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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
P-40E Warhawk

by Charles Landrum


20th Pursuit Group, 79th Fighter Squadron, Hamilton Field, California
1941 wargame markings


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale P-40E Warhawk is available online from Squadron




I have always liked the lines of the P-40, especially the E model, and had it on my to build list; I guess it was the fact that it was a scrappy fighter throughout the war not glamorous but rugged and dependable. With Hasegawa’s release of their kit, I decided that the time was right to build a P-40E. I also decided that I wanted a scheme that was a little off the mainstream. I settled on the pre-war period when the P-40 still held the promise being a premier pursuit fighter.


The inspiration for this model originally came from a profile in a SAMI publication. However, the profile struck me as not quite right and so thanks to the wonders of the Hyperscale Plane Talking my research led me to consult with an authority of no lesser stature than historian Dana Bell! He panned the profile and steered me to the old ARCO-AIRCAM No.7 on the P-40D – N in USAAF-French and Foreign Service. Again thanks to the wonders of Hyperscale, this time Plane Trading, I acquired a copy. There was the pre-war scheme I was looking for correctly depicted and with photographic references.




I built the kit out of the box, easily done with the bonus PE fret provided by Dragon-USA.

While I had read a lot about the insert issue, my assembly was relatively trouble free. I did have trouble hiding the thin seam of the quarter panel insert and the guns, but I worked slowly so as to preserve as much detail as possible. I also sanded off the rivets under the quarter panel windows.



What I liked in particular about this kit was the oil cooler assembly, cockpit buildup, the landing gear and separate rudder. The weakest point was the tail wheel well which really needs a canvas boot; I made one from tissue and white glue. I drilled out the guns and exhaust pipes. I left off the drop tanks and added the gun camera appropriate for that era.


Painting and Markings


The painting was straight forward with the hardest part getting a straight mask of the nose- bands.

I pre-shaded the aircraft with flat black but minimized the exposure of the black during overspray since the model depicts a new plane.

I used Model Master enamels throughout except the landing gear, which is Floquil Old Silver. The scheme is olive drab over neutral gray.

The nose colors insignia red, blue and yellow.

The markings I cobbled together from various decal sheets, but the critical source for the 20th Pursuit Group shield was from Aeromaster 48055 – USAAC 1938-1941. This was another acquisition made in the Hyperscale community!



After all of the decals were applied and sealed, I cut a slightly uneven cross from a low task mask and used it to paint the white crosses. These were temporarily applied in the field adjacent to or over the roundels – no two planes were alike. So I kept the coating light, allowing the markings to show through. The planes on wargames in 1941 were not all that clean and so I while I was not heavy on the wash I was not spare either. The wash is burnt umber enamel on top and European 1 Gray underneath.




This was a very satisfying build and will likely build another. I used a Fuji Finepix S3000 digital camera on auto with no flash under fluorescent lighting. I just wished I had noticed some of the plastic dust before I took the pictures!


Charles Landrum is a defense consultant now retired from the US Navy. A US Naval Academy Graduate, he spent the bulk of his 20-year naval career at sea serving on six ships of the Atlantic Fleet including USS SAIPAN, USS ENTERPRISE, USS BIDDLE, USS HAYLER, USS HARRY E. YARNELL and USS KIDD. He also accumulated time and experience on the ships of the NATO navies, especially Canadian. An avid modeler and Hyperscaler, he concentrates his modeling efforts on the ships and aircraft of the US Navy. He and his family continue to reside in Norfolk


Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Modelling the P-40
Hawk 81, Tomahawk, Warhawk and Kittyhawk
Osprey Modelling 15

Author: Brett Green
US Price:
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 January 10, 2004
Details: 80 pages; ISBN: 1841768235
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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by Charles Landrum
Page Created 13 February, 2006
Last Updated 13 February, 2006

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