P-40 Part 7
by Brian Cauchi
The P-40 was never
on my project list until by chance I contacted James F. 'Eddie'/'Stocky'
Edwards who flew the very same kitty I modelled and who now
resided in Canada. I was lucky enough to contact this great
gentleman who even signed one of his books entitled 'Kittyhawk
Pilot' and which I now proudly
possess. A number of photos of the Kittyhawk III he flew made
me want to build the model and that's when it all started. The
model depicts the Kittyhawk III flown by 'Stocky' with 260 Squadron
in the North African desert round about January 1943. At this
time, these aircraft were used as fighter bombers and in
fact two of the photos show 500 lb. bombs being taken towards
the waiting aircraft.
The old Revell
kit is unavailable in Malta and my good friend Vasko of Warbirds
sent me one of his built Kitty's. To help out with the build,
since it was my first experience with this kind of aircraft,
I obtained the Detail and Scale books for the Kittyhawk, the
Squadron Signal Walkaround publication and also the Squadron
in Action book. A couple of other publications or parts of were
also consulted. I also made extensive use of the very detailed
build article by Rodney Williams found in all its glory in Brad's
P-40 website. Help also came from time to time from various
sources and people who I will not dare to
mention lest I forget someone out. A great deal of help came
however from Brad himself who was kept updated nearly daily
on the build progress.
I made use of Jerry
Rutman's detail set for the P-40 and used parts of this set.
Parts used were the wheel bay inserts, a modified tail wheel
well insert, wheels, cockpit floor, rear bulkhead and cockpit
sides and instrument panel. All parts required modification
either to be fitted in place or else to correct a number
of defects or missing detail. Any modifications made can be
clearly seen in the build photos. The following areas were scratchbuilt:
- The radio compartment including
the hatch cover and internal equipment
- ammo and gun bays including
- lowered flaps
- Undercarriage legs and wheel
- Cooling flaps
- bomb shackles
Major modifications include:
- a nearly scratchbuilt engine
and engine bay. The original engine was shortened in length
by about 5mm and the firewall moved back.
- the tail area which includes
a fillet and heavy modification to the tail planes regarding
thickness and positioning.
- the air splitter on the cowl
which was entirely made in one piece out of milliput.
the photos of the actual aircraft were studied in detail. The
Kitty's were delivered to the RAF in brown/green topsides and
sky underside. These were resprayed in the field. Hence points
to note in the painting are the following:
- The area under the rear view
glass side panels remained in its original green colour since
probability is that these were not removed for repainting.
- The green areas were resprayed
with mid stone. These were done in the field without masks hence
the soft edge. Factory finished aircraft had hard edge demarcation
between the colors since these were masked.
- the area immediately below
the serial number is still in green since this was masked off
- The underside was sprayed
azure blue and this is also soft edged.
- photos show that the spinner
was not masked off when painting the mid stone and has a small
amount of over spray.
- I tried to have some areas
showing where the mid stone has been weathered away to show
the underside green.
The model was painted with Testors
paints throughout. All markings are sprayed on using home made
masks. The serial number is rub on transfers. Finish is a Revell/Humbrol
mix of matt varnish.