Build Report: Jeff Herne’s 1/32 Hasegawa P-40E

jeff_herne-hasegawa-p40e-14Jeff Herne submitted this build report for Hasegawa’s big scale P-40. Jeff did a great job on this kit!

Hasegawa’s 1/32 P-40 was a welcome addition to the large-scale scene a year ago. Prior to that, we only had the venerable Revell kit to work with, although early P-40 variants were produced by Craftworks (resin) and Trumpeter.

The kit is typical Hasegawa, finely molded and free of flash. Upon opening the box, the first thing that came to mind were their Bf-109 series with variable tail options. The similarity ended there.

I built the cockpit using only a few photoetched placards from a partially-used P-51 set, and RB Productions seatbelts. I applied Gunze Interior Green followed by a burnt umber filter to change the tonality of the paint. This puts it somewhere between interior green and the dark green used on many Curtiss aircraft. I assembled the fuselage, added the rear deck parts, and things went downhill from there.

Once the fuselage halves were cemented together, I assembled and attached the tail. Hasegawa chose to model the break in the tail at a point that doesn’t fall on a natural panel line, so it means filling, sanding, and rescribing panel lines and rivets.

I moved to the wings which went together with no troubles, at least until I added the gun packs and landing gear bulges to the wings. Because P-40s came with four- and six-gun packages, these parts are separate and must be feathered into the leading edge of the wing. Not a problem, had they fit and been the same height as the glued-together wing! More putty, more filling and sanding…

I finally moved onto the canopy in preparation for primer. Because Hasegawa wants to get an N-model P-40 from this fuselage, the entire rear-deck area and canopy are integral with the fuselage. This means no pesky glass-to-metal canopy seams (located on the real aircraft), which is nice, but again, the canopy parts don’t fall onto natural panel lines, so back to the putty and scribing tool we go. I have to admit I’ve been doing this for a long time, but getting that newly-scribed panel line perfectly matched to the kit’s line, rarely, if ever, happens.

The kit comes with two canopies, one for open, the other for closed, postioning. I applied tape to the inside of the windscreen and aft panels, then cemented the closed canopy in place with Kristal Kleer. The tape on the inside prevents overspray into the cockpit. I applied canopy masks to the windscreen, but not before removing the extra ‘fictional’ frame. I sprayed Mr. Surfacer 1200 over the model, sanded it with 2000 grit paper, polished it with a cloth, then applied Alclad Aluminum.

Once I was happy with the overall appearance of the Alclad, I used a set of Montex Masks for the markings. These are great to work with, I have nothing but good things to say about Montex.

The tail and leading edges were sprayed with Gunze White, and Vallejo Black, Red, Blue, and yellow rounded out the other colors. The model received a black Warpigs Wash and some pigments on the exhaust.

I expected an easier build from this kit, especially for the price. Hasegawa has rarely, if ever, let me down as a customer, and despite my problems with the kit, I don’t feel it was a deal-breaker. Although the model is not competition quality (at least not up close), its still a P-40.

Jeff Herne is the owner and founder of Modeler’s Warehouse, the parent company that produces the Warpigs line of weathering pigments and washes. A professional modeler for the last 20 years, his work is featured in museums worldwide, and he’s done models for Fortune 500 companies and the defense industry. He served as the Director of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum, Associate Editor of FineScale Modeler, and founder and editor of ModelX magazine. Jeff is married with 1 daughter and two Labrador retrievers, and currently lives in Ixonia, Wisconsin. When he’s not building models, he’s writing, playing guitar, or consulting in the video game industry (combat simulations).