First airplane since 2016?
Yep turns out tis true. Last aircraft post here was the Airfix Defiant in October 2016. Wow.
Anyway, here she is, Trumpeter’s fairly new 1/32 P-40F. I waited a while for a P-40F and greeted the Trumpeter with mixed reviews. Surface detail is really delicate and detailed, and turned out perfect for retaining my washes. Fits were nice, landing gear good, most details accurate. I even like the rubber tires, most folks don’t. How-evah they got the nose contours wrong, as usual, requiring shaving down the top of the cowling area to make it look better, but not perfect. The canopy and windscreen are too rounded on top as per their Hellcats, and they missed the wingtip upsweep like everybody else ‘cept Hasegawa. (only us P-40 nuts notice that one). The interior is better, but still doesn’t use the top of the wing as the cockpit floor. BUT it is a P-40F at last, looks 90% like one.
Another bugger-up is this is a short-tail (early) P-40F and of the decal options they give you, 3 are for long-tail later blocks and one is incomplete. Trumpeter desperately needs me for research and development, I’m calling them. I have to go to China? Whoops, forget it. Ah the decals look too thick anyway. Just so happens as I was doing P-40F research I found a pic I really liked featuring a section of F’s on a training mission out of Texas. One is peeling off to dive and shows off the well weathered top end, and just was something I wanted to try and duplicate. It entailed making stencils for nose numbers, and finding the serial numbers for the tail. I decided to tackle it.
I also wanted to try a new painting technique I saw on the innertube, done best by a guy calls himself “Scale-a-ton”. He uses light color “squiggles” of fine lines under the main paint color, that gives excellent tonal variation without the “patchwork” look a lot of folks do not care for. This was also my first time using Vallejo Air paints, turned out to be just fine. Only issue to watch is I did have some peeling when removing the masking tape, very slight but make sure your plastic is prepped well. Tail numbers were sourced from a Hasegawa P-40N, the decal sheet had a whole run of numbers on it. A tad too large but useable. National insignia are Hasegawa also. I made a stencil for the “2’s” and sprayed them. Here we hit a bump as I discovered “close-up” on the computer, to find my plane in question had nose decoration and a name-“MUTT” in small letters. The diamond shape probably was a carry-over from being a 57th fighter group machine at sometime, and MUTT? Well it was probably a pieced together hanger queen. Rebuilt, repainted, ridden hard and put away wet. Serial # research (Notice in the pic, the plane behind it is it’s consecutively serialed sister) showed the po’ thang was SOC-Stricken Off Charge-in summer 1943, undoubtedly one of hundreds pranged by the newbies with wings. More masking and a fine tipped brush later, we were good.
So I actually finished her. I will be using the Scale-a ton finish from now on on all my weathered birds. I’ve also heard it called “marbling”. I will put a link in for a video. Sorry for the poor dark pics, I just cannot get this camera to do what I want. I think the effect shows up in some of them. Have to get a smart phone like everybody else.
What’s next? only have about 150 left to choose from after the recent purge. Like I saw on the net, Quarantine? Self isolation? We modelers have been preparing for this our whole lives.
Scale-a-ton P-40N https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgTYKhASq4&t=772s
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.