Building and improving the Airfix A01003 Curtis Hawk 81A-2 in 1/72nd scale.

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By:-Paulo Castro

I read the excellent article by his friend Rogerio "Rato" Marczak on his building of an AVG P40 (PS: You can read the full article on the Fine Scale Modeler Magazine issue September 2014), but he also did a study on the AVG colours in his website (check the full article here: http://ratomodeling.com/articles/AVG_cammo and I saw that Airfix did a good job and the colour references which are pretty correct, at least for a factory fresh plane. But I wanted to represent his kit as worn and weathered.

So I started to mix some paint (all Tamiya acrylics). In my first attempt the colours were not so great, see the photo below.

Talking with "Rato" he suggested me to start with the recommended colours from Airfix colour chart, in this case Humbrol indications. I used a colours chart that I've downloaded from the internet many moons ago (I don't know the author, sorry!). Airfix indicates Humbrol 119 for the Brown (71009) the Tamiya equivalent is XF52, but when I sprayed it was too dark (see the second row brown from the bottom), so I added a few drops of X6 orange and I was happy with the result (see the last brown row on the photo below). Airfix indicates Humbrol 116 for the Green (71013) the Tamiya equivalent would be XF65, but when I sprayed it was again too dark (see the second row green from the bottom), so I added a few drops of XF5 green and I was happy with the result (see the last green row on the photo below). Airfix indicates Humbrol 28 for the Grey (71021) but there is no Tamiya equivalent , I started with XF19 sky grey that seemed to be a good me to me, but it was also too dark when sprayed (see the second row grey from the bottom), so I added a few (lots) drops of XF2 white and I was happy with the result (see the last grey row on the photo below).

Green (DuPont 71013)using Tamiya mix = 5:XF65+2:XF5

Brown (DuPont 71009)using Tamiya mix = 6:X6+5:XF52+3:XF3+1:XF57

Grey (DuPont 71021)using Tamiya mix = 8:XF2+5:XF19

The following photo is to show how my mix compared with the suggested Airfix colour chart. I was please with the result!

I came downwards with colours choices. After posting this building in the Britmodeller forum I got a feedback from a user telling me that the colours were wrong, and he even pointed me out to a website with all the research he did about the correct colours for AVG first P40's. In a nutshell that is what it is: a original Du Pont 71 Line Colours to match catalog

Here is a photo of the paint chips

Here is how the 71-0121 compares against Sky Grey and sky

Here is my representation of the 71-021 mixed using Tamiya Acrylics

He also points the existence of two shades of brown but he also proves why the 71-009 is likely to be the one. Another interesting note is in regards how chalky these colours faded

My representation of 71-009 mixed using Tamiya acrylics, besides looking better in the real thing, I'll also give it a weathering using Buff XF-57 to achieve the chalky aspect of the planes

Here is my representation of the 71-013 using Tamiya acrylics

Here is how my new colours stand against the intruction sheet

Time to put some paint on the model, the coats of 71-021

Keep it safe! Underside masked and ready to paint. The blue tape is just to allow me to hold the model for painting

Base coat of my representation of 71-009 following my mix of Tamiya acrylics: 4*XF49+4*XF2+1*XF65+1*XF9

I decided to give it another thin coat of paint a little lighter in colour than the previous. I sprayed randomly across the model. I also painted the spinner with this mix. Port side showing the overall colour and also a patch of fresh colour applied just behind the side glazier panel (as can be seen in reference photos on page 1)

I then masked the port and starboard glazier panel and the canopy in preperation to be painted. Now they are ready to get a coat of interior green first and than the camouflage colour.

I've decided to mask the canopy again since I've made a mistake with the front screen masking. First I removed all the paint and re-coated with Future Masked off with Tamiya tape and it is ready to be painted again!

Going green! I was able to work on the model and to do the difficult task to mask it off, done the pre-shading with XF1 Black and painted with my green mixture for the 71-013 using Tamiya acrylics (9*XF65+3*XF61+3*XF2). After painting the base colour I added five parts of XF2 White and sprayed it all over the model in a random way.It was painful to do the masking using Tamiya tape but I did survive.

And the final result is below. I liked the weathered look I achieved and while I'll need to do some retouches to both the brown and the green painting, but this will only add more character to the model I reckon!

The Future is bright! I applied several thin coats of Future=Pledge thinned 1:1 with Tamiya thinner X20A to prepare the model for washes and decals.

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