Hasegawa Curtiss P-40E Tweak List
By Thierry Laurent
- Type: Curtiss P-40E Warhawk
- Scale: 1/32
- Company: Hasegawa
- Kit Number: ST29
- Mould Creation Date: 2008
- Kit Database Entry: Hasegawa Curtiss P-40E Warhawk ST29/08879
TWEAKS LIST VERSION 1.0 (publication date: November 2010)
Compiled by Thierry Laurent.
The following list is intended to help modelers in improving scale accuracy of an airplane model replica. In no way is it intended to support or be offensive towards a scale model company. As such, it is only the result of a progressive process and is in no way intended to be absolute or even comprehensive. Hence, it is intended to focus on commonly admitted discrepancies and will probably not cover some errors. It is up to the modeler to decide whether correcting the listed issues is worth the time and money he will have to invest in the quest for accuracy process. No aftermarket correction or detail set is mentioned in this document as the availability of such items may be very variable. Hence, refer to other LSP sections to find relevant information. Moreover, aftermarket sets do not necessarily correct all listed issues. Please refer accordingly to relevant documentation.
1. GENERAL REVIEW
- Kit is made of light gray plastic. Fit is generally excellent but average or even very bad for some specific parts because the kit has been broken down so as to facilitate future production of the long-tail P-40 variants. Its shapes & dimensions are correct and the details are generally accurate.
2. FUSELAGE (from front to rear)
- A line of prominent rivet heads is missing on the internal front edge of the radiator air intakes
- The fit of parts M3 & M4 is very bad. This asks for CA glue, a lot of sanding and restoration of the engraved panel and rivet lines
- The fit of the exhaust support panels (D1 & D2) is far better but check closely before gluing as a very thin plastic shim behind the part may be required to keep it flush with the fuselage edges
- This kit release only has the early tubular-shaped exhausts whereas many P-40E airframes used a fishtail shaped type. Exhausts parts are nicely engineered. However, do not remove them from the sprues too early as it is not easy to differentiate them. Here is the best approach: cut each exhaust half and glue it immediately on the other half which is still on the sprue. Let the glue dry and use a drill or a rat tail file to get thinner edges. Paint them and finally remove each complete exhaust from the sprue to glue it on the painted airframe.
- Hasegawa instruction sheet clearly shows the nose panel lines that shall be filled in as they only appeared on later P-40 marks. Do this cautiously as it is a little bit tricky to fill and sand without damaging adjacent detail. This is particularly the case for the panels located under the exhausts
- The kit gunsight shall be replaced by a photoetched one even if such parts are generally too thin to depict correctly the scale thickness. Replacing the bead sight pole with a correctly shaped metal replica is recommended as well as the kit part is very fragile
- Open dove-tailed belly cowl flaps are correctly depicted. They are a little bit too thick but the amount of work necessary to replace them with photoetched ones is important to get a marginally better result. Sanding a little bit the edges of the plastic part A4 is probably the best solution. Styrene actuating arms (Q1, O27 & 28) are delicate and cannot be thinner
- Add a spacer between fuselage halves (at the Karman rear root level) to avoid getting a too large seam between the fuselage and wings
- The fuselage parts K3 & K4 located under the rear windows shall be glued in each fuselage half to avoid problems. The small gap on the upper edge shall be filled when the fuselage halves are glued together
- The kit has the little blue navigation lights (V7) used on the early P-40s (up through the P-40D model). However, as they were not used anymore on P-40E, glue them, fill the joint and sand them smooth. Do the same with the V4 parts
- The choice to use separate parts for the tail is the consequence of the release of later long-tail marks. Note that the seam does not correspond to a panel line. Unfortunately, if the fit is rather good, the rivet and panel lines of both sections do not fully correspond. To avoid alignment issues, it is recommended to glue each half tail with each half fuselage. Use CA glue to fill the seam, sand cautiously and engrave damaged panel and rivet lines
- Elevators are not separate parts but this is not a problem as wartime pictures generally show them in a neutral position. The tail fin is separate and may be modified to be slightly angled, should you wish.
- Fill the hole in front of the starboard landing gear knuckle or use the fantasy clear part V3 and sand it flush
- MG wings fillets are separate parts (A8 & A9). This choice was probably done to facilitate molding of MG muzzles (holes in the ends of the gun blast tubes are nicely molded) and possibly to release lightweight P-40 marks initially released with four MGs. However, the fit of the MG muzzle part in the wing leading edge is not excellent. Try to get the best fit on the wing upper side
- MG ejection chute holes are not fully opened. Either drill them or simulate the paper sheet used to close them on some Warhawks and Kittyhawks
- The flaps are accurately molded up.
- The cockpit is accurate but simplified. Note that in practice, there are few visible components except the IP and the seat
- Instrument panel is magnificent and needs few improvements (update the lamp and the large knobs on the lower section). Do not forget adding conduits on the back of the panel instruments
- The pit sides are too simplified: remove electrical conduits to replace them with solder or copper wire, update the too simplified throttle and add small details here and there
- The seat is disappointing: it is correctly shaped but the strengthening ribs are missing on the sides and the reinforcement plate on the back should have been a separate part. Moreover the sides are far too thick. Updating or replacing the seat with an aftermarket one is recommended. Note that the kit has no seat belts
- The large bolt heads on the rear armor plate K2 are undersized
- A series of large bolt heads is missing on the central axis of the floor (they were presumably used to secure both wings together).
- The windscreen in the initial P-40E release had a fantasy frame line engraved on each side of the part. Take care to remove them as the operation may easily result in a flat in the windscreen or in distorting plastic transparency
- Two sets of canopy parts are provided for either an open or closed canopy. Note that the two sections do not have the same width as the larger one is tailored to drop onto the dorsal spine (for an open canopy). In either case, check if the little triangular doublers at the base of the windscreen edge shall not be sanded off as they were not present on all P-40E models
- The canopy rail mechanism (with its pulleys on the starboard side) is missing.
6. LANDING GEAR
- Landing gear struts are correct and well detailed. Simply add hydraulic fluid brake hose on the main landing gear legs
- The wheel wells are correctly detailed. The kit has no factory-set canvas wheel well liners. Note that many airplanes had small bolt holes on the round edge of the wheel wells. Hence, choose how to model that area of the airplane according to the airframe you want to replicate. Note that two holes shall be drilled in the landing gear rear side (part A17 & A18). Some missing hydraulic lines and hoses shall be added as well but keep in mind the P-40 wheel wells were very bare.
- Drill the two holes in part A30 & A31 to get more depth.
7. OTHER REMARKS
- Hasegawa cleverly molded the windscreen part with the forward deck to eliminate the usual gap problem between the clear part and the fuselage. A similar approach is used for the rear windows
- Kit gives optional separate clear navigation lights
- Kit gives a US 500 lb bomb as external war load option. The bomb fins and spinners (O25 & 26) shall be thinned or replaced with thinnest plastic card copies or with photoetched parts.
- Kit also gives a centerline drop tank with optional fuel caps. Note that the molded cap is not circular because of the mold angle. Either rebuild it, replace it or use the other cap (O6)
- An optional gun camera is also offered.
- Tires and wheel hubs are separate parts to facilitate the painting job.
- Kit has a very detailed (8 parts) life-like seated pilot figure
- Note that some parts marked as “not for use” on the instruction sheet may be used if you want to depict some other P-40E variants (e.g. gunsights, cranked pitot tube, etc.).
The following sources were used to build this list.
- Bridgwater, H. C., The Curtiss P-36 and P-40 in USAAC/USAAF service 1939 to 1945, Scale Aircraft Modelling Colours, Combat colours n°3, Guideline Publications, 2001.
- Drendel, Lou, Walkaround P-40 Warhawk, n°8, Squadron Signal Publications, 1996
- Ehrman, Vlastimil, Roman, Valerij, Curtiss P-40, MBI, 1998
- Kinzey, Bert, P-40 Warhawk Part 2, Detail & Scale Vol. 62, Squadron Signal Publications, 1999
- Sembrat, Pawel, Kittyhawk I/IA, Model detail Photo Monograph n°14, Rossagraph, no date
- Wieloczko, Leslek A., Zmuda, Tom, Curtiss P-40D/E Kittyhawk MkI/IA, Kagero, 2008.
Other used books
- Dann, Richard S., P-40 Warhawk, In Action n°205, Squadron Signal, 2007
- Darling, Kev, Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk/Warhawk, Warpaint series n°77, Warpaint books, 2010
- El Bied, Anis, Laurelut, Daniel, Curtiss P-40 de 1939 à 1945, Histoire & Collections, n°3, 2006
- Ethell, Jeffrey L., Warbirds of World War II, Crestline – MBI Publishing, 2003
- Green, Brett, Modelling the P-40, Osprey Modelling, Osprey Publishing Limited, 2005
- Janowicz, Krzysztof, Wieliczko, Leszek A. Curtiss P-40, Vol. 1, Kagero, 2008
- Janowicz, Krzysztof, Curtiss P-40, Vol. 2, Kagero, 2009
- Szlagor, Tomasz, P-40s of the Mediterranean, Air Battles n°01, Kagero, 2007
- Thomas, Andrew, Tomahawk and Kittyhawk Aces of the RAF and the Commonwealth, Osprey Aircraft of the Aces, n°38, 2002.
- Some magazines articles (more particularly from Replic & Scale Aircraft Modelling)
- Some web pages (more particularly LSP & www.p40warhawk.com)
This article was published on Wednesday, August 22 2012; Last modified on Sunday, May 19 2013