1/48 scale Academy / Hobby Craft P-36 in French ”Vichy” markings. Two builds in one………..

  • 12 posts
  • Last reply 7 months, 3 weeks ago
  • 1/48, Academy, Hobbycraft, P-36
Viewing 1 - 12 of 12 posts
  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    This is something that I have been wanting to get started on for a while now. About a month ago, I was looking through my kit stash, and I pulled these two little guys out……. One is the Academy version…………

    While the other is the Hobbycraft version. They are identical kits, just are boxed by different manufacturers.

    Lo and behold, as I opened the “Pearl Harbor” boxing, I found these Vichy French decals for a P-36.

    These are pretty old, so I hope they work OK. The decals are by Superscale, item number 48-50.
    Here’s a quick look at the decal instructions. One plane that is rendered on the sheet is the multi colored “Temporary” water based camouflage that was tested by the US Army in the late 1930’s.

    Here are the decals provided with the Hobby Craft kit. Two planes are depicted, one is a US based plane stationed at Pearl Harbor just before the attack on December 7th, 1941. The other is a Brazilian machine.

    These are the decals that came with the Academy kit. Here again we have a US plane, in overall Natural Metal finish, along with a French plane.

    I will be using these books as a reference, along with some photos I personally took of a restored P-40B, that also just happens to be a Pearl Harbor survivor. A very rare plane indeed.

    The P-36 was the Father of the P-40. Curtiss performed an engine swap, going from an air cooled radial, to a V-12 liquid cooled engine. This involved some major changes to the “nose” of the plane.

    The majority of the remaining airframe was very similar to each other, until much later when more changes were made to the P-40.

    First up is the Detail and Scale book ……. which covers the P-36 and the early P-40’s.

    and this book, which was part of the “In Action” series.

    So MANY thanks go to David for opening the Group build up to cover all of North Africa.

    If this wasn’t done, chances are the P-36 would still be sitting in the stash.

    I am going to build one kit as a Vichy French P-36. These planes were flown against the US Navy during the opening days of the Torch landings. After a day or two of combat, the French surrendered.

    As far as marking for the other plane, I am still undecided. Part of me wants to do a Natural Metal finish, while the other part wants to build it as a Pearl Harbor plane. In a perfect world, I could do both, and build it as the Natural Metal plane that was flown by Phil Rasmussen, The “Pajama Pilot of Pearl”.
    Here’s a photo of Phil standing next to his bullet ridden P-36 that was severely damaged by Zeros as he was flying in combat against them.

    If you look close, you can see some serious bullet holes in the plane. Look even closer and you will see the tail wheel tire has been shot away, and the radio antennae lead cable is dangling loosely, since it too has been shot off………..

    And how the plane probably looked just prior to that fateful morning. This is a photo of a restored P-36 at the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson.

    But I don’t have the decals to build his famous #86.

    Please follow along as I go through the construction process.

    Thanks in advance.

    As usual………………..
    Comments are encouraged.

  • Mark Rezac said 8 months ago:

    Those are great little kits. Look at any Randy Lutz builds on line for info on things that need fixing. Look forward to seeing the progress.

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    Thanks Mark !!! I’ll see what I can find…………….

  • David A. Thomas said 8 months ago:

    Louis, I’m thrilled to see you tackle this project in the expanded KP GB. It is a great addition and looks like more history/education/art in the making. I really look forward to the results!

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    Thanks again David for opening up the Group Build to include anything from North Africa. Had this not been done, these two kits would probably still be sitting in the stash piles. I sincerely appreciate this.

    Hopefully others will jump on board with more subjects now that this has been done. I am going to be doing some research for what colors were used in the cockpits. I’m sure I’ll learn something new about the planes along the way.

    The research is almost as much fun as building to me. I really like the history behind these subjects too.

    Thanks again for starting this group build and for allowing more subjects into it.

    Please stay tuned for updates !!!

    Take care my friend.

  • David Mills said 8 months ago:

    Great choice Louis – I think that these will look superb when finished – Vichy schemes were nothing if not colourful!

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    Thanks David for the kind words…………….. The stars are aligning on this one. I just picked up a set of decals online for Rasmussen’s plane.

    There are several other cool planes on the sheet as well, including some P-40’s !!!

    I’ll post them up once they arrive.

  • Louis Gardner said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:

    The decals arrived yesterday.

    Here’s how they look.

    The actual decal sheet

    The cover page

    The page that has the P-36 subjects. Rasmussen’s plane is on top and is wearing a natural metal finish.

    Here’s a close up look……….

    And a second Pearl Harbor version in OD Green. This plane scored two victories.

    The center page covers the other planes included with the decal set.

    There are two P-40’s, a PBY Catalina, a F4F Wildcat, and a SBD Daunless.

    I’m sure I will eventually build more planes that will use up most of the remaining decals.

    My buddy Tom Bebout was nice and sent me some actual pictures of the P-36 that has been restored and is located in the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson.

    Thanks again Tom. You’re the man !!!!!

    Now I can keep my original plan and build up Rasmussen’s plane and a Vichy French one.
    As usual comments are encouraged.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Cool Louis, first to building a very seldom seen kit of the P-36/Hawk 75, 2nd from Hobbycraft though basic still with some work builds pretty well. 3rd a Vichy Hawk, that will compliment the Vichy D520 I will present shortly, working on the presentation, the Hawk 75 is prominent in the story.

  • Tom Bebout said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Louis I’ve used those decals on an old Monogram P-40 with their Medallion upgrade set. Both worked very well, no issues with the decals at all. Highly recommended.

  • David A. Thomas said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Looks like you’ve got some nice info and material to work with, Louis!

  • Louis Gardner said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks guys for the compliments.

    Chuck I have been following along with your D-520 build. It looks great and I will be looking forward to seeing your reveal.

    Tom this is good news to hear that you have actually used these decals before and how they performed. I get a little Leary when I order a set from a company that I have never tried before.

    Yes David I have been locating the needed reference materials. I have been doing some research on the colors used in the cockpit.

    Plus Tom took some great pictures of the plane at Wright Patterson. These are a tremendous help. Thanks again Tom !!!!!

    Thanks again guys for the encouraging words.

Viewing 1 - 12 of 12 posts