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P-40 / Kittyhawk Mk I 112 Sqn Neville Duke - GA-V / AK578

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Hasegawa 1/32 kit

Neville Duke went to my school so this my tribute build to him

for those not familiar, he was the highest scoring Allied ace of North Africa and the Med

he was also quite a 'chap' - he kept a diary which is like a cross between a comic book and Lord Flashheart in Blackadder - well worth a read:

Neville Duke Diaries

to be converted to 4 gun 'early' model - not a great pics but enough to go on



thing to note:

 - to be converted to 4 gun 'early' model

- middlestone and dark earth top side, with serial kept over small dark green patch

- dark green behind rear window

- US attempt at Sky underside - discussed here on Hyperscale:

AK578 discussion etc

- would almost certainly have had canvas covers in wheel wells, but CMK parts are about 1-2mm too small so beyond me to get them to look right

- yellow strips on wing leading edges

- would have Sutton seatbelt i believe

- I have Barracuda decals but may not use (they fail to identify 4 guns, sky undersides etc)

- custom masks will probably be used

I am currently half way through but will post some WIP pics which i have taken along the way



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4 gun version should look like this underneath


i decided to fill the holes, but not rescribe the panel line

it was an ongoing dog show really

if doing it again i would probably use sprue goo to fill the holes

this is really how *not to* do it!


there was a lot more touching up etc after the shot below, but if i am honest only minimal improvement - at this stage i was considering ditching the whole project


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seat was 3D printed using file from SMCG Facebook group - Will Pattison - and 3D printing from TimC over here in UK

hairspray chipping on seat

yahu instrument panel

anyz cockpit switches

a few placards

HGW belts



floor is hairspray chipped and weathered with oils and also a panel line wash





there were only one or 2 pipes added with lead wire or styrene rod - a shame no-one makes a decent resin pit for the kit



some dry fit and realised the cockpit does not need to be glued in to fuselage - a small bit of play but it helped later on when putting everything else together







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radiator - i had some Braz or something resin piece and also Eduard PE grills

in the end i chose the simplest option re construction of using the kit parts

some masking, glossing and dark wash and it looks pretty reasonable


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i glued the tail section together then attached to an already assembled fuselage

when i made my P-47 (Trumpy) with a similar arrangement with the tail fillet, i glued the individual fillet / tail sections to the fuselage first, *and then* glued the fuselage together - this in retrospect was a much better way to do it

it is very hard to get a good join *that you won't see* and not leave yourself with a lot of sanding, filling and rescribing to do

ask me how i know

this is just one of many attempts at fill / sand / spot prime / repeat... 



the best sanding stuff i have ever used - Infini!


i have their big pads as well which you can snip up and use in between tweezers to sand even the tiniest nooks and crannies! (pic later)

and so for weeks i had something like this...




HGW belts up next - i'll try to post later today if i have time





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Impressive stuff, especially the cockpit switches that you mentioned, I built this subject a very long time ago from the Revell kit, yours so far is light years better.



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cheers guys

HGW belts...

remember Sutton harness rather than US belts...

i found it helpful to tape it down to the desk to act as a second / third pair of hands

also to thread belts where possible before removing the buckle from the PE fret








note that the belts are not coloured both sides which is a shame because half the beauty of these things is being able to drape them which ever way you please - see below white back showing...



so i painted them a tan / buff colour as a make do...







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and then attach to the seat

being RAF belt it attaches in two places - behind the seat down the back (doesn't matter can't be seen) and also down in one of the holes in bottom of the seat back

glued using super glue because it needs some strength - i hadn't crumpled them much so they were quite springy!


















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Hassy kits have the reputation of being simple and easy to build for the most part

if you want to have panel lines where they should be, and more importantly not to have them where they shouldn't be, then their P-40s are not for you

notice the horizontal lines inside the insert do not line up with main exhaust area



this was a learning experience for me

1) i will be better the next time i tackle a kit like this

2) the next time may be some way off and i am leaning more towards Tamiya's (limited) selection of uber kits - life is just too short to build what saps the life out of you

3) simple kits are *not* easy kits - this is far more challenging in terms of skills required than building a Tamiya Spitfire in 1/32 - no way you'll need to be doing so much of this shit!


more fun...


in the below, i experimented with talcum powder mixed with CA glue - it did indeed make it much easier to sand and i will consider using this technique again, although i suggest masking along the areas you are going to fill so that you don't have to sand stuff unnecessarily



also note in the above the panel lines on the scallop mating the wing to the fuselage are almost completely washed out

this were a PITA to re-scribe, but do need to be done given the lines just above them are so crisp


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Completely agree ... about poorly engineered kits, at least by today's standards are mojo killers. Nice work on the CCA fix.

Nothing like a Tamiya kit, no matter what the scale and well worth the extra cost in my book.

Keep 'em comin


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additional changes re the 4 guns vs original 6...once i did this there wasn't really any going back!


i thought about using Master Model barrels - and they do look sweet - but i was not confident of being able to drill out the right amount / area of the piece shown above

i used black CA - which is slightly rubberised - as an experiment here

i think ultimately CA mixed with talc is better, but this stuff is definitely not as hard as regular CA




i will do almost anything to avoid wing root problems!

so i glued the bottom half first, and then added the top halves

in the grand scheme of things, i think most modellers could do this - i certainly didn't do anything special - and whilst it potentially just moves the problem around from wing root to say leading edge, it's a damn sight easier dealing with the latter




when doing this stuff i make a point of scribing / emphasizing the panel lines and rivets **before** i get to sanding

it's soo much easier going over something that is already there, rather than trying to redraw lines and rivets from scratch

your mileage may vary of course!

there is no panel line on the bottom cowl...*sigh*... more sanding



this bit was not very well handled by me - i broke own rule of not scribing before the sanding began and i had to rescribe some stuff from scratch









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9 hours ago, GazzaS said:

Some nice tips shared for my future builds!  Your work look good...   but I get that sometimes you don;t want to 'work' on a kit.

correct - it's meant to be fun; fun for different people means different things, so it's all good but i only have limited appetite for this stuff

i may go build some armour next  where you don't have any of this nonsense! 

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nothing too exciting here but masked the canopy inside and out 

primed Mr Surfacer 1500 black both sides, then US Interior Green inside

interior masks removed and made some masking to fit to protect it once attached and spraying main camo

montex masks used in combination with Eduard

generally i prefer Montex for flat surfaces, and Eduard for compound curves; Montex usually provide inside and outside which is great whereas i don't think Eduard did here

i ended up using Eduard on outside for all the parts, main windshield included

fiddly, but with patience it's not too bad





the gunsight - which is obviously very delicate - will not be fitted to the instrument panel until just before the canopy part above is ready to be attached

some wheel well stuff next which i will try to post later

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Terrific progress on the P-40 and I to appreciate the tips and techniques, as I'm always looking to keep learning and improving my modeling abilities an skills. Totally agree, this is a hobby and stressing out over a kit for whatever reason is counter intuitive to what any hobby is supposed to be.

Keep 'em comin


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a note about the exhausts... the Brassin ones look cool but infuriatingly they need to go in before you glue the fuselage halves together which is really feeble by Eduard i think

i will instead by using Quickboost ones which you can paint and weather and THEN glue on

unfortunately my first QB set were miscast / damaged - see below - but Hannants sent replacements quickly so thumbs up for their customer service



the pic below does not quite do them justice, but still not sure entirely satisfied and i may come back and weather with oils later, we'll see.

exhausts primed as usual and then sprayed in order from left to right, trying to get some graduated colour etc etc




once i am happy they will be snipped off the casting block and the glued on; this will after i have sprayed on the exhaust staining.


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