Jump to content

Curtiss P-36A Hawk - 2/LT Phil Rasmussen - Pearl Harbor [1/32 SH]


Recommended Posts

Normally I try to resist starting a new project before the previous one is fully complete.  BUT, since my Training Day GB model is complete save for a prolonged multi-stage painting process, I couldn't resist starting to poke around on the next one.  

 

Of the 350-odd carrier aircraft that sortied from the Kido Butai on December 7, 1941 to attack Pearl Harbor, only 29 were lost, and only six of those losses were credited to American fighter pilots.  Second Lieutenant Phil Rasmussen was one of only six USAAF pilots able to get into the air that morning, flying an already effectively obsolete aircraft, the Curtiss P-36A.  Despite being massively outnumbered by the attacking force, Rasmussen was able to shoot down a Zero and maintain control of a badly damaged aircraft long enough to return to land at Wheeler Field.  Rasmussen is second from left in this photo of the five USAAF pilots who survived that against-all-odds attempt to oppose the IJNAF in the air that day:

 

img.jpg?width=980

 

Rasmussen fought in numerous engagements throughout the Pacific War until its end, and remained in the service post war, retiring from the USAF in 1965 as a Lt Colonel.

 

This model is the counterpoint to my recently completed A6M2b Zero - completing another pair of Pacific War "adversaries" in 1:32.  If you want to build a P-36A in 1:32 scale, there's only one game in town (other than scratchbuilding, I suppose, which is way above my level) - Special Hobby.  So from the sublimely-engineered Tamiya Zero, through the really-pretty-good-considering ICM Cypress, we're back to short-run Special Hobby DIY mode.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kit is packaged with the Pearl Harbor venue in mind, although it contains alternate cowl and windscreen parts to construct an export version Hawk 75, as operated principally by France in WWII, but in small numbers by a host of other air arms during and after the war.

 

pnsqK3c0j

 

This is the plastic you get:

 

pohvQW2kj

 

With a pretty-decent clear parts sprue:

 

pnkHw39Xj

 

Note the three windscreen versions.

 

You also get a few resin parts for the landing gear:

 

pm91u1wHj

 

And decals, which I will use as templates to make painting masks when I get to that stage...

 

pmatdKsGj

 

And they provide a small PE fret:

 

pmP3gDBNj

 

The only aftermarket thing I have is these canopy masks, which I will scan and copy with my Silhouette to make a second set for the inside:

 

po2LMFU2j

 

The molding is if anything a bit rougher than the last SH kit I built (the Ki-27 Nate).  It's going to take some significant work to get the fuselage joined up in a way I'm happy with.  Check out the XL sprue gate on this cowl part (guaranteed to avoid short shots, I guess):

 

pm2FEFoaj

 

Yep, it's a but rough.

 

pmUTLnrgj

 

(the other half was actually worse).

 

So I started in by joining the correct forward fuselage/cowl pieces to the main fuselage halves, and then began poking at the engine.  I don't want to start the cockpit yet because I need to do some research (i.e. waste hours grazing the internet for photos) to see what enhancements I can make to it, and make a plan for building those, before I start.

 

The challenge of getting the SH plastic all nice and pretty on the outside will of course be enhanced on this kit because I need a smooth enough surface to do a credible NMF (which I am barely qualified to do on the best of days).  But I want a 1:32 P-36A, so, since this is the only game in town, here we go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea Alex, I do want to build some early war US subjects so will follow this one closely, I did build the French H75 version of this kit and found it a tad challenging but it turned out fine, I also have a Mohawk Mk.IV to build at some time. If I remember correctly the fit of the cowling was fun and clear parts are a bit delicate, I think I broke a couple of them.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, dennismcc said:

Great idea Alex, I do want to build some early war US subjects so will follow this one closely, I did build the French H75 version of this kit and found it a tad challenging but it turned out fine, I also have a Mohawk Mk.IV to build at some time. If I remember correctly the fit of the cowling was fun and clear parts are a bit delicate, I think I broke a couple of them.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

I'm trying to get up the nerve to take a quick peek at the fuselage-to-wing fit.  Perhaps tonight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to start this one with the engine.  The detail on the P&W R-1830 Twin Wasp is pretty soft, and there are mold seams running down the sides of the cylinders which are very hard to remove without wrecking the cooling fins.  Fortunately, since this engine will only be visible from the front through the cowling, I can focus on just tying to make that one angle look decent (like the false-front buildings on a Western stage set).  The main parts, sort of cleaned up:

 

po9mNnoWj

 

 

Rather than trying to do any drilling, I went with the quick/dirty solution of gluing plug wires (0.3 mm lead) to the backs of the ignition distribution ring stubs.

 

pmdXkcVuj

 

Started with some semigloss black

 

poRQbneNj

 

Then Mr Color Super Iron II for the steel cylinder sleeves

 

pooa7p7Pj

 

Then Alclad II White Aluminum for the cylinder heads

 

pmStxWeTj

 

Some contemporary photos showed noticeable rust on the cylinder sleeves, so after a black acrylic wash I added some rusty pastel (I'm now using Vallejo acrylic washes over metallic lacquers because the Tamiya enamel washes tend to re-wet the lacquer, which interestingly does not happen with non-metallic lacquers).

 

poXzscbmj

 

Then painted the crankcase light gray-blue

 

pnOTqUXoj

 

I decided at that point that the rust was too pronounced and hit it with another dose of black wash to tone it down

 

poq87ijCj

 

The pushrod tubes don't line up at all perfectly, so it's going to be a bit of a chore getting them all solidly in place.  But overall for a pretty lackluster kit engine (at least by 1/32 standards) it is coming together OK.  From here I need to get plug wires in place, find a stencil decal for the reduction gear housing, add some oil paint grime, flat coat it, and that should be OK.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There.  That'll do for that.

 

pnI5F9bKj

 

I started playing around with the wing moldings and their fit to each other and the fuselage.  This is going to be a long journey.  I think I need to start looking at this as more of an "approximate P-36A shape" that I'm going to need to refine and then wholesale re-do the surface detail on.  Anyone have good suggestions for motor tool buffing bits?  Eventually I see needing to do a lot of surface polishing on this one...

 

I shouldn't complain too much though.  We should appreciate Special Hobby because they make the effort to create 1/32 kits of aircraft that are too "obscure" for the major firms to bother with.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Alex said:

I shouldn't complain too much though.  We should appreciate Special Hobby because they make the effort to create 1/32 kits of aircraft that are too "obscure" for the major firms to bother with.

I'm with you 100% on that one, my display cabinets would be a lot less busy without Special Hobby kits, and you have done a fine job on that engine.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...