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Curtiss P-40K Warhawk

by Ian Robertson

 

P-40K Warhawk

 


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Introduction

 

The P-40K was essentially a P-40E with a more powerful Allison engine. Initial production models had a short fuselage like the P-40E and a dorsal tail filet for stability. Later production models incorporated the longer fuselage of the P-40F and removed the tail filet.

My model represents an early production P-40K.

 

 

The Kit

 

This is the AMT/ERTL 1/48 P-40K Warhawk in the markings of "Miss Wanna II" flown by 1st Lt Charles White, 25 FS, 51st FG, China, summer 1944. Decals are from Eagle Strike sheet 48075.

 



The AMT P-40K is straightforward to build yet shows its age in terms of crispness of detail and sophistication of design. The Mauve kit is superior in my opinion, but as far as I know the P-40K is not an option with that manufacturer.

 

 

Construction

 

Modifications to my model include a resin seat from Ultracast (which was well worth the cost given the seat's prominence in the open cockpit), replacement control surfaces on the tail, replacement tires from True Details, and photoetch crosshairs. I scratch built the pitot tube using syringe tubing and wire. The loop antenna was fashioned from spare styrene and wire. Brake lines were made from copper wire. Gun barrels and exhausts were hollowed out.

 



The tail for the early P-40K was included in the kit as a replacement part for the standard P-40E fuselage and tail. I opted to attach the replacement tail parts to each half of the forward fuselage prior to gluing the fuselage halves together. By doing so it was easier to create a smooth transition between the fuselage and tail than if the completed replacement tail had been plugged into the completed forward fuselage.

 

 

Painting and Weathering

 

The exterior of the model was sprayed with several light coats of SnJ Aluminum Metallizer. I did not buff the natural metal finish. Wheel wells and the inside surfaces of the gear doors were painted interior green. The upper camouflage, which was sprayed freehand, consisted of dark green and dark brown, both of which were faded slightly by mixing in some Israeli Khaki. The undersides were painted neutral gray.

 



Once the camouflage scheme was complete, fine grain sandpaper was used to make surface abrasions and expose the SnJ aluminum beneath, particularly on the port wing root and cockpit entrance. Exhaust stains were simulated by spraying highly thinned black paint. The antenna wire was made from stretched sprue.

 

 

Photographs

 

Images of the completed model were taken outdoors with a SONY digital camera set at its highest picture resolution (2048 x 1536 pixels).

Other camera settings were as follows: 200 ISO film speed (it's an option on my digital camera), 800-1000th/sec shutter speed, F-stop 8.0, and fixed focus distance of either 20 or 30 cm. Images were cleaned up using Adobe Photoshop 6.0 for the Macintosh. Specifically, the resolution of some photographs was enhanced using the "sharpen edges" tool. Sharpening images in such a way helps to restore some of the clarity lost during image compression.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2003 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 24 October, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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