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Christian Dahl
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No 5 Sq RAF Mohawk IV Akyab Burma March 1942

March 17, 2023 · in Aviation · 12 · 521

Curtiss Mohawk IV (P36-A4) No 5 Sq RAF Akyab Burma March 1942

This is the 1/48 Hobby Craft kit. Not bad and the only game in town until Clear Prop releases the later version Hawks. This is the short nose Cyclone powered version. You get the fuselage of the Twin Wasp version, the narrow cord and larger diameter cowling and a plug to push the firewall forward. Unfortunately, the plug does not fit well and requires some old fashion fill and sanding. That and some shimming of the wing to fuselage interface were the only real fit issues.
Once I had it all together it just looked funny. It just didn’t look right. So, I started measuring and comparing to pictures and drawings. I found that the firewall plug hobby craft designed was about 4mm too long and the landing gear was about 4mm too short. Out came the razor saw to deal with the too long plug. To extend the landing gear I replaced the lower part of the landing gear leg with some from a very old Monogram P-40b from the spares box. I also used the wheels from the Monogram p-40. Those wheels have separate tires and wheel hubs that really are easy to paint. I remember building the P-40 when I was a kid and being very happy with how the wheels came out. So they got reused here some 50 years later!
The paint is all AK real colors. This is fantastic stuff. Sprays very well, dries quick and they offer a lot of colors. The decals came from generic RAF roundel, code and serial sheets that I have had for years. I use Mark Setter for the first time, and it worked great. It did leave some cloudy stains on the paint but those disappeared under the AK flat.
I wanted to depict an airplane not usually represented so I chose 5 Sq in Burma. I picked BS795 OQ-W only to find out later that there is a decal sheet on the market with these marking….oh well.
These airplanes were from a French order taken over by the RAF in 1940. They were shipped out to India in late 1941 wearing standard day fighter camo and at least initially had full squadron codes. 5 Sq converted to the Curtiss fighter in December 1941 from the Hawker Audax! In March 1942 survivors of No 67 who had flown Buffalos over Malaya joined No 5 to defend Calcutta and costal Bruma. Adventurous times.
The P-36/Hawk series really got a work out for a type that was produced in relatively small numbers. Serving on both sides across the globe; Finland, France, North Africa, East Africa, Syria, India, Burma and of course Pearl Harbor. Not many types were used in combat against all of the following: USN, USAAF, FAA, RAF, IJN, IJA, Luftwaffe, and the Soviet AF.
The model is probably a bit too clean for an airplane in 1942 Burma but all the picture I have seen indicates they were well cared for. I enjoyed it but my next one will be a easier kit. I have been eying a Tamiya P-51B in the pile.
I hope you like it!

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. Having built this quite-a-bit-less-than-wonderful kit myself, I am really impressed by all the things you did to "put lipstick on a pig." Some very good work here and a much better result than I got, for sure.

  2. Amazing job indeed, Christian! Thanks for the kit info.

  3. Wow, this is a bird one just about never sees. Wonder if Eduard is going to pick up the torch for the P-36/P40 series? It is an important aircraft series that deserves a total overhaul from the early marks up to the last.

  4. Sweet looking build, Christian!

  5. nice work on this! Fabulous paintwork and finishing

  6. Your amendments to the original kit turned out just right.

  7. That is a good-looking build! Don't see many of the P-36's built.

  8. Looks great, a bit of an adventurous build, Nice the way you repurposed the old P-40 gear. Never throw out spare parts.

  9. Excellent work on this Mohawk, Christian @sdbuckerflight

  10. Nice work on what seems to have been a challenging kit to build. I like all of the Curtis Hawk series planes and yours turned out really nice.

  11. A great result Christian. Good to see one of the lesser known types, especially one with such a widespread service history. You've gone to a lot of trouble to get it right & it shows!

  12. A great result, all your extra work paid off. I've done a couple of these Hobbycraft Hawks so I know what you experienced!

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