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Ben Walmsley
10 articles

Mean looking Warhawk

July 4, 2024 · in Aviation · · 40 · 377

This is a reboxing of 's . Aside from PE belts and resin exhausts, it's built out of the box.
Not the most original scheme, but arguably the meanest looking fighter of the war, so it was a “must have” for the collection. Besides, who doesn't love a Banshee ?

When I started this build, I did not intend to weather it so heavily. I had attempted black basing for the first time, and I was very pleased with the colour modulation and the overall faded look I was able to achieve. Just a wash and that'll do, thought I. However, when I put a flat coat over it, suddenly previously invisible marks left by wiping away the excess wash with odourless thinners became very visible (see pic).

It was all over the model and it looked terrible. I couldn't bring myself to strip off the best paint job I've done to date, so I figured I'd try my hand at oil paint rendering in an attempt to cover up my previous indiscretions. This was pretty successful at hiding the marks, but elements of the weathering are a bit heavy handed.
There are aspects of it that I'm really happy with, and others, like those gun smoke stains, that bother me whenever I look at the model.

I'm still not sure what caused the issue with the clear coat/enamel wash (some experimentation on the paint mule is in order), but given how bad it looked at one stage, I feel like I managed to pull a kind of victory from the jaws of defeat.

Thanks for checking it out, and thanks to those that responded to my queries about the paint.

Reader reactions:
24  Awesome 2  1 

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

40 responses

  1. G’day Ben (@popeofchillitown),
    She looks great from this angle. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.
    The weathering looks good - and these aircraft would have been in the worst climate for that with hot sun and monsoons to contend with - so you really cant go too hard on that.

  2. @michaelt G’day Michael, Looking at pictures of the real aircraft shows mine is considerably more beat up than the original, but it still looks plausible so I’m calling it a win. Thanks for your kind comments mate.

  3. It's pretty hard to "over-weather" an airplane in the China-Burma-India Theater. Nice save.

  4. Great save and excellent result, Ben!
    Weathering is utterly realistic!

  5. Even though it was not your intention at first to weather it this severely, she looks wonderful in the end, Ben @popeofchillitown
    Glad you persisted on this build.

  6. Excellent chipping and all around composition. Love the nose art.

  7. Agree with all prior comments. Your build is great; your weathered finish is SUPER.

  8. Nice looking P-40. Sorry to hear about the final coat issues.

  9. Had you not described your predicament, I would have just said that was one of the best P-40's I've seen (and I'd still say that!). The only thing I'd suggest about the gun blast staining is that it ends kind of abruptly without tailing off a bit more. Even then, this is just a beautiful Banshee!

    • @gkittinger Very kind Greg, thank you. I agree on the gun stains. They started out small but I kept trying to make them all look even and smooth and they just got bigger and uglier! I just had to stop trying to fix them before they got completely out of hand!

  10. Well done, Ben, all around. Great opening pic!

  11. I second Greg’s opinion, it’s one of the best P-40 I’ve seen. Exquisite work overall and no doubt like you say one that it’s mandatory in any P-40 collection. Thumbs up!

  12. Beautiful model, Ben @popeofchillitown. The final result is terrific. Don't you love the 1/48 scale Hasegawa kits? Thank you for sharing it.

  13. Looks absolutely wicked. I thought this was 1/32 for a moment, Great result

  14. Excellent result - the weathering turned out great!

  15. Ben,

    Turned out very nicely in the end. That is an odd issue to have with the Matte coat. What product were you using there? Just so I can note it as a potential caution - I am using Model Master acrylic now (which I really like), however it has been discontinued.


    • @flypastrush G’day David, I used Gunze aqueous for gloss and flat coats. The enamel wash was from ammo. I’m not sure if it was the gloss or the flat that reacted with the thinners. After the oils I used Gunze GX113 which acted normally but by that time the whole model had been covered in odourless thinners during the OPR process, so I don’t know if that helped with uniformity of the finish. Sorry I can’t be of more help but I don’t yet understand what went wrong.

  16. Ben, Really nice save, I always like to say "anybody can build a model, however the really good model builders are good repair men", like we have here. Good work making this into a real gem.
    I always liked these skull markings.

    • Thank you, Terry. It is a pretty cool livery. The kit came with two marking options, this one and a fairly plain one with a small picture of Bugs Bunny on the chin. I wonder how many people choose the “Bugs” livery.

  17. Superb overall! I too thought it was 1/32 based on the lead photo. That would have been reinforced by looking at the other photos, but I usually read the tags under the subject line. The alternate Bugs livery hard to pass up, as it would be for me on the Monogram C-47.

  18. Excellent finish.

  19. That is one awesome P-40, Ben...nice job!

  20. Great looking P-40 there Ben. Beautiful job. You pulled off the weathering beautifuly. Those CBI P-40 were used hard and put up wet, more often than not. One of my grand dads was an armor in the CBI, and told me back when he was still with us, that the cleanliness of the birds wasn't as important as them being combat ready all the time. They usually didn't have the manpower to keep the planes clean and touched up constantly. Combat ready didn't equate to pretty. I really love P-40s, and yours looks awesome. 😉

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