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Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk

by Darrell Carney


Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk


 Academy's 1/72 scale P-40E is available online from Squadron.com




This is the Academy 1/72 scale P-40E (kit number 1671.) Academy’s little Warhawk sports nicely done engraved panel lines, a decent cockpit with some generic molded in sidewall details and markings for three different P-40s.



My model is done up in the kit markings for a RAAF Kitty Hawk from the 77th Squadron in New Guinea, 1942. The other two options provided are for an Aleutian Tiger and for the “Texas Longhorn” flown by First Lt. John D. Landers in New Guinea, 1942.




Construction started with the cockpit that was painted and drybrushed to pick out the details. I originally intended to have the canopy open and spent a little extra time in the cockpit. After dry fitting the fuselage together I found out that the canopy was too thick to properly slide back in the open position. The canopy would not sit right opened up even after a lot of work to try to thin it down. So, after much effort the canopy was closed forever! Basic construction was completed with very little difficulty with the overall the fit being very good.



Painting and Markings

Painting was begun with a primer coat of the underside sky gray. All my painting was accomplished with Polly Scale acrylics and an Aztek A470 airbrush. The lower surfaces were then masked off using “Silly Putty”, the kids toy that comes in a little plastic egg. This putty is very pliable, holds it shape when formed around the model and is just sticky enough to conform to the model without leaving any residue. The photo shows the Silly Putty in action ready for the application of the second topside color.



All three camouflage colors were lightened considerably for scale effect. I’m fairly sure my colors wouldn’t pass muster against a FS chart but look ok to me! The spinner was first airbrushed white then masked and the blue band was applied. Using some artistic license, this same blue was used on the wheels as well.


As mentioned earlier a lot of wasted effort was spent on the canopy. After several Future dips the canopy and windscreen were painted, by hand. I have yet to master masking and airbrushing canopies. I had kept the mixtures of my topcoat colors through the entire process to ensure good color matches for any topcoat touchups and for use on my canopy and windscreen. The transparencies were not attached until the after the final flat coats were applied.



Weathering and Finishing

Panel lines were accented with washes of dark brown and dark gray made by mixing pastel chalk powder with water and dish soap. The model was then given an airbrushed coat of Future in preparation for the RAAF decals.

Someone pointed out that the Academy decals do not provide the aircraft serial number for this aircraft. Too late to turn back at this point! The decals went down with no problems using MicroSet/Sol. I went back and picked out the panel lines lost under the decals with the same wash mixtures used earlier.


A coat of Polly Scale flat was airbrushed at this point and final weathering was accomplished with dry pastel chalks; mixtures of browns and grays to dirty things up a bit.

The exhaust stains were accomplished in the same manner. Some paint chipping was added to heavy use panels and along the leading edges with a sharpened silver artist pencil.





Academy's 1/72 scale P-40E is a nice little kit, especially for the price I bought it for here in South Korea!

I wish I would have caught the missing serial sooner but I’ll have to live with my anonymous Kitty Hawk!



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by Darrell Carney
Page Created 22 August, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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