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Chinese Curtiss Hawk III


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After the P-6E and the P-36A (still in progress) I continue my Curtiss series. In fact, i've started this build more than 1 year ago, maybe even more. But i swore to finish 2 builds for 1 started until i empty my shelf of doom. So i'm back with this one. Once the cockpit will be built and the fuselage enclosed, it would not be too long i guess.




I use the hasegawa old BF2C kit, with the Lone Star Model Hawk III conversion (3 blades propeller + engine cowling + a few fuselage parts around the tail wheel) and resin cockpit. For some reasons, i rebuilt the instrument panel from scratch and will certainly be detailing a few parts in the cockpit (at least the throttle handles).


First here is the instrument panel. This picture is one from a F11C, but i assume it is the same :




And my own version :




After a coat of paint and a few dial decals, i'm pretty sure it would look good.


I've also started to work on the engine. Unfortunately, there is an important mould offset. I have a nice Vector resin engine, but i prefer to keep it for another build (F11C and BF2C to come next....) where it will be more visible. Indeed the Hawk III engine cowling is more "wrapping" and hide a bit more the engine. So i am going to use the kit engine.

I had to use new push rods as the kit ones also suffered from the very important offset =  unusable.

I will have to make the ignition wires, too.



ANd with the cowling slide on it (one has to cut the cowling for it to fit over the engine. The engine also has to be heavilly sanded to reduce the diameter because of the rockers casings) :




The strange engineering for the lower wings also had to be corrected. Instead making simple 2 half wings as usual, Hasegawa chose to make this strange cutting. It just makes a bad joint in the middle of the wing. And because of the wing details, it's not easy to sand it clean without damaging everything. I used rolls of sanding paper.





I will get back to the P-36. More to come later !

Edited by Zero77
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The instument panel is done. I used various decals from MDC sets (Luftwaffe, Japan and US). It's certainly not very accurate, but i tried to get something as close as possible as the reference picture.







I've already started to paint the cockpit sidewalls sometimes ago, but i will redo it, much cleaner as i was not satisfied.

Edited by Zero77
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  • 3 weeks later...

Cool topic, Nicola, and nice work so far! I will be watching. I want to build someday a Hawk II of Arthur Chin, who was actually the first US ace of WWII, flying for China. His story is here: https://disciplesofflight.com/world-war-2-flying-ace-arthur-chin/. He lived not far from me. I already have the Lone Star conversion. :)

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Cool topic, Nicola, and nice work so far! I will be watching. I want to build someday a Hawk II of Arthur Chin, who was actually the first US ace of WWII, flying for China. His story is here: https://disciplesofflight.com/world-war-2-flying-ace-arthur-chin/. He lived not far from me. I already have the Lone Star conversion. :)


Funny, i just received the Hawk II conversion yesterday evening ! And i was very pleasently surprised as the casting quality is very good. I dont know if the fit is good at the moment, but the parts looks great, with no bubbles at the first sight. However, mine will be a USN bird. Maybe a second, or third one? (i'd like to build the one flight by Udet in 1936, too, with early german markings and the Olympic rings). :)


The Osprey book about chinese aces is very nice. Of course you have the bio of Arthur Chin, and many others. At first i wanted to build Colonel Kao's Hawk III, but as i did not found any reference picture of his aircraft with the tail wheel cover removed (and i wanted to build mine this way as i find it cool !) I think i'll build Liu Tsui-Kang's one, even if it's very possible that Kao's aircraft had its tail wheel cover removed in the late days as it's on Kao's orders that the Hawk III's have been modified to gain weight, removing everything not necessary (landing lights, bomb racks and so on).

Liu Chi-Kang was the chinese ace credited with the most victories (7 to 11, according to various sources), unfortunately he died in 1937 crashing in a Pagoda, by night and bad weather, almost running out of gas. The mayor of the city, aware that some chinese pilots were lost and looking for a place to land, lit a fire to help them, but he did so near the higher building of the city, the Pagoda, and Liu Tsui-Kang hit it and died in the crash.

On the crash picture, the tail wheel cover is obviously missing.


A little extract of Liu Tsui-Kang's bio :


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  • 4 months later...

Wow, i did not update this WIP since january.... I need to move on another planet where the days are longer. :)


So i finally finished this cockpit. It's far from perfect, but it's not very visible once it's closed. I have to say that i ordered other sets from LoneStarmodels since then, and the quality seems really better on the later sets.

I remade the throttle levers with small PE bits and the ball built up with CA. The seat is painte with polished aluminium, to add a bit of variety in this kind of "all aluminium" cockpits. I even added a small red handle on the right side which should certainly not be there, but it was just to add a small something with a bit of color. Too bad for the accuracy.




Here it is just before fuselage closing, with a bit of weathering, mostly some dust deposit in the corners.







As the kit rudder pedals part was way too large for the resin cockpit, i started to remade it from scratch. I will add it later at the same time than the instrument panel.



The kit left wing has a small port for a part (i dont even know what it is.... landing light?) but i cant find it on any reference picture of the Hawk III. And not even for the BF2C. So i filled it with milliput.


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And then a trickly clamping to glue the fuselage. :)





I also tried to improve the fit of the front upper cowling, adding thin plastic sheets under the part. I remade the dzus in the recessed way, too.



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For years I intended to model the planes of the Nationalist Chinese and Spanish Republic of the 1930-earl;y '40 era. I accuulated all sorts of magazine articles and books and photos, etc. Plus decals and conversion kits, etc. 

Then one day a year ago I realized that I no longer cared as I was shifting all my efforts to the Vulgarian Air Force. 

To me that is more fun as I can invent my own aircraft models and color schemes. 

So I sold off most of the really good books and the fire last January eliminated the rest of the books, magazines, etc. 

So, now on to Vulgaria; cha cha cha

Where is Vulgaria? In the Balkans between Elbonia and Lower Slobovia. 

But do not look for it as it is a hidden country and if you wander in you will not be able to find your way out. Thus you will have to spend the rest of your life as a citizen of that fine country. There are plenty of jobs with short hours, high pay, many holidays and days off, free medical (including dental) and all sorts of great inducements for the citizens to be happy and productive. Education is free, up to and including one's doctoral studies. You can read more about Vulgaria in my novel The Streamlined Locomotive which is available on Kindle for 98 cents.

However, not wishing to steal  this posting, I think your desire to make Nationalist Chinese aircraft is a fine idea and I look forward to following your progress.


Edited by ssculptor
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Wanted: the 1/32 Lone Star Models conversion kit #LSM 30537   Hawk III conversion

For use with Hasegawa BF2C-1 kit. Contains the cowling and the three bladed propeller. I especially want  the cowl.
The owner of Lone Star is on extended vacation from all this and is not filling any new orders.
If any of you have the kit and do not intend to use it I would like to buy it.
I would still like to  convert the Hasegawa BF2CD-1 kit to the Chinese version. 
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