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GWH Curtiss P-40B; The Flying Tigers

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(Found online)



Originally, I was planning my next project to be the ZM Bf109G but with three excellent builds underway, I just couldn’t see what I could offer right now that would be different. I did talk with Ernie about it and was still leaning towards the ZM kit but after reading Gaz’s comment about the P-40B, I thought I could contribute more doing this kit and maybe by the time I finish my BG entry after the P-40, more AM would be available for the 109, allowing me to put a different twist on it.

I’m not a big research guy as my builds are nearly always close to OOB except for colors, paints and some AM. Right from the start, every P-40B AVG build I read all spent time on the exterior colors and most went with convention and answers all over the place; just not enough documentation. The P-40B’s bought by China for the AVG were supposed to be painted in RAF Daylight colors of Dark Green and Dark Brown and Gray but there was a problem as Curtiss didn’t have the paint, just the RAF specs. They used DuPont paints and these were the colors they used:

DuPont 71-013 Curtiss Green

DuPont71-009 Curtiss Brown

Dupont 71-021 Curtiss Gray

Seems easy but try and find a close match and don’t use the RAF colors as they are incorrect. After loads of research I found a fantastic 13 page research article by Rato Marczak, 2009 which was incredible and so very well documented, including references from Dana Bells research as well. In the end, his findings were based on digital color analysis from color photographs, correctly adjusted in Adobe Photoshop and if there is one thing I know its Adobe Photoshop, as well as original, unrestored museum P-40B AVG engine cowl.

After downloading and reading the research paper numerous times, I settled on the following where the colors were matched as closely as possible. Yes there was no such thing as FS color chip system back then but there needed to be some common ground to match up model paints.

DuPont 71-009 (FS30219) Mr Color C310

DuPont 71-013 (FS34092) Mr Color C302 2 pts

                            (FS34079) Mr Color C309 1 pt

Dupont 71-021 (FS36622) Mr Color C311

I settled on these colors as they seem to be close to what I need. I’m not big on mixing and matching, so this works for me and I’m close and that’s good enough for me.

Interior Colors. Using IPMS Stockholm Interior Colors of US Aircraft; 1941-1945 documentation, Curtiss purchased their paint for the interior from Berry Brothers: The Interior Green might have been a little browner and I might add a drop of brown to the mix and that’s as far as I’m going to go.

Enough research and I’m off and running while finishing up the Whirlwind and waiting for paints to dry.

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Interesting Peter, I'm along with the guys, great choice and a kit, I have thought about buying sometimes. If you are interested I can post some mediocre pics of the real thing, I took in Pensacola some years ago.

Cheers Rob

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Thanks Gaz

You were so right, there is a lot of interest in the AVG P-40's and I can't wait to start.


I'm just trying to get things squared away and finishing up my research and build photos. Hopefully, Martin can find some P-40 Flying Tiger cockpit photos. 

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3 hours ago, Martinnfb said:



Glad you're on board for the ride.  Rob posted some terrific photos of a Museum AVG P-40B, including two of the left inside cockpit wall. I'm in need of your magic and any cockpit and detail AVG P-40B photos would be of tremendous help. I plan on starting right after finishing the Whirlwind, and tomorrow decaling should be under way.. So it won't be too much longer until the P-40 occupies my bench.




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