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Airfix 1/48 Curtiss Tomahawk Mk.II, 112 Squadron, Libya, 1941

Hi all,

Finally I finished another model, I'm just not such a quick builder mainly caused by lack of time.
This build is the Curtiss Mk.II from (A05133) and represents the No. 112 squadron of the RAF in Libya 1941.
Usually I build OOB and at first this was also the idea for this Tomahawk.
During the build I wanted to give some great ideas of you guys a try as well.
So apart from OOB, this model has self created seat belts made from masking tape.
Although they are still far from perfect, the seat to me looks a bit more realistic this way.
To the main landing gear I added brake lines made from a string of electric wire.
After using the pre-shading technique for the first time, I used the patafix solution for masking, which turns out to be very effective.
Unfortunately it seems I did not use the same thickness of patafix, so some transitions from light to dark brown are a bit sharper than others.
I also noticed after painting that a bit more grinding could have been done.
At the end I attached the antenna wires but this turned out to be a bit of a hassle.
At first they fitted pretty nice to the wingtips but next day in the morning they were loose and re-attaching them made it not look that beautiful anymore.
Next time I will also try to make use of the Uschi rigging wire.
The fitting of this Airfix Tomahawk is pretty nice, no hurdles whatsoever.
Although not perfect, I am pretty happy with the result.
The mentioned issues are learning cases.
Paints used are Vallejo Model Air acrylics and Satin Varnish of Vallejo as well.
Comments about this build, positive and/or negative are appreciated.

Enjoy the pictures and stay safe,

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. Hi John @johnb!

    This is a wonderful model with a striking scheme!

    Excellent build allover.

    Nice dynamic posture of tail moving surfaces.

    Cockpit is great and fantastic seat belts - hard to imagine they are made of masking tape! How did you do the holes at them, and what did you use for the buckles? They look truly amazing!

    Wiring for brake lines looks much better than stretched sprue that I usually use!

    About the Patafix transitions, I encounter differences in sharpness, depending on the firm or loose attachment of the Patafix to the surface and, mostly, on the angle I spray, relative to the surface the Patafix is attached too; I don't mind: I use this "unevenness" to my benefit, as to call my job "realistically uneven"! -lol-. However, at hardline camos, like the British WWII ones, this unevenness could be a point of discussion among the perfectionists (yours truly definitely not included!). Your camo looks splendid from here.

    Well done, My friend!

    Please bring on more!

    • Thanks a lot for the compliments and comments Spiros @fiveten.
      The holes on the seat belts are not holes, just tiny dots of black paint.
      The buckles, like the brake wires, are made from one string of a twisted electric wire.
      It is easy bendable and the thickness for 1/48 seems quite ok.
      Great explanation of the unevenness by the way.

  2. Very nice build. Great paint scheme that really sets off those teeth. Well done.

  3. Looks great, John. You used paper masks affixed with Patafix squares for the masking?

  4. Nicely done John, that's a good looking Hawk.

  5. Very nice. I love Uschi thread. I use the Superfine for 1:48 antennae as I think its more to scale. I've used it on some of my builds posted here. The stuff is pretty finicky, like handling spider web. Quite a few times it took a few moments to realize I wasn't holding it any more as I was trying to attach it. The stuff sticks almost immediately to CA glue

  6. A great-looking 'Hawk! I'm a fan of desert schemes. Another nice feature of Uschi is that it is elastic, so you can cut it just a tad short and pull it taught into the glue, and you won't get that sag problem. I used it for my last two builds (Fi-167 and Ju-188). As George says, it is very fine, so my very nice pair of pointed-tipped tweezers are an essential tool working with it!

  7. Nice work James - classic 112 squadron scheme!

  8. I've been building models for mumblemumble years, and every one of them is still a learning process (if they aren't, I've done something wrong). You've done a great job here taking new ideas and trying them out, and the result is better than you give yourself credit for. It looks great to me.

    (Of course, we're always our own greatest critics, since we know what we had in mind as a goal and how far we are from having achieved it)


  9. That’s one of Airfix’s best and you have done a bang up job with it. Kudos!

    Did you use EZ Line for antenna wire? I find you can stretch the heck out of it with no sag and then it doesn’t look so thick. I sure have read a lot of raves about that Uschi thread. I’ll have to track some down.

  10. Beautifully done, always liked the RAF shark mouths!

  11. Nice job on this John. I did one of these last year and really enjoyed the build.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  12. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    As I read in your post, it so seems you have had some after thoughts.
    John, I must say ... the model looks fine as it is.
    A very good and clean build.

  13. Nothing is cooler than a plane with teeth, John (@JohnB). Your camo all looks great.

  14. This is a beautiful airplane, the seat belts turned out nice, I need to make the extra effort to do those. I’ve been wanting to build a Hawker Hurricane painted with the same color scheme. Well done, John !

  15. Excellent,excellent job.

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