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

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By:-Paulo Castro

When I started on the decals for the upper surface, I decided to check my references and see if the positioning was correct and I was surprised to notice that the "Angel" emblem on the starboard side of the fuselage was wrong, see the photo below.

I decided to acquire a new P40 Airfix kit to use the decal (then I'll need to search for an aftermarket decal to make an American P40B, maybe from Pearl Harbour era :)

Next photos shows all the decal in place except for the Angel on the starboard side (still need to buy the kit).Decals in place, they worked really good with Micro SET/SOL solution

Another detail that caught my attention was the inside of the shark mouth, checking my references again (the excellent: American Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers" Aces, Osprey Aircraft of the Aces - 41) I found the following:

I've decided to use Tamiya XF-23+XF2 to paint it. The reason I've chosen this colour is because this is close to the blue painted in the wheels cap. For me it makes sense for them to use the same colour inside the shark mouth and in the wheel cap instead sourcing for another paint colour.

I also re-touched the black, white and red to match the edges of the intake and the area in front of the air intake was also painted

Finally I got the decal for the starboard side. Since I'm using the Airfix decal #24 (just inverting it to face the correct direction), I tried to spread the figure's front leg a little bit to match the original painting. In the original the positioning of the thigh is up a little, but I just cut the decal about the knee level and repositioned the leg. It'll do the work.

Another coat of Future=Pledge was applied to the whole model in preparation for the wash and weathering. After waiting for the Future to completely dry (overnight), I started with the washes and filters. The underside is complete:

Let's finish it! The upper surfaces weathering was made using pigments/pastel chalks besides washes and filters. I also used a aluminium pencil to simulate chipping and scratches all over the plane. After finished I did apply a coat of Matt Varnish from Vallejo diluted with water (1 paint : 8 water). After the matt coat has dried completely I did more pastel chalks to simulate dust and also engine grime since the matt coat kill most of the effect.

This version of the P40 have a very particular radio aerial arrangement with two cables connecting the rudder to the wing tips and one cable connecting the rudder to the middle of the fuselage fin, so I check my references to the correct location.My reference is a book from MBI - P40. I don't read Czech so I just look the pictures

Here is the aerial in place. Also note the RAF style pitot tube on the port wing, Airfix indicates the wrong part (they have both RAF and US styles in the kit)

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