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Defender of the Pearl Harbor80th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

The scene from the movie Tora Tora Tora, when two pilots jump into their P-40s and, regardless of the glaring disproportion of forces in the air, rush to Attack the Japanese formation as a young boy from school, I was simply moved. What did those pilots, torn off on Sunday morning, have to feel? Nobody gave them an order, nor any instructions what to do. Seeing the planes flying out for the air at the main EWA Field Airbase, our hero Lt. Kenneth Marlar Taylor calls the Haleiwa auxiliary airfield, where Japanese planes have not yet arrived, and orders a pair of P-40s to be prepared for flight ... This is how the story of an unprovoked, natural heroic deed begins. He and his colleague George Welch boarded a Buick 1940's convertible private car and sped to a 10-mile auxiliary airport. There, two planes were ready, their engines running, ready to take off. As it turned out, the staff had a problem with finding ammunition for caliber 50 machine guns, so they could only rely on four barrels of Brownings. 30 caliber. Taylor only shouted to his friend to stick to his wings, no matter what, because if the Japanese would separate them, they would be sure to separate them they won't come back from this escapade. the planes took off at full throttle and took to the air. The pilots felt no fear, just one emotion. To kick the yolks ... Not a moment passed when they came across a formation of enemy bombers diving in the cover of a dozen or so Zero fighters. Initially, the Japanese did not realize that they were hostile machines. Taylor flew past one fighter, seeing the surprised face of the Japanese pilot wearing goggles and a headband with national symbols, tied on his forehead. Before the Japanese fighter expander recovered from a stupor, after a short burst the first "Zeke" crashed down, dragging a trail of smoke. After Zero, destiny caught up with the VAL type diver. Taylor obliterated the gunner with the first round, then turned the bomber into a roaring fireball with the next. However, the game of cat and mouse is over. The Japanese made a half-barrel with the entire fighter formation and attacked the pair, a wheel fight ensued, and a zero fighter was found on Taylor's tail. The Japanese pilot fiercely tried to send him a lethal series ... Taylor's cockpit is punctured with holes, and a few controls on the dashboard don't work either. However, the adrenaline is so high that a slight wound to the shoulder is completely ignored. It is important that the engine works without any problems! The Japanese aviator, however, lost his vigilance, Lt. Welch, taking advantage of the advantage of speed and position, gets on his tail and after a longer series, before the Japanese could react, the zero falls, drawing a plume of smoke towards the green fields in the valley. The situation becomes dangerous and a couple of Brave Hawks get to the clouds and lose their enemies. The pilots are messed up, it turns out that the ammunition is missing, and Taylor orders them to return to the airport ... In the meantime, they receive anti-aircraft fire from their own, but land safely at the dilapidated Wheeler Field. The base commander does not allow them to take off again, but seeing the second wave of Japanese planes, they take off without orders! Now fully equipped with fuel and heavy machine gun ammunition, they feel more confident. They both shoot a total of 4 planes (Taylor two probably), not counting a few damaged ... After his return, the air commander in Pearl awarded both with the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart Medal for wounds. The application for the Medal of Honor is rejected, as they supposedly took off without an order ... What an irony of fate!

A few words about the model. It was a quick fun build. It takes me only two weeks. The set comes from 2007 and it reminded me of the Fujimi models when it was made and assembled. Despite some unflattering opinions about some of its elements, I decided to buy this, not the Airfix kit, where I was really scared off by the opinions about the problems with matching the wings to the fuselage (I do not like these disadvantages very much!). I also purchased a set of AML decals and a set of chassis wheels, also from AML. The model folded up remarkably well, the fit of the wings and fuselage was decent but not perfect. However, a glycol cooler and a machine gun nose guard fit well. I drilled machine guns barrels in the nose to better look. After proper grinding, the casing of the caliber 50 rifles did not require any putty, and the glycol cooler needed only a minimal amount of it in one place (I was using Mr Color liquid putty on a larger scale for the first time - a good product, but more difficult to sand. The rear tail wheel needed some attention. After the first euphoria that they are mounted in a spatial recess, the annual growth came. It quickly peeled off, and its re-installation in the glued fuselage led to the appearance of another gray hair. Returning to the cockpit ... Yes .. I confirm the Internet opinions. It is too shallow, and the instrument panel is too small ... nevertheless I cut imitation machine guns out of it and installed machine guns from the Fine Molds kit. The instrument panel got control indicators and imitation glass in them.the walls of the cabin had nice panels and there was a plate behind the pilot's seat armored, as a separate element, which improved the appearance of the cabin, because it hid the seams From the beginning, the cabin was supposed to be open, so I also used photo-etched seat belts. Moving on to the fuselage, as I wrote, the wing-fuselage joining was acceptable. I tweaked the visible curvature of the landing gear recess a bit to get rid of the joining point. In the wings, I immediately assumed that the machine guns had to be replaced. I used a Fine Molds kit. After drilling, the barrels were glued with extra thin glue. Here I saw a bug. despite the quite precise determination of the gap between the rifles, I drilled one by a hair too close, following the lines of the sheet metal on the wings ... It is not so visible, but it is ... Nevertheless, the perforated machine gun barrels made the appearance very hard. Another component was the customization of the AML wheel set. they had to be drilled to fit the original shin. It was also possible to mark the sag of the tires by grinding the lower part of the wheels and adjusting to the tilting of the landing gear legs. Everything went quite well, despite some minimal paint problems, as the AML had too inflexible wheel masks. But it worked! Here I can add that the method of mounting and the certainty of mounting the main landing gear was so far the best in all models that I have probably made! Next comes the exhaust pipes from the Quickboost kit. It turned out very well and improved the look. The painting of the propeller left some doubts, but I think the black one looks decent after all. The decals were a bit of a surprise for me. State marks, side numbers and tactical US ARMY numbers are in order. On the other hand, the technical inscriptions and the unit number were faint, indistinct and silvering. I gave up some of them or used from sheet of decals (propeller markings, first aid markings) ... The painting is Mr Color C12 and C13, Interior Green interior, small details Mr Color semi gloss black. The model is protected with two layers of X-22 paint and a final layer of X-35. Finally, mounting the fairing ... It turns out that in the open position it simply does not fit! Disappointing, I adjusted it to the closed position, using small drops of CA glue in the gel to give it a firm and quick grip. In addition, I used a wire for the AMMO Mig radio station and washa Modeler's World and the Weathering Master set Tamiya. In addition, the barrel burns were made with dry pastel. I hope you will like the model πŸ™‚ Lieutenant Lis will return with a new, spine-chilling design πŸ™‚

For me to forget! From the remains of other photo-etched sets I made a sight and a sighting sight on the machine gun cover and in the cabin on the windshield of the cabin I made an armored glass from a fragment of a transparent frame.

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

31 responses

  1. Great build time on this P-40, Lis! nice to follow the build in the Group Build.
    I don't know how many times I have watched 'Tora, Tora, Tora' with me and my brothers tuned in, talk about a 'movie star' packed cast.

  2. @georgeswork @gkittinger Thank You! I hope it's one of the few future Warhawks in my collection πŸ™‚
    PS. I attached photo where is show armored glass in canopy in front windscreen.

  3. Great result and a fantastic headline article, @lis!
    This is an excellent P-40!
    Your build thread was an equal joy to follow.

  4. Bravo! Very nice work and an excellent article! πŸ‘

  5. Good job.

    What happened to the Zero and Val wrecks after the war? Kept or smelted?

  6. Enjoyed the build, and now this article. Always love a chance to watch scenes like that from "Tora, Tora, Tora". It really turned out to be a real gem of a build. Excellent build.

  7. Really nice early P-40, Lis. A really nice result from not the best kit out there.

    I particularly like your writing about why the model interested you, that you had an understanding of the history it would represent.

    Interesting fact: Taylor and Welch had been up all night, first at the officer's club, then an all-night poker game, and they were still in their tuxedo dress shirts and pants when they did all this! That's almost as good as the P-36 pilot who was in his pajamas when he took off. And when they landed back at Wheeler to rearm, they were put on report for "unauthorized takeoff and use of aircraft." The "peacetime military mind" at work.

    • @tcinla Thank you! Your opinion and kind words are always a distinction for me. I'm glad that you like the model, I tried to recreate it well, despite some structural flaws in the set. I also read the story of the P-36 pajama flight and I think it could be a brilliant idea for future projects! Except that it's hard to find a good P-36 model, I guess ... On a scale of 1:72 there are AZ Model, and Special Hobby kit (hard to find).

  8. Thank you all for the kind words. They motivate me for my next job. I'm glad you liked my little Hawk. πŸ™‚

  9. Amazing build, Lis @lis
    Again you delivered a wonderful aircraft and the supporting article is a pleasure to read.
    It was a pleasure to follow your thread.
    A big like.

  10. That's a really good-looking P-40.

    I was a kid living in Pearl City, Hawaii (next to Pearl Harbor) when they shot the movie. I still have a roll of 8mm movie film my father took of the Japanese (modified AT-6 Texans) and P-40s flying and dogfighting over our neighborhood. One weekend, we went out to Ewa field to take a look at the movie planes parked on the tarmac. I distinctly remember the two P-40s and have a few photos of them somewhere in my stash. There was also a B-17E (which landed with a main wheel up; they put it in the film - made the local news) and a PBY along with the various ersatz Vals and Zeros.

  11. Great job on the P-40 @lis! Looking forward to your next adventure!

  12. Great looking P-40 ! Nice workmanship .

  13. Well done, Lis! I thought it was the 1/48 Airfix kit at first.

  14. Superb P-40 Lis @lis. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Excellent looking P-40, nice job.

  16. Great job! Nice write up too!

  17. Thank you for all comments! πŸ™‚

  18. Very good post, the write-up and the model are equally enjoyable.

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