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Jay Mitchell
33 articles

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk

July 17, 2022 · in Aviation · · 25 · 1.1K

A few months ago, Greg Kittinger @gkittinger invited me to his home where he had a collection of kits someone in his model club had inherited. He kindly gave me the chance to pick some of them I wanted. This is one that I picked out of the approximately 200 kits there in Greg's garage.

I recently completed it. The box and some of the parts were dated 1980. One of the wheel covers was missing, but it wasn't much of a trick to make a replacement . I managed to break the drop tank sway braces when trimming them off the sprue & while cleaning off the flash around them .

I had hoped to use the kit decals, but found that after 40+ years they weren't viable any longer . I could not find any online I was excited enough about to buy. Fortunately I had enough generic decals to cobble together to use on this. I found a photograph of some P-40s in the Aleutian Islands that had one in the back ground that looked similar to the one I built. Most of the decals came from the Revell 1/48 B-17F Memphis Belle kit and were near 20 years old themselves.

I had thought of painting the spinner & wheel covers yellow, but my intuition told me since the model was painted and completed, it would be difficult to paint the yellow and have it look nice. Not impossible , but I've learned over the years to listen to my inner modeller.

While researching P-40s, I read that early Versions had some canvas wheel well liners installed. They were to keep dirt out of the inner wheel well structure. Apparently they didn't hold up well, and were eventually done away with entirely in later versions.

I'm not sure if the E model had them, but I decided to try to portray them in my model. I found that a micro-sol bottle cap fit perfectly in the wheel well. I cut some paper towel in to a small square and soaked it in a water & white glue mixture and wrapped it over the micro-sol cap. After it dried I glued it in with white glue and trimmed off the excess, then painted it. Not totally convincing, but I think it looks ok.

This is my 4th 1/32 build in recent months, and it's my first model for 2022.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. FANTASTIC work on this one Jay! I love what you have done with this old gem. You made this rough diamond shine in all the right places. The extra details adds visual interest to the model. Well done! Looking forward to your next model.

  2. Excellent work on this P40, Jay @ssgt
    The way you did the canvas worked out great, very realistic.

  3. I've used that trick to make canvas boots for P-36/40 airplanes.

    Nice result on this old chestnut.

  4. Fantastic result, Jay!
    Loved the solution you found for decaling the bird. Great trick for the canvas representation!

    • Hello Spiros @fiveten .. it’s nice to have some decals around for emergencies . The canvas turned out pretty good and was an easy way to fill the empty void of those wheel wells. It was amazing how well the micro sol bottle cap fits in that hole… like it was made to do it.

  5. I too found it best to leave things alone instead of trying to "fix" things mostly because of bad things happening.

    Nice looking model of an old kit.

  6. Thanks , Dan @dbdlee,

    I’ve found it’s often times better to leave things as they are rather then try to tweak or otherwise try to improve them. Not just models but also other avenues in life.

  7. Great work on an ancient kit!

  8. Appealing results from such a mediocre canvas! No pun intended, but the canvas wells look great too... Also, props to Greg for being such a friend.

    • I’m glad the thought to make the canvas covers came to me... they were easy to make and look good in the wheel well. I appreciate your comment Andrew., @pb_legend . I’ve been admiring your recent Beech 18 & T-33... they are magnificent !

  9. Beautiful work Jay @ssgt! This came out great, and I love your group shot. It is nice to see an old kit built with today’s skill level. You hit this one out of the ball park!

  10. Good work with this old kit.

  11. Nice work on that, Jay. It’s hard to believe that kit is over 50 years old. That was the only 1/32 kit I had as a kid.

  12. Way to go Jay - looks great! Glad you found some use for those old kits!

  13. Great job on this, very impressive!

  14. Thank you Emmet @bmolloy! I enjoy building older kits... but I’m ready to try some newer released kits.

    I’ve got this newish Hawker Hunter to build .
    I’ve read it’s really nice

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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