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Curtiss P-40F

by Lee Rouse


Curtiss P-40F


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The P-40 that I modeled is -F model offered several years ago by ERTL. The kit instructions indicate that this aircraft was flown by Lt. Richard Lander of the 315 Squadron, 324th Fighter Group, and that it was based in the North African desert in 1943. The presence of the radio mast suggests that this is a late model -F.



On opening the box, I was impressed by the cleanly recessed paneling and good detail of the model. There was, however, quite a bit of flash. The cockpit is somewhat simplified, but can still yield a nice build up straight out of the box.





The fuselage halves were glued together. The fit of part A4 (radiator facing) was not that great, requiring a bit of maneuvering to get it right. After part A4 was in place, the cockpit assembly was inserted through the bottom of the fuselage and glued into place.

Each top wing piece was glued to its corresponding half of the bottom wing. When I fit the wing assembly up into the fuselage, there were large gaps along the wing root/fuselage joint. These gaps were a bit too large for modeling putty. Since I was going to rescribe the joints, I elected to use Magic Sculpt, an excellent 2-part epoxy putty which when dried can be drilled or scribed with absolutely not flaking or chipping.



Exhaust stacks were drilled out and glued to the backside of engine cowling panels F1 and F2. The fit of parts F1 and F2 with the fuselage was slightly short on both sides, requiring styrene sheet to fill the gaps at the front.



Painting and Finishing



I airbrushed Tamiya Light Blue XF-23 onto the underside and along the sides. The demarcation line between upper and lower colors was then masked off using drafting tape. The upper surface was painted the lighter color with a custom mix of Tamiya paints to simulate Sand. The darker brown color (Dark Earth) was mixed in a similar (very unscientific) manner. Once the Sand color was dried, I applied paper masks which I had cut out from enlarged images on the instruction sheet.



The Dark Earth color was airbrushed. After the fuselage was painted to satisfaction, a coat of Future was applied to serve as a base for the decals. I would have to give the kit decals a rating of 8 out of 10. They were durable, in good register, and of appropriate color.



Weathering was next and accomplished with a combination of materials including artist’s acrylic inks, artist’s water colors, pastels, and a Prismacolor silver pencil.


Finishing Touches

Underside parts were painted and attached, including the landing gear, centerline external fuel tank, and bombs. The bracing structures for the bombs looked overscale and clunky, but I used them anyway.
Fuselage side windows were fitted and glued onto the fuselage using Micro Kristal Kleer white glue. I used the “heat and smash” to create a new windscreen and canopy.



The cockpit gun sight was glued into place after I "upgraded" it with a small piece of clear styrene to simulate the reflection glass. Eduard photoetch ring and bead sights were installed in front of the windscreen. Monofilament clear sewing thread was used for the antenna wire.





In summary, this was not the easiest model to build due to excess flash, and occasional fit problems. Still, the result is a good looking aircraft which I will be happy to find a place for in my display case amongst my other WWII model aircraft.

For the full build review and additional pictures of this model, please visit the Articles page of Eastern Carolina Plastic Modelers website at www.ecpmod.com


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by Lee Rouse
Page Created 17 September, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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