SMER 1/72 P-40L Warhawk, Operation Torch
The kit had some decent recessed details, so I didn't do much additional engraving or riveting. I did have to make a few corrections to change from a K to an L. I deleted the guns and the pitot and replaced with hollow aluminum rod. Probably the worst fitting/looking area of this kit is the chin intake. I basically gave up on the idea of trying to make it look any better!
The canopy was designed in an odd way. The back panels were separate and were designed to just be glued directly to the fuselage indentions, so there wasn't an easy way to hide the minor smudginess from the glue.
The kit didn't come with shackles – just two holes where either a bomb or tank (with pins on top) were inserted. I filled those holes and used a spare bomb/shackle from a Hasegawa kit (the recent N that I had finished).
FCM decals (same sheet as the recent N completed), and were pretty good to work with again, though I didn't quite get both sides of the tail checkers aligned together. This kit had some shape issues with the empennages, so there was trimming and touch-up work involved in getting those checkers down.
I love the desert scheme with the Torch markings, and couldn't resist the checkered tail! After putting down the main colors I lightened panel centers and knocked back the black on the checkers a bit with Tamiya Buff.
This was the first time I attempted to spray the exhaust stains instead of using chalk powers or Tamiya weathering master sets. It seems a little stark, and I think I got too much brown in the darker shade. Spraying did give me better control of the shape – I just need to refine my technique and use the right medium and/or colors.
There were no wing lights on the kit so I dabbed on drops of epoxy and painted it with clear paint.
I do love the P-40, though each brand kit has its own issues getting the wheels looking right into the retracted position!
The one bane of my existence since I started airbrushing (and thus masking/attaching the canopy before painting) is dust and plastic shavings that cling to the inside of the canopies. Some builds it is worse than others. I have used static wipes both before and after masking, and even rinsed out the interior when feasible before closing it up. I still end up with stuff stuck to the inside of the canopy. Any tips?