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31  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40ís in WWII / Re: 79th fighter group P-40s on: September 09, 2020, 07:48:17 AM
Some more.  Here's another of Major Watkins.  No name visible on this P-40F, but it appears to have the stripe, possibly red, on the front of the lower cowl that's also visible on the previous photo I posted of him.

Here we have several 86th FS P-40Fs about to take off on a mission.  I believe the closest one is #40, likely Maj. Watkin's "Lonesome Polecat."  Note what appears to be that same stripe.  I also believe its serial number is 41-14531. Joe Baugher's website indicates this P-40 was shot down on June 6, 1944, whilst on a strafing mission near Rome in Italy.  It was assigned to the 522nd FS, 27th FG at the time, and its pilot (unknown) bailed and and became a POW.

Here's one with a group of NCOs in front of an 86th FS P-40F possibly named "El Lobo." I can't make out its entire fuselage code numbers but it's possibly X5-7. However, its serial number, 41-14559, indicates per Joe Baugher's site that it met the same fate on the same day with the same unit as X4-0.  Unfortunately, whoever its pilot was at the time was KIA.

Some misspellings on this next photo.  The pilot is John J. Gumbleton and another person is likely Cpl. O'Brien.  Sgt. Albin Krezel was an armorer in the 86th.  And if it's S/Sgt. Gerald Ervin, an 86th FS crew chief, he was the only non-pilot of the 79th FG KIA.  On December 17, 1944, a P-51 crashed into the squadron dispersal area at Fano, Italy, killing him. If "Lucky Lady" was Lt. Gumbleton's airplane, it was likely coded X6-2.  I don't have the number of missions he flew, but Lt. Gumbleton received the D.F.C and Air Medal with 4 OLCs.

Lastly, we have the rudder of possibly the most modeled 79th FG P-40; Lt. "Jazz" Jaslow's "Sweet Bets" of the 87th FS.  There are some wonderful color photographs of his P-40F and L in books and floating around the Internet, one reason why many decals have been offered for his planes, but I think this is the first photograph I've seen showing the "Passionate Dwarf"/Dopey artwork on the starboard side of the rudder.  I know a duplicate was on the port side, so this is new to me.

32  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: AMT P-40N 8th FS/49th FG on: August 21, 2020, 07:20:41 AM
Thanks Vince.  Sometimes I get lucky! Wink
33  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: AMT P-40N 8th FS/49th FG on: August 19, 2020, 04:24:54 AM
All done.  It was hard to concentrate on the final details since I do most of my work in the garage and we've been in the midst of a heatwave here, so it was all I could do to work for a few minutes at a time before I was drenched in sweat and the old hands started shaking even more than usual.  I always want to do more with the weathering, but under the circumstances I decided it best to stop where I was at instead of likely mucking things up if I tried to push on.

I swapped out the incorrect AMT wheels for some correct spares I have from the Hasegawa P-40N kit.

34  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40ís in WWII / Re: 79th fighter group P-40s on: August 17, 2020, 05:54:11 AM
Here we have one of the squadron commanders of the 86th, Maj. Tarleton Watkins, with his crew (again, unidentified at this point) in front of P-40F "Lonesome Polecat." If this was Maj. Watkins aircraft, it was likely coded X4-0 as this was the one he flew most frequently and the numbers usually assigned to the 86th squadron commander.  (X1-0 would have gone to the 85th squadron commander while X7-0 to the 87th commander).

I don't have the number of missions he flew but Maj. Watkins received the Air Medal and D.F.C.  He was credited with the destruction of a Me-109 on 29 April 1943, another on 9 June '43, and a third the following day, 10 June '43.

Tarleton Watkins retired from the USAF as a brigadier general and passed away in 2009 at the age of 95.
35  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40ís in WWII / Re: 79th fighter group P-40s on: August 15, 2020, 06:59:07 AM
Here, on the top, we have P-40F "The Tennessean" with Lt. William Ryburn who, like Lt. Cox, hailed from Tennessee (can't say I'm surprised by that based on the name on his plane).  He was credited with the destruction of a Me-109 on 5 May 1943 and and another on 8 June 1943.  Lt. Ryburn flew 80 missions and also received numerous awards and medals.  His usual aircraft was coded X3-3.

On the bottom is Lt. Malcolm McNall, who flew a whopping 114 missions so got his fair share of awards and medals.  He was credited with the destruction of a MC-202 on 30 April 1043.  Lt. McNall seemed to alternate quite a bit between a couple of aircraft, coded X1-3 and X3-1, the latter which likely was originally assigned to Cpt. Joe Connelly. Unfortunately I don't know the entire plane name.

Both Ryburn and McNall were original members of the 85th FS.

I have to mention that the years on all these photographs is likely wrong.  All probably were taken in 1943 and not 1942 as listed in the captions.

36  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40ís in WWII / Re: 79th fighter group P-40s on: August 14, 2020, 07:56:32 AM
Here are some more from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

On the top is P-40F "Sand Fly 3rd." Interestingly, I can find no record of a Lt. Bauber having served with the 79th FG, let alone as a pilot in the 85th FS, in "The Falcon."  I don't know if it's a misspelling or an incorrect caption.  On the bottom is P-40F "Cookie." Lt. William Abbott was in the 85th FS, being one of the squadron's original pilots, flying 80 missions and receiving numerous awards and medals, including the Purple Heart.  He was credited with the destruction of a Me-109 on 20 April 1943.  From what I can tell from the mission records, he usually flew aircraft coded X3-2.

Here's Lt. Abbott in the cockpit of a P-40:

Last for now, this pilot is listed as Flight Officer Farrel Yocum in front of what again appears to be "Sand Fly 3rd." F/O Yocum, who joined the squadron when it was stationed at LG 174 in Egypt, was killed in action on 3 August 1943 during a strafing run.  It was his 42nd mission.
37  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40ís in WWII / 79th fighter group P-40s on: August 13, 2020, 07:54:24 AM
Several months ago I contacted the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) in an attempt to obtain any mission or operational records the agency might have for the 79th Fighter Group.  I ended up obtaining several files that contain some very useful and interesting information on the group.   In addition to the information, a number of photographs were in the files as well.  Some of them have been published but several I've never seen before.  Unfortunately, since these files are in Microfilm format the quality of the photos is quite poor.  As a result, I contacted AFHRA in hopes of obtaining better quality photos but, because of the Coronavirus, the agency closed about the time I made my request so was unable to follow-up on it.

Fortunately, the agency has recently reopened to some extent and fulfilled my old request.  I thought I would share some of these photographs, most of which are of the 85th Fighter Squadron of the group.

Here's the first, "The Crump Machine," a P-40F flown by Lt. Thomas Cox.  Lt. Cox was from Memphis, TN, which helps explain the plane's name.  Edward Hull "Boss" Crump was a politician from Memphis for several decades in the early 20th century and head of a powerful political "machine," hence "The Crump Machine."  I don't know specifically why Lt. Cox chose this as his plane's name, though.  Lt. Cox is wearing the flight jacket, but unfortunately I don't have the others identified, at least not yet.  I have a copy of "The Falcon," which is basically the 79th FG's yearbook, that has photographs of most the group's members but haven't had a chance to compare faces.
The date on the caption is incorrect, for the year would have been 1943.

Here's a photo of likely the same airplane, which was posted over on Hyperscale when I was originally attempting to locate a better quality photo of the one I've posted here and is from an album of the then-squadron commander, Major Schoellkopf:

X3-6 was likely Lt. Cox's assigned airplane, being the one he usually flew based on the mission records I have.  Unfortunately I don't know the serial number or how this hard landing came about.  The apparent replacement lower cowl, or "tub," is quite evident.

And here's likely the rudder art on the plane, with Lt. Cox by it.  Note the name "Miss Memphis" next to the artwork. This photo has been published elsewhere, as has another of the rudder art with Lt. Cox and others admiring it.  In that photo, you see part of the last number on the fuselage, which could be the numeral "6" (but others as well).
Perhaps someday, someone will do decals for this plane.  Kits World has the artwork but the wrong plane number as well as no nose name.

That's all for now, but I'll post more photos as time allows.

38  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: AMT P-40N 8th FS/49th FG on: August 11, 2020, 04:07:02 AM
Decals are done, and went on very nicely and settled into the panel lines with a couple of applications of Microsol.  The only minor issue was the decal for the twin yellow stripes forward of the tail.  I kept nudging it so much in an effort to get a perfect fit that it started to tear slightly, and finally decided to leave well enough alone.  I ended up with a slight gap under the fuselage where the ends didn't quite meet, but touched up the area with a little yellow paint.

This decal sheet has loads of stencils but, as is usually the case, I decided to forego them. Call me lazy...

Now time to start the weathering process.
39  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: AMT P-40N 8th FS/49th FG on: August 07, 2020, 01:29:29 AM
I always thought the top of the stabilizers were white also?
From what I can tell from photos, some were and some weren't. There were also quite a few differences in how the white was applied to the leading wing edges and the rear fuselage area. Since I had no other photographs of "The Carolina Belle" to go by, I opted for what might have been most likely based on some other 8th FS P-40s around the same time I was aiming for.
40  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / AMT P-40N 8th FS/49th FG on: August 02, 2020, 08:11:43 AM
My 85th FS P-40F/L builds are on a temporary hold for a couple of reasons, so I decided to break out the old AMT 48th P-40N kit. I've built its re-boxing by Italeri and thought that, since the AMT molds were 'fresher,' that they might be of better quality.  Unfortunately, that wasn't actually the case.  The AMT kit had quite a bit of flash and both fuselage halves had divots on the edges, where it looks like the plastic hadn't fully filled the molds before hardening.  These divots are present to some extent on all the boxings of these kits, but I was surprised that they seem to be worse on the AMT release. In addition, the port fuselage had a noticeable misalignment where the tail section attached.  This misalignment occurred on the AMtech P-40E kit, in which the company provided a free, corrected replacement fuselage half, but I was again surprised to find it present on the AMT kit.  I don't recall reading anything about this issue so assumed I had a fluke, but upon opening up another of this kit that I had on hand saw that it too had the misalignment.

Anyway, by carefully cutting away the tail section and re-attaching it so everything aligned I was able to deal with it:

These kit cockpits are quite nice OOB.  Although it has the correct square-back seat present in most P-40Ns, I had a spare True Details resin seat on hand so used it.  I also had a spare photo-etch Instrument Panel from an Eduard P-40N kit so used that as well.  I had to use the kit rudder pedals, however, which didn't turn out quite as nice as I would have hoped, but they were barely seen anyways once the IP was attached inside the fuselage.  A good thing too, since I apparently didn't attach them too securely on the back of the IP and they came off once the fuselage was buttoned up and are now rattling around the interior somewhere.....

I decided to doing the markings of "The Carolina Belle," flown by Ernie Harris of the 8th FS/49th FG.  Harris was a rare breed, being one of the few double aces flying the P-40.  He had 10 confirmed victories and an additional unconfirmed one.  He was also highly regarded as the squadron commander.  Interestingly, this airplane was ultimately stripped of usable parts and buried at Finschhafen Airfield in New Guinea, parts of which were recovered in 1997.  Unfortunately, "The Carolina Belle" lasted longer that Ernie Harris; he was killed in a jet fighter crash while serving in Germany in 1949.  

This is the only war-time photograph I could find of "The Carolina Belle," which is from Steve Ferguson's Schiffer book, "Protect and Avenge: The 49th Fighter Group in World War II."  Obviously not the best of quality:

I'll be using the Eagle Strike decals, which look like this and appear to be based on a profile of the airplane in Carl Molesworth's Osprey book, "P-40 Warhawk Aces of the Pacific." I contacted Carl about the profile, who told me that he was unaware of any additional photographs of the airplane and believes the profile was based on information provided by Steve.

That being said, I decided to change things a bit since likely no one can prove me wrong.  If I understand correctly, most 5th Air Force fighters in late 1943 had both white leading wing edges and tail sections for identification, and by late 1943 8th FS P-40Ns had a black band on the yellow (the squadron color) spinner as well as a yellow and black striped tail fin.  So, since "The Carolina Belle" flew into this time frame I decided to add those details.  So, here it is all painted up, waiting for the clear gloss coat and decals:

41  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: AMtech 1/48th P-40K/Kittyhawk Mk III, 450 Sqn RAAF on: July 31, 2020, 11:41:42 PM
Outstanding skills Mark, I'm looking at doing a Hagesawa 1/32 P-40E kit and complete it in my Great Uncles a/c FR322 from 250 Sudan Squadron, which was a MkIII. Any advice on which paints and colours you used would be awesome. Thanks Clive
Thanks for the complement, Clive.  Unfortunately, I don't recall the specific paint brand I used but it was likely Model Master enamel Azure Blue, Middlestone, and Dark Earth, the latter faded quite a bit.  I've also used Humbrol and Colourcoats, both also enamels, so those are possibilities too.  With a few exceptions I'm pretty bad at documenting what I do on each build, and my memory tends to fade over time.

I just recently tried AK Real Colors WW2 RAF Desert colors for those same shades and really like how they airbrush.  They are quite thin out of the bottle so not very good for brush painting.

I hope you'll be kind enough to post some photos of your build here, and I'd enjoy seeing any photos of your great uncle and his plane too if you have any!
42  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40ís in WWII / Re: US ARMY letters black or blue on: July 14, 2020, 11:26:08 AM
This is one of many questions in modeling that seems to pop up rather frequently.  My understanding is, as Dana Bell says in his reply, that the letters are blue so that's what I go with...but since decal manufacturers have done both blue and black everyone can choose which color they prefer.
43  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: And another 85th FS P-40F started, this a 1/32 Hasegawa conversion on: July 03, 2020, 11:08:11 AM
With my pathetic scribing skills, if I was in charge of the transcontinental railroad it would turn out like this Shocked:

That being said, I applied a coat of primer, tried fixing the number of flaws, and then applied another primer coat. It's far from perfect with some detail being lost and a couple of areas that might need to be addressed, but aside from my feeble attempts at trying to scribe new panel lines or rescribe some that were lost in my puttying and sanding endeavor, the end result might be something that I can live with:

44  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: And another 85th FS P-40F started, this a 1/32 Hasegawa conversion on: June 30, 2020, 10:47:24 PM
I've heard you can thin it down with lacquer thinner, might help get it in those gaps? I haven't tried it as I don't use lacquer thinner, the fumes do me in.
Are you referring to Tamiya putty?  If so, I've not tried to thin it.  However, I do have to thin Mr. Surfacer 500 with lacquer thinner, as it thickens up over time.
45  P-40 Warhawk Forums / P-40 Models / Re: And another 85th FS P-40F started, this a 1/32 Hasegawa conversion on: June 27, 2020, 08:54:39 AM
Thanks to both of you for the suggestions. Of the products you mention I've only used Milliput, and as I previously mentioned mine dried up long ago.

I decided to go with my old standby, Tamiya putty. I'm working slowly on it with the application of numerous thin layers, trying to be patient and to avoid frustration, and it appears I may actually be making some productive progress. The port side, which is the worse of the two, is almost done and I'll do some touch-ups with Mr. Surfacer prior to a primer coat.  Although it will be far from perfect and some details such as rivets and fasteners will be lost (they are quite subdued on the resin nose as it is), I've been able to re-scribe most panel lines so hope the end result will be presentable.
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