Monogram 1/48 P-40B Warhawk Build Review
By Joe McCaslin
|Date of Review||August 2017||Manufacturer||Monogram|
|Kit Number||5209||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
Do you have that aircraft subject that you just love to build? You just cannot get enough of it? I do as well, the P-40, and I have built dozens of them. When I think of my favourite aircraft, I go no farther than the mean, sleek lines of the Hawk. She has a deadly look no matter what the colours, no matter in whose markings.
Of the many variants, my absolute favourite are the early war variants. One of my favourite kits is the Revell (Monogram) 1/48 P-40B. It has the lines and an overall appeal. It is a simple build yet it can be as complex as the builder wishes. Originally produced in the 1960's the kit was the cutting edge at the time, but now it shows its age. As with some older kits there are issues, but all of them can be dealt with by using patience.
As produced, the kit has the exterior shape of a B variant but the cockpit, scarce as it is, represents an E variant. This is an easy fix. This time I used the Legend Resin cockpit for the Monogram and Academy kits.
The fuselage halves go together with just a bit of work. The area behind the cockpit needs some love. The wings attached with just minor issues. Once all the exterior pieces are added the fun can really begin.
Painting begins with an overall Flat Black. This is accomplished using Rust-Oleum Flat Black, a common house repair type of paint found in the States. First, spraying Model Master Neutral Grey thinned with Lacquer Thinner, approximately three parts thinner to one part paint; the underside, trying to keep away from the panel lines. Finally thinning the mixture even more, approximately five to one, and misting the entire underside to blend the paint.
Attention then turns to the upper surfaces. Using a three to one mixture, but with Model Master Olive Drab, spraying begins on the upper surfaces. There are four stages for painting the upper surfaces. After the first and second sessions approximately 30% Rust-Oleum Flat White is mixed in. This allows the Olive Drab to be lightened and concentrated on the panel centres. The final stage is the blending stage. Mix in approximately 50% of the original Olive Drab back into the mix, thinning it out again, approximately five to one, then misting over the upper surfaces to blend in all the panels.
The result is a faded but not overly so finish. This kit has raised panel lines and this method of painting allows them to gain some depth and definition. This is allowed to dry for a couple of days to prevent any accidents.
Future Acrylic Floor Wax is applied with a foam brush once the paint has dried. Several coats are applied. The markings are of an aircraft of the 8th Pursuit Group United States Army Air Corps, 1940.
Weathering for this bird began with the paint work. The layers give this build a subtle variation in the monotone Olive Drab scheme. After the decals were safe to work with the fading for the markings is applied. This gives the illusion of the paint wearing away and the paint colour working through. A final coat of Testors Flat Coat seals the work done so far.
The final steps for this build are to ready the landing gear, the wheels, and the propeller for installation.
After spending some time cleaning up the landing gear, not the easiest of tasks, Alclad Duraluminum is used to get a darker shade for the landing gear. The Cylinder is Model Master Chrome Silver. Finishing off the landing gear are the assembled wheels. The propeller gets a splash of Flat Black and some Insignia Yellow for the tips. Just a touch of Acrylic floor polish to seal it in and she is ready to install.
She is now on her own two (ok three) legs and she is looking mean. A quick stretch of some sprue provides the radio antenna and the construction is finished. Final touches for this build are simple. Just a touch of pastel around the exhaust to show some life and she is now complete.
Monogram is like an old friend. You accept the faults and enjoy the time you spend together. In the end you have, hopefully, something you can be proud of. There are several more Revell-Monogram kits in the stash. I look forward to spending more time with some old friends.