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Author Topic: Hasegawa 1/48th P-40N-1 started  (Read 380 times)
Mark Joyce
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« on: November 28, 2019, 12:46:30 AM »

Since I've had no luck yet in finding new decals for the ones I trashed while modeling Bob Gale's "Dikam Death" in 72nd scale, I decided to start working on his plane in 48th scale, since I have a spare Hasegawa kit plus the markings in that scale. I'm taking my time on this model, because in the slim chance I do locate any more in 72nd scale, I can use this kit for some other markings I had originally planned for it.

Anyway, here's the finished cockpit minus the gunsite, which will probably be installed near the end of the build to prevent it from being knocked off and likely lost if it goes on now.  I used Eduard's pre-painted photo-etch set, which is something of a curate's egg.  Some parts are worth replacing whereas others, especially on the sidewalls, really don't add much detail to what the kit offers and are quite difficult to install since they require somehow removing what's in their place on the kit.  It's not easy to sand or scrape away some things without damaging the surrounding detail.  Also, even though I tried to be careful while bending the seatbelts to fit properly, some of the paint still flaked off.  Luckily, I was able to salvage the flaked off piece at the worse spot in reattach it.

I've compared photos of war-time P-40N cockpits with what Eduard supplies and there are some differences, so although I can't swear as to the accuracy of my cockpit it at least looks 'busy!'




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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2019, 08:37:04 PM »

Nice cockpit  Smiley
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2019, 11:10:09 PM »

Nice cockpit  Smiley
Thanks.  I noticed in the photos that the IP is a bit cock-eyed and there are traces of superglue where the seatbelts wrap around the seat support, so I need to see if I can correct both of those.  One drawback of digital photographs can be the amount of detail, both the good and the bad, that you really see!
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Vince_M
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 04:40:32 AM »

Great looking cockpit!
Can't wait to see more!
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 12:46:29 AM »

All ready for the paint shop.  I think these Hasegawa kits and I have come to an uneasy understanding, for this one didn't take as much work on the inserts and plugs than in the past.  Still, how anyone can build a kit, especially this one, without the use of a primer to at least find (and hide) any flaws is a mystery to me.

I believe this is the first time I've tried Montex masks instead of Eduard, and I'm not too impressed.  The masks on the convex curves don't want to stay attached to the surfaces.  I tried protecting the windscreen while airbrushing the primer, but it will be interesting to see how things go when I actually have to paint over the masks.  Montex also provides masks for the interior of the canopy, which I used for spraying the Interior Green color, but I'm not sure how well things will look in the end due to the thickness of the clear parts.

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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2020, 02:38:59 AM »

Underside painted with Model Master Neutral Grey enamel.  Interestingly, "Dikam Death" and at least one other Burma Banshee P-40 had black and white checkers painted under at least the port wingtip.  Thanks to Jean Barbaud, who has an excellent resource for the Burma Banshees here: https://burmabansheesblog.blogspot.com/ for pointing this out.  We don't know the significance of the checkers, although it might be recognition for the squadron or flight leader, and based on other photographs it appears that "Dikam Death" did not have them under the starboard wingtip...at least when the photos I've looked at were taken. 

I simply painted the wingtip white and then masked off the appropriate areas using little squares of Tamiya tape.  The pattern isn't 100% accurate or perfectly painted but close enough for me:

And here's the photo on Jean's website showing the actual checkers:

Now off the painting the topside....
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Vince_M
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2020, 12:33:16 AM »

Great attention to detail!
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2020, 10:42:46 AM »

Thanks Vince Smiley

Got the topside colors on.  These planes really took a beating in the sun, so I started with about a 50-50 mixture of Model Master OD and Faded OD (which, unfortunately appears no longer available), then added a bit of MM Sand I had on hand to fade certain panels and those fabric-covered control surfaces.  I masked off the splotches using Frisket film and started with about a 50-50 mix of Medium Green and Interior Green (the only relatively lighter green color I had on hand), then added a bit of MM Armor Sand for some additional fading.  The contrast between the main color and splotches is still a bit starker than I would like, but I'll address that later when I work on the weathering.

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Vince_M
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2020, 02:13:38 AM »

Nice job on that!!!
 Grin Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2020, 09:00:02 AM »

Looking good and the wing tip is really neat, never saw that before?
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2020, 07:37:41 AM »

Thanks again for the kind comments.

I'll hazard to guess there are quite few airplanes out there that are documented well enough by photographs that there is no doubt as to their overall appearance.  Usually, modellers need to use different amounts of interpretation, extrapolation, and artistic license when deciding on how an airplane looked.  This is one of those cases.  Although, years ago when I was able to look at Bob Gale's photo album from the war, he had labeled (and I don't remember the exact words) one photograph as #15 being his plane (Dikam Death).  Unfortunately, none of his plane photos (which I believe all of which I was able to copy) actually showed this to be the case, and I have yet to find any others to confirm this.  However, closely looking at all the 80th FG photos I've seen out there, in books or the Internet, lead me to the conclusion that this is likely the case.  At least I've found nothing to disprove it!  

So, here are the three main photos I have of #15, which I assume are of the same airframe.  First is this one. Of note is what appears to be just the white star and blue disc insignia under the wing. I've been told by a couple of knowledgeable people that the P-40N left the factory with all national insignia as such, and additions such as the bars and border were done later such as in the field.  Unfortunately I can't make out the serial number on this or any other photograph beyond the fist three digits of 210.
Bob Gale's #15 (3) by Mark Joyce, on Flickr
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 07:41:56 AM by Mark Joyce » Logged

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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2020, 07:39:08 AM »

Apparently I have to do this in a series of replies!

Second is this one.  Here we have the under wing insignia with the bars and what appears to be a blue border.  The fuselage 'star and bar' on this and all other photos of #15/Dikam Death appear to have no blue border.  The fuselage might have had a red border at some point, but if so it had been painted over. Note what appears to be staining around just under and aft of the cockpit.  More on that later.

This photo has me scratching my head a bit.  I don't recall Bob ever mentioning such a landing in "Dikam Death."  The most I recall him saying was the one and only time he tangled with Japanese fighters that his tail section was shot up pretty badly.  For the life of me I can't see any obvious damage in this photo.  So, your guess as to the background of this photo is as legitimate as mine.
Bob Gale's #15 (2) by Mark Joyce, on Flickr
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2020, 07:44:58 AM »

The last is this one, which shows the 'star and bar' on the upper wing as well.  If I look real closely at the nose, there's what appears to white lettering partially blocked by the wing.  I want to believe that it's the word "Dikam."  And again, there's what appears to be the same type of staining on the port side as the starboard side. 
Bob Gale's #15 by Mark Joyce, on Flickr
Talking with Jean Barbaud, we seem to be in agreement that what we are seeing is likely fresh OD painted over what he see in this phtograph:
P-40N line-up & #27 88thFS midfinger by Mark Joyce, on Flickr
This example of 'giving the finger' is on several different 88th FS P-40s, including one photograph that Bob had given me.  I don't recall Bob mentioning who or what they were giving the finger to, and I don't think he actually told me that it was painted on "Dikam Death," but I'm guessing that it was and that at some point in time The Powers to Be weren't too pleased with it and ordered it painted over....hence those 'stains' seen in the photographs.  This overpainting is obvious in photographs of other 88th FS P-40s.
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Mark Joyce
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2020, 07:55:22 AM »

So, after all that, here's what I've come up with on my model.  All insignia and numbers were painted using masks, partially Montex ones (which worked much better than its canopy masks) and partially ones I cut out on Tamiya tape using the decal sheet as a guide.  Apparently the Montex insignia masks for the bars have an up and a down, which I didn't realize until I placed the star masks on.  The tips of the star on the port fuselage insignia don't quite align with the border.  Next time I'll hopefully remember this!
P-40N painted (1) by Mark Joyce, on Flickr
P-40N painted (2) by Mark Joyce, on Flickr

(Ie'm giving Flickr a shot for hosting my photos, hence the huge size.  I'll learn!)
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Vince_M
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2020, 11:34:22 PM »

Looking really good!
I like your paint job so far!

 Cool
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