Curtiss P-36A Hawk – 1/48 Hobbycraft
Good day, and welcome.. Today I've simultaneously completed two builds. The first, this P-36A, has been built using what is one of the few P-36 kits available in 1/48 scale (for now), that is Hobbycraft's boxing from the 1990's. The kit can be found still new, though from the Academy brand. With some time and patience, this kit can still produce "reasonable" results. No doubt this kit will be obsolete to anyone wanting a more accurate P-36/Hawk-75, once ClearProp! fully releases their line of Curtiss 'Hawk aircraft. Which brings me to this build...
I purchased this kit many years ago, second-hand for ~1/8 of what a new ClearProp! kit will likely cost. For that cost of admission I got: a moldy box, still packaged sprues, ruined decals, and an instruction sheet that was fused into a single unusable sheet. I politely asked the clerk to keep the box, the decals and the useless instructions and walked out with a bag of sprues. 🙂 No worries though, as Scalemates would have the instructions I'd need, and a replacement decal sheet was soon secured, by way of an AeroMaster "USAAC 1938-1941" sheet, which includes options for P-35's, P-36's, and of course a Wheeler Field P-40B.
The kit was started right away, by way of building up the spartan Hobbycraft cockpit (canopy closed on this one, thank you!), gluing the fuselage halves together, assembling the cowl, and affixing the wing and horizontal stabs. With careful mind to dihedral and wing root gaps, there was very little need for putty on the upper wing roots. However, the way the lower wing fit into the fuselage left much to be desired, requiring multiple rounds with some Tamiya Putty. In this state, with nothing painted but the interior, the kit sat, sat... and sat.
Fast forward to the past few weeks.. I've been trying to finish up a bunch of old, half-finished builds, while not driving myself crazy by working on kits that are particularly stress-inducing. This kit (and another I'll post in the next day or so) fit the bill with it's approachable level of detail and my utter disregard to offer it any "super-detailing". All it needed was canopy masking, paint, decals, and some minimal final touch-up work. Easy Peesy! ...so easy, in-fact, that I glued the quarter windows and canopy on, masked them up and got the whole aircraft painted silver before realizing the exposed fuselage behind the quarter window was not supposed to be green, but aluminum... No stress though, please forgive me! Now, don't look back, it is what it is. 🙂
The fuselage was primed with MR1500 black, which was then smoothed and painted over using Vallejo Acrylic Metal Color (my go-to). I primarily used Chrome, Aluminum, White Aluminum, and light accenting with some Duraluminum. I didn't do any really fancy shading or post shading with the aluminum on this kit, but I think that it suits the aircraft and era well. After a few days of letting the Vallejo paint really take to the primer, it was sealed as usual using X-22.
Next, the decals were applied. I had no issues with the AeroMaster sheet, except for some areas on the tail stripes that had to be touched up with some brushed on paint. After setting the decals, the cowl was masked off and sprayed Insignia Yellow, then some Dark grey panel line wash was applied to all the panel lines. A mix of X-22 and X-35 was applied to complete the finish. Final touches included lycra antennae wires, and PE gunsights from an Eduard P-51 fret, which are a world of improvement over what the kit actually tries to pass off.
Overall I am very happy with the end product, and even more happy to have one less kit on the Shelf of Doom.
Per the decal sheet, this aircraft depicts that of a plane from the 79th Pursuit Squadron, 20th Pursuit Group, stationed at Moffett Field in California, 1939.