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Author Topic: Zotz 1/32 “North African Warhawks” P-40F/L Decals now available!  (Read 13847 times)
kb466
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« on: March 16, 2010, 02:04:54 AM »

I just received my copy of the new Zotz 1/32 North African Warhawks P-40F/L Decals. And you can get them too.  Eli Raphael of Zotz tells me that they are now available to order. The cost is $25.00 USD with $9.00 USD shipping to North American addresses. For shipping to Europe it is an additional $2.00 USD and to the rest of the world, it is an additional $3.00 USD. Eli only takes Paypal. His paypal address is zotz17@yahoo.com.

As to my impressions and thoughts on this decal set, I have to admit that I am a little biased, as I provided input to Eli on it. Also providing input were Carl Molesworth, author of various books on P-40 markings and Raphael Jumentier of France, who helped with the French markings. But, here is what I think of this sheet. First, they are very precisely and cleanly printed with extraordinary detail. As to the markings, I think they are quite accurate and reflect the most recent research and recently discovered photos of these airplanes. The first plane on the sheet is a short-tailed P-40F named Miss Fury, flown by Capt. Whittaker of the 57th FG. Recently unearthed photos have shown Miss Fury to have markings on the rudder as shown on the sheet. Also, photos show Miss Fury to have been painted with either three or seven kill marks at various times in its career. This decal sheet will allow the modeler to do either version. The second plane on the sheet is a French P-40F named Madkot. It was flown by Polish-born French pilot Constantin Vladimir Rozanoff, the commanding officer of the Free French Lafayette Squadron. There is a set of markings for a P-40L of the 325th FG The Checkertails. This particular aircraft is the famous Duchess of Durham IV. This set of markings includes the data and kill marks in the cockpit area and the My Gal Sal marking on the right side of the nose. Finally, there is included a set of markings for P-40F Sweet Bets of the 79th FG. Included are the accurate markings for the cockpit area as well as a detailed Dopey marking for the rudder. Due to the excellent photo coverage of this particular plane, Eli was able to very accurately do all of its markings as they were pictured. All in all, being a dedicated MTO P-40 fan, I could not ask for more in these decalsthey are superb. Follow this link and you can see scans of the instruction sheets--
http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=28899&st=0&gopid=251343&#entry251343

I am sure some of you are wondering what to do with a P-40F/L decal sheet when there are no 1/32 P-40F/L kits on the market. Well there is happy news there as well. Derek Bradshaw in the UK is busily working on a conversion set for a Merlin-powered P-40 to fit on the Hasegawa line of kits. He expects it to be out soon. In fact, it was because of this conversion set that Eli Raphael agreed to do the decals. I have also provided some assistance to Derek and have seen photos of the masters as Derek works on them. I have to say the masters look spot on accuracy-wise. In fact, I think I am safe in saying that it looks like it will be the best and most accurate P-40F/L conversion in any scale. Look for it to be marketed soon by way of Warbird Productions/ Grey Matter Figures. Like I said, I do not have any fianancial stake in all this. I like P-40F/Ls and have long wanted a good one in 1/32 scale. It looks like it will finally happen. To say I am enthusiastic would be an understatement.

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Vince_M
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 09:59:29 PM »

Thanks for the good news.
Honestly, I wanted to do a "F" conversion for the Hasegawa too,  I just don't have the time to devote to it.
No P-40F conversion has been accurate thus far.  They all have a "mouth" that is too wide...
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2010, 11:28:11 PM »


They all have a "mouth" that is too wide...


Are we talking P-40s or politicians, Vince? Tongue

I just received my sheet as well and agree with Bill about its quality.  The markings are very clear, precise, and detailed.  I'm no expert on colors since I'm partially color-blind, but they look spot-on to me.  I have other Zotz (and Albatros) decals but have not actually had the opportunity to use any, so can't speak for how they go on.  The accompanying instructions are very informative and well-illustrated.  My only minor complaint is that there is only one small profile showing the topside camouflage scheme, and it's my belief that it's not entirely accurate. Camouflage on P-40s was generally applied at the factory using masks, so the scheme was the same on each aircraft.  A January, 1995, article in Finescale Modeler by Dana Bell includes the most accurate rendition I've seen, based on photographs I've looked at.  A larger profile on the instructions would be nice to aid in masking and painting.

The decals include enough US national insignia to only do one aircraft, so if you decide to do a second or third you need to obtain more insignia.  No stencils are included but that's no big deal since the kit markings include them.

As to the accuracy of the specific markings, I can't speak for the Free French version "Madkot" since I don't seem to have any photographs of this specific aircraft.  However, by coincidence I've either modeled or am in the process of modeling the three US aircraft in 48th scale, and here are my thoughts on each:

"Miss Fury:"  As stated in the instruction sheet, this aircraft was originally painted OD/NG but at some point the topside was over-painted in Sand.  This paint faded rapidly and obtained a pinkish hue and was nicknamed "Desert Pink," along with another more vulgar name.  The instructions accurately show how the OD was retained on part of the windscreen and canopy, along with the area underneath the window panels aft of the cockpit.  This aircraft is profiled in Carl Molesworth's book, "P-40 Warhawk Aces of the MTO," but this was before some photographs of it recently came to light so the book's profile is slightly inaccurate.  The markings on this sheet appear to be based on these photographs so are very accurate, although the lightning bolts on the rudder look slightly different to me.  The sheet provides the name "Miss Fury" for both sides of the nose, but since I don't have a photograph of the starboard side can't say with certainty if this was the case.

Reference for this aircraft can be found here:

http://57thfightergroup.org/pictures/whittaker/index.html

 "Duchess of Durham:"  The instruction sheet correctly mentions that this aircraft has a replacement lower cowl, probably painted OD/NG.  Again, the markings on the sheet appear to be very accurate based on photographs.  However, as with "Miss Fury" I can't find a photograph of the starboard side, where the wording "My Gal Sal" is to be placed, so can't comment on this.  While with the 325th FG, "Duchess" had the yellow and black checkerboard group markings on the tail area.  These markings are included with the decal sheet and, unlike the ones I've seen in 48th scale, are already colored yellow and black.  Most of 48th scale ones only include the black checkers, having you paint the tail area yellow first then applying the decal.  It'll be interesting to see how these work.  I imagine more industrious folks might simply mask and paint this whole pattern.

Reference: "Checkertails:The 325th FG in the Second World War," by Ernest R. McDowell.

"Sweet Bets:" Arguably the most attractive markings on the sheet, there are a number of great color photographs of this aircraft as a reference making it a no-brainer to depict!  The decal markings look fabulous, especially the depiction of "Dopey."

References:  "P-40 Warhawk in World War II Color," by Jeffrey L. Ethell.
                  "Curtiss P-40F Warhawk," by Seweryn M. Fleischer.

A couple of notes about these two references.  First, Ethell's book has a photograph of the cockpit area of "Jazz" Jaslow's (pilot of "Sweet Bets") P-40 and indicates it is an "F" model in the caption.  I believe it to be an "L" model and one he flew later.  Regardless, this doesn't affect the decals, which correctly depict his "F."  Secondly, Fleischer's book has a good overall port side photograph of "Sweet Bets" but lists the serial number incorrectly.

All in all, I give this decal sheet "2 thumbs up" and can't wait for the resin nose to be released.   I hope it is a success so that Eli will release additional P-40F/L decals.  I would love to see "Li'l Joe" of the 79th FG in 32nd scale!

Mark
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 11:30:30 PM by Mark Joyce » Logged

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Vince_M
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 01:27:15 AM »

I want "Lighthouse Louie" with the checkered tail!

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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 11:08:16 AM »

I want "Lighthouse Louie" with the checkered tail!



Me too, but especially "Lil Joe" of the 79th FG! 

There are some decent photographs of the P-40F/Ls flown by the Commanding Officers of the groups from the MTO, so I'm hoping that if the conversion and decals sell well that Eli will consider releasing additional sheets with more markings.

Mark
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