Revell 1/32 P-40K
By Brian Cauchi
The P-40 was never on my project list until by chance I contacted James F. 'Eddie'/'Stocky' Edwards who flew the very same kitty I modelled and who now resided in Canada. I was lucky enough to contact this great gentleman who even signed one of his books entitled 'Kittyhawk Pilot' and which I now proudly possess. A number of photos of the Kittyhawk III he flew made me want to build the model and that's when it all started. The model depicts the Kittyhawk III flown by 'Stocky' with 260 Squadron in the North African desert round about January 1943. At this time, these aircraft were used as fighter bombers and in fact two of the photos show 500 lb. bombs being taken towards the waiting aircraft.
The old Revell kit is unavailable in Malta and my good friend Vasko of Warbirds sent me one of his built Kitty's. To help out with the build, since it was my first experience with this kind of aircraft, I obtained the Detail and Scale books for the Kittyhawk, the Squadron Signal Walkaround publication and also the Squadron in Action book. A couple of other publications or parts of were also consulted. I also made extensive use of the very detailed build article by Rodney Williams found in all its glory in Brad's P-40 website. Help also came from time to time from various sources and people who I will not dare to mention lest I forget someone out. A great deal of help came however from Brad himself who was kept updated nearly daily on the build progress.
I made use of Jerry Rutman's detail set for the P-40 and used parts of this set. Parts used were the wheel bay inserts, a modified tail wheel well insert, wheels, cockpit floor, rear bulkhead and cockpit sides and instrument panel. All parts required modification either to be fitted in place or else to correct a number of defects or missing detail. Any modifications made can be clearly seen in the build photos. The following areas were scratchbuilt:
- The radio compartment including the hatch cover and internal equipment
- ammo and gun bays including the hatches
- lowered flaps
- Undercarriage legs and wheel well doors
- Cooling flaps
- bomb shackles
Major modifications include:
- a nearly scratchbuilt engine and engine bay. The original engine was shortened in length by about 5mm and the firewall moved back.
- the tail area which includes a fillet and heavy modification to the tail planes regarding thickness and positioning.
- the air splitter on the cowl which was entirely made in one piece out of Milliput.
When painting, the photos of the actual aircraft were studied in detail. The Kitty's were delivered to the RAF in brown/green topsides and sky underside. These were resprayed in the field. Hence points to note in the painting are the following:
- The area under the rear view glass side panels remained in its original green colour since probability is that these were not removed for repainting.
- The green areas were resprayed with mid stone. These were done in the field without masks hence the soft edge. Factory finished aircraft had hard edge demarcation between the colors since these were masked.
- the area immediately below the serial number is still in green since this was masked off for painting.
- The underside was sprayed azure blue and this is also soft edged.
- photos show that the spinner was not masked off when painting the mid stone and has a small amount of over spray.
- I tried to have some areas showing where the mid stone has been weathered away to show the underside green.
The model was painted with Testors paints throughout. All markings are sprayed on using home made masks. The serial number is rub on transfers. Finish is a Revell/Humbrol mix of matt varnish.
Don't forget to check out Brian's in progress article!
© Brian Cauchi 2003
This article was published on Wednesday, July 20 2011; Last modified on Saturday, May 14 2016