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Paul Mahoney
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Hasegawa 1/48 scale P-40N

June 29, 2014 · in Aviation · · 18 · 4K

I decided to write this one a little more in-depth than my previous posts. Not a full-blown review by any means, but just a little more “color.” I hope this is an improvement over my previous few posts!

Here is 's 1/48 P-40N. This project had its roots established back in the 1970s or early 80s. I was building another Hasegawa kit back then – their newly-released 1/72 P-40N. After pouring over my (then) meager reference library, I came across a profile in “Aces of the Southwest Pacific” of a P-40N with a flower painted on the nose. I had been pondering doing my first ‘custom'-marked aircraft (ie not using the kit decals or other, commercially available ones). I thought I could do a decent freehand paint job on the flower, and could cobble together the serial number from a MicroScale sheet, so away I went. I was very pleased with the outcome, and that model held a place of pride for many years on my shelves.

Fast forward to just a few years ago, and I am once again gawking at another Hasegawa P-40N, only this time it's in “my” 1/48 scale and it has all the refinements of a modern kit. While surfing the net looking at various decal sheets, I spotted the Zotz “P-40N Warhawks” release, and there before my eyes was the scheme I did those many years ago! My plan came together quickly, and said kit and decal sheet were obtained.

This particular was flown by Capt. Robert DeHaven, who later flew P-38s and ended the war with 10 victories. He survived the war to eventually become (among other things) Howard Hughes' personal pilot, as well as chief test pilot with Hughes. Sadly, I found out after the fact that he passed away in 2008.

The Hasegawa 1/48 kit is about as good as it gets – highly detailed cockpit, beautiful engraved details, and a nice fit just about everywhere. Unfortunately, Hasegawa uses cockpit area inserts to allow the same set of molds to create fuselages for the P-40E as well as the N, and these inserts don't exactly line up perfectly. Using the guidance of several reviews on the web, I attached each insert to its respective fuselage half, thus lining up panel lines as best possible, and then joined the halves. The stellar fit everywhere else was a little absent in this area. Nothing some putty, sanding, and a scriber can't fix!

The kit is OOB with the exception of Eduard pre-painted seatbelts and some wire for brake lines. I used Tamiya paints throughout. Antenna is stretched sprue with a small section of polyamide tubing used to simulate the tension spring near the tail. I also substituted the sliding canopy section from an old Eduard kit as it was slightly larger and fit down over the rear canopy in the open position much better than the Hasegawa one.

The Zotz decals went on beautifully. My build of decades ago was missing the ‘Rita' marking on the right side (I only had a left side profile then!), but Zotz came to the rescue there. And the iris flower on this sheet is an artistic masterpiece compared to my original attempt way back when.

So, after a very pleasurable build (with time out to grumble about the inserts), I had in my hands a scaled-up, much improved, much more detailed, and much more accurately-marked duplicate of that old “first try” P-40N of mine from many years ago. Despite all that, I'm still proud of the old build that (in a roundabout way) inspired this one! Now if only I could find some pictures of that old 72nd scale job…

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. Nice job, Paul...I like it.

  2. Good build Paul & thanks for the info. I have a couple of 1/72nd P-40's about ready for paint that have been sitting on the shelf force couple of years. You guys are wanting to make me break them out.

  3. A very nice " N " you can t have too many P-40 s


  4. Yes I agree, Very Nice. I just yesterday started and Italeri P-40N and am aiming for a 49th FG model also. If I may ask, exactly what color is the blue you used for the spinner on DeHaven's plane? That is a color I will be needing.

    • Hi Ralph
      I used Tamiya XF-8 Flat Blue, and just added a little Tamiya XF-66 light gray to it to lighten it up. Sorry, I wasn't more scientific than that, but I think about 10% light gray was the ratio. 49th has a lot of cool schemes.

  5. Paul,

    This is gorgeous. You did an excellent job and I enjoyed your write up.

  6. Great day for Warhawks here, another beauty. The kit has it's idiosyncracies (?) but it's way ahead of the rest. When it first came out I had it together in a week, so happy was I to have a decent 48th P-40. Have done 7 since, lately went over to 1/32. I've heard you can't have too many P-40's, and I believe.

  7. I love white tail P-40s! Very nice...ahhh so many models I want to build and you are not helping!

  8. What impressed me about your P-40 Paul is how it just pops off the page when you view the model. Well done images, nice story. I really like it. Have the Hase "E" variant and an older AMT "N" in the stash. May motivate me to build one of them. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Superb Job Paul your P40 looks just right to me its been a while since i built one but after seeing yours i may have to drag one down from the stash
    thats another one on the ever growing to do list

  10. Lovely job on your P-40 Paul, makes me wanna build one. Those Hasegawa kits are a bit expensive now though so maybe i'll hunt down a Revell/Monogram one.

    • Thanks Gregor - If you want an N model, look around for the AMT or Mauve kits. Eduard also had a boxing of the Mauve kit with added detail - hard to find that one, but if you can I think it's still cheaper than the current Hasegawa pricing (and has some good resin bits).

  11. thanks for all the nice comments guys - makes me want to build some more of the P-40s in the stash!

  12. man that's purdey

  13. Nice work, Paul. Bob would have liked it. I had the opportunity of meeting him in the 1980s (the DeHaven's being a third-generation Hollywood family - Bob's sister being actress Gloria DeHaven - his cousin, who had produced "Hoosiers" knew I was an ace fan and set up a lunch with his cousin to impress me into doing a deal). His stories about Hughes were very funny. He moved on in the company to eventually head the development and production of the Hughes 500 helicopter (aka the OH-6).

  14. Thanks Tom. I would have really enjoyed having a chance to meet him and hear some of those Hughes stories! You are a lucky man to have had that honor. Glad to hear you think Bob would have liked it!

  15. Paul, I've enjoyed reading your write-up and admiring the pictures, good job all round, congratulations.

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