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Author Topic: Special Hobby 1/72 Kittyhawk Mk.Ia  (Read 273 times)
Mark Joyce
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« on: June 22, 2019, 10:51:17 PM »

Glad to see the website is back up and running!  I was getting a bit worried there.

Anyway, I seem to have a knack for starting a model but not finishing it for a long time....if ever.  So, keeping in form I've begun the Special Hobby 1/72 Kittyhawk Mk.Ia kit, which is basically a P-40E.  These new Special Hobby P-40 kits are getting rave reviews, and I can see why.  They are nicely molded, accurate, and have very good detail.  It actually has the cockpit floorboard molded onto the wing section, more resembling the real thing than most if not all other manufacturers have done on their kits.

Here are two photos I took before closing up the fuselage.  I used the included decal for the instrument panel, which I find adequate for this scale but can't be seen in the photos, and added photo-etch seatbelts I stole from another Special Hobby P-40 kit that included such parts. Fit of these interior parts is quite good, although as you can see the IP and seat backing have to be installed on one fuselage half first, which leaves them hanging in the air until the other fuselage side is attached.  I had to check alignment while the glue dried to make sure everything lined up correctly.  Same for the radiator housing.  Its engineering is better than on most other P-40 kits, but not as positive as that on the Hasegawa kits.  Apparently I didn't quite get the radiator installed perfectly, for I ended up with a small gap underneath it when I glued the fuselage halves together.

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Vince_M
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 09:46:58 PM »

Looks great, Mark!
I too was getting a little worried about the website.  Glad it is back again!
Those Special Hobby Kittyhawks have moved past the Hasegawa as my go to in 1/72 scale.
It took all these years to get an accurate kit in that scale (Hasegawa actually was pretty decent tho).
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 06:45:31 AM »

Sorry about that guys, took a few days to figure out the problem with my domain company, and then only a few minutes to fix.

That's a nice looking model so far, I haven't heard of this one before, I will have to look it up. 1/72nd and my eyes don't always work too well together though  Smiley
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 05:35:12 AM »

All primed and ready for the paint booth.  Besides the issue with the small gap between the fuselage halves under the radiator, which I know was self-induced, the fit of the kit was probably the best I've come across except for the Tamiya P-47D I built several years back.  I only had to use some filler in a couple spots. The kit includes two sliding canopies, one to use if open and the other if closed, and since I'm going with the 'open' canopy have used the other to mask off the cockpit.

It's interesting that the Special Hobby Kittyhawk Mk.1a kit provides three decal options, all of which have the crank-style pitot tube, but the kit only provides the straight one.  One must scratchbuild the crank-style tube, which I find somewhat ludicrous.  Fortunately I'm using the markings for Sammy Pierce's "Kay Strawberry Blond" of the 49th FG from a DK sheet, so can use the included straight pitot tube. 

Special Hobby also has molded on the blue fuselage navigation lights, which not all P-40Es appear to have had, and since I can't see them on Pierce's P-40 have sanded them off.  Same for the coaming above the instrument panel.   It appears many of the 49th FG P-40Es didn't have it so left that piece off.

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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 01:47:11 AM »

I probably don't need to tell anyone here that the colors of P-40s, whether the interior or exterior, cause quite a bit of heated debate on modeling forums.  I tend to lean towards the expertise of Dana Bell, former curator at the Smithsonian and author of numerous color-related aviation books.

Anyway, probably the area of most debate in regards to P-40 colors is that of the underside.  The most popular underside color for dark earth/dark green camouflage seems to be "Sky Grey." I have a tin of Colourcoats Sky Grey on hand so used it; I have no idea whether or not it's the actual correct shade.

I have an old (1995?) issue of FineScale Modeler with an article by Dana about RAF camouflage P-40s, which from my understanding has held up pretty well despite being nearly a quarter century old. One of the options for the Dupont Dark Earth is listed as Humbrol 118.  I have an ancient tin of that on hand so, after masking off the lower surfaces, airbrushed that on the entire topside.  A combination of old, chunky paint and a 100 degree day caused some airbrushing issues, especially in that the paint frequently dried immediately on the airbrush tip, causing many clogs as well as that rough finish that occurs when the paint dries prior to making it to the surface.  Once the paint on the model was completely dried, I tried smoothing out the finish with an old t-shirt with limited success.

I have to admit that the dark earth isn't as dark as I think it should be.

Finally I used Tamiya tape to mask off the dark earth in preparation for airbrushing the dark green.  Although the tape gives a technically-correct hard edge, especially in 72nd scale, I think a more subtle demarcation would look better to the eyes.  But in this scale I would likely mess it up so opted not to try.

A recommended match for the Dupont dark green is FS34092, which happens to be what a bottle of Model Master Euro Dark Green that I have on hand is, so used it.  I added some drops of white to fade it some in certain areas, as well as on the fabric covered control surfaces.

I'll next airbrush a highly thinned color, possibly a light green or a darker earth, on the topside to help blend the camo colors somewhat.

Here's the result of my trying to blend the topside colors, using some thinned Colourcoats RAF Dark Earth with a dash of the Humbrol 118.  I don't know if the colors are more accurate, but they look better to my eye at least.

And here's the Colourcoats "Sky Grey"

« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 11:37:46 AM by Mark Joyce » Logged

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Vince_M
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 01:51:37 AM »

Looks great!

I also have that Dana Bell article somewhere.  Thanks for reminding me of the year.  That will help me locate it.
Hard to believe that article is so old now!  He does mention that the duPont version of Dark earth is more of a sandy earth brown.
The Euro dark green does have that look I see of some of the duPont matches.  It has an almost blue green tint.

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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 11:39:30 AM »

Thanks Vince.  I just tried blending the topside colors so might have lost that blue green tint.  Being partially red-green colorblind makes it hard to tell!
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2019, 08:13:41 AM »

After airbrushing a clear gloss coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss Clear I applied the DK Decals. They went on well, although some of the national insignia are not perfectly printed.  The edges of the stars are rough.  Fortunately there are enough of the insignia that I was able to choose the best ones.

I made a rookie mistake in placing the decals that, since it can't be seen in these shots and I somewhat corrected, I'm not telling what it was! Embarrassed

Hasegawa has previously provided the markings for "Kay Strawberry Blonde" in one of its 72nd scale P-40N boxings, although they incorrectly provide the same markings for both sides of the nose.  DK Decals actually provides the correct marking "Pistoff Pat" for the starboard side, although the only photograph I know of has the lettering partly blocked so DK might have taken a bit of artistic license in its interpretation.  It's plenty good for me, though.


 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 08:18:11 AM by Mark Joyce » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2019, 07:33:21 AM »

It's coming along nicely  Smiley
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