while I was masking it so I substituted a Falcon vac-formed example whilst retaining the kit windscreen.  I also made a new port wing pitot probe from steel wire. The Eduard etched gunsights completed the model.

Darius Aibara

      

Photos and text by Darius Aibara