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Old 08-12-2008, 06:28 AM
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Default Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review


I found one at the LHS last Thursday. Did some horse-trading and took it home.

As soon as I got home I ran in the door with this kit in hand. Sat down on the recliner. Opened the box. "Oh my GOD!" I yelled*

This particular kit had been in my crosshairs for some time - I knew I was going to have it, but I didn't know exactly when. I was planning on waiting on aftermarket parts, masks, decals, etc. came out, but the LHS owner made me a deal I couldn't refuse so I bought it. I didn't even bother looking up reviews on the net - I wanted to go into this one 'cold'.

Nostalgic but Germane Section

I can guarantee with certainty that this kit will be extensively compared to the vintage Revell kit. Over the years I have built maybe a dozen of them - as a kid that was my favorite model. It was big, easy to build, and plentiful. Once a ten-year-old 'ace' got the finer points of Testors-orange-label-glue** mastered, the P-40's landing gear functioned flawlessly. If you were careful and patient, you could attach the canopy rails in such a way that the canopy slid freely, aligned square with the rear of the windscreen, and most importantly - it wouldn't fall off when the fighter went inverted. (One of my buds had the Baa Baa Black Sheep Zero. I kept making fun of him because he couldn't retract his gear and reasoned that that was why I was able to shoot him down so often. At the end of the summer he ripped the gear off and decided to call it a comma-cozzy.) Also, the two-piece pilot slid in and out of the cockpit perfectly due to his stooped-over posture. In retrospect, he'd look more at home on a commode than in the pilot's seat.

Eventually, airframe fatigue and lack of replacement parts (hastily-repaired 'battle damage' and pieces getting knocked off) took hold and I ended up needing a replacement aircraft. This usually happened on a Friday evening after yard mowing had been done and I got my allowance and was taken to the LHS. I usually had enough coin to get a decent kit and a bottle or two of whatever paint I needed. Then when I got home I'd hurry the heck up and build it to such a point that it'd be almost airworthy the next day.

Sometimes my dad would take me to a model swap meet - the guys at those meets always preferred cars to anything military, and whatever military kits they were selling would usually be dirt cheap. In this way I was able to bolster my forces in a very economic manner. Dad would give me a twenty, and I never failed to leave there without BIG armloads of stuff.

And so I ended up building a very large number of P-40s over the years.
I still love that kit. They have their flaws, to be sure... I recognize them for what they are, but it'd be silly to complain about them.

On With The Show

And so, when I reacted the way I did when I opened the box, lots of this had gone thru my mind between the time I bought the kit and when I got home.I was certain that the old flaws were gone now.

At this point, I should let you know that mine is at the stage where the seams are getting their final sanding before painting, so I'll give Pros and Cons section by section.



Rating Scale:

***** It's all *that*. Just bring your favorite modelling tools, adhesives, and paint. References? Hah! Aftermarket parts? Don't waste your time or money! Fit? We're talking 'Shake the Box here'! (ex.: Dragon's 1/32 Tiger II Smart Kit with Zimmerit)

**** Same as 5-star except you may want to consult your references. A few fit problems. Aftermarket parts not necessary but would be a nice addition. (ex. Tamiya's 1/32 Zeros)

*** Check your references. You're going to need some aftermarket parts. We have some fit and/or accuracy issues. (ex. Monogram's 1/48 Intruder)

** You're in for a long process here. Numerous fit and accuracy problems - grab the putty and trowel. Aftermarket parts - pretty much going to be mandatory here. (ex. Tamiya's older armor)

* It may look okay but are you absolutely SURE nobody else makes a kit of this subject?!? Putting PE, etc. on this kit would be like pouring perfume on a pig. This would be better used for beginners to learn on than to do some serious modelling with. Maybe it has a good nostalgia factor. (ex. old Revell Iowa-class ships)

0 stars - Accuracy - from maybe 50 feet on a foggy night it faintly resembles its subject. Use this for training kids, raw plastic, or something to test paint on. The only aftermarket metal parts you should use on this model are BBs - and from a suitable applicator. (ex. the old Revell Nautilus sub,75% of the Lindberg line)


Hasegawa 1/32 P-40E Warhawk - Kit # 08879: 4 Stars

Let's look at it section by section.

Cockpit: Good.They didn't leave out the backside of the instrument panel - as it is visible under the windscreen. The Directional Gyro and Artificial Horizon are the two most prominent instruments and they happen to be at the top and on either side of the gunsight. They are BIG instruments, and they're definitely visible.
Gunsight: There are three options in the kit and two of them are obviously meant for upcoming issues. The one the kit calls for is a bit problematic, however. I just can't find *any* references on it whatsoever. Soooo, I ended up using Part O32 and V9. This sight is seen on Page 40 of Bert Kinzey's P-40 Warhawk In Detail - Part 2. The photos are of the P-40E at the Air Force Museum. I've also seen it in several other wartime pics as well. I also like it because it's 'colorful' - instead of being all Instrument Black, there are two Interior Green plates molded on the sides. Also, the photos show a distinctive steel-colored cable going from it to somewhere at the firewall.
A retro-throwback-kind-of-issue is a handle molded into the left side of the cockpit wall. It REALLY should have been a separate part. I'd have expected this on something from 1975, but not this kit. No biggie - it can be cut out and replaced,
Throttle quadrant: This needs work. Bad. Maybe even outright replacement. It'd be easier to get, fold, and install a PE one than to correct this cheese-wedge-shaped piece of plastic.
Stick: Looks great. No improvements needed.
Control rods on cockpit floor: Should have been separate parts, but they look okay. If I had it to do over, I'd have cut them off the floor and scratched new ones out of aluminum rod. Darn hindsight!
Side-wall details: Good. Could use some Waldron placards, particularly at the rudder and elevator trim wheels and fuel tank selector.
Seat: No replacement needed! Could use seatbelts, and this one will have 'em as soon as I can order them up.
Instrument Panel: I thinned it down from the back and drill out the instruments. Takes a little time but no big deal really. Then your kit decals can be mounted from behind a layer of clear plastic and the effect will be great. If you can trim 'em out, that panel is a JEWEL.

Windscreen: Great. Not perfect, but great. The way they have molded it as one piece with the rear of the engine cowling, you won't have to worry about attachment seams. The only fly in the ointment is the lack of the thicker, armored front glass. If I ever build another - which is unlikely because this aircraft will never see the rigours of combat that my earlier builds did - it'll have to have the glass.

Rear glazing: On the old Revell there was pretty much no way to use the kit part to get it to look convincing. Well, here the windows are molded into a piece that contains the surrounding aluminum skin. Just mask it off and you've got it!

Fuselage: Perfect. It's obviously made to eventually allow Hasegawa to produce virtually any type from the P-40D on, so it is molded similar to their 109G's with a separate tail section.

Engine cowling, etc.: Beautiful. They did it RIGHT. The very complex radiator ducting is rendered perfectly, and the radiators are represented both Front and Back! Remember the Revell? Cowl flaps were closed and you really just didn't want to open 'em up because of the major PITA factor. I did it with the old Eduard set once and very much regretted it. On THIS bird they are OPEN and you can be glad of it. Not only can you see the backs of the radiators, but the kit includes the flap actuators and linkages too! The only part of the 'engine' that is represented in the kit is the exhaust system. Gone are the inaccurate fishtails from the Revell kit - now you have the early type stubby pipes. They'll take some work - each pipe has two parts and that'll mean seams both inside and out. Also, you have two types of right and two types of left pipes. They're good and usable, but I'm going to tack-glue mine in and hope Moskit makes 'em.

Wings: Splendidly-designed and executed. The machine gun muzzles attach as a 'block' in the leading edge of the wings. One little detail of the 'E' is that the center gun was mounted a bit higher, and this is one detail that Hasegawa NAILED.
The Gun Camera is four pieces, counting the clear lens. Wheel wells look 'Right'.
With the exception of the Rudder, all control surfaces are molded-in. The flaps and flap bays have enough molded-on detail on the insides to tempt one to drop the flaps, but you'd probably end up rebuilding them up with PE anyway so that extra molding is superfluous. The Rudder is separate but designed to be mounted Centerline... but with a little work you could reposition it.

Landing gear: On the main wheels, the tires are molded separate from the hubs. This simplifies painting and handling. The axles are a bit too small, resulting in a wobbly wheel. I took my time and CA'ed my inner wheel halves in place so it was painted as a part of the gear. Brake lines are missing and must be added. The main gears will mount solidly and will look outstanding. There is one wee little problem, one that I noticed after I put 'em together. The P-40's wheel rotates back 90 degrees as it retracts, and the tire faces up into its bay. This works because of a cog mounted solidly on the gear's mount, and it meshes with a cog on the retracting portion of the gear. As the arm pulls the leg back, the gear rotates.
Those cogs are represented on the kit's gear, except that they are mounted backward! Take the Left gear, for instance...Part O1 mounts on the gear's mount, on the gear's Left side. The other cog meshes with it as it should. HOWEVER, if this gear actually worked, the wheel would rotate exactly opposite of what it should and would be outside facing the ground once retracted!!! Shouldn't be hard to fix... Also, the little tie-down loops on the back of the axles are there and delicately-molded.
The Tailwheel is fine too. The canvas gear cover is present and well-represented, and the door retraction linkages are there.

The Ring Gunsight - part O9 - needs replacement. No way around that.

Payload: You get the choice of the drop tank or a 500lb bomb. That bomb is a nice piece of work! It'll go to a special place in my spares box as I'm going Drop Tank, but it is Nice. The drop tank - simple and accurate.

Decals: You get two choices: 'Texas Longhorn' flown by John D Landers in New Guinea in 1942, or Major Ed Rector of the 23rd FG in China, July 1942. Both ships are Dark Green/Dark Earth, but where Rector's ship has Neutral Gray on the bottom, Landers' has Azure Blue.

(There may be a problem with the camo recommended for Rector's ship. According to Osprey's Color and Markings of the AVG, the P-40E's received in this time period were the standard OD over Neutral Gray, as they came straight from US Army stocks. They took them and added the mouths and Chinese insignia. After the transition to being a reg-Army unit, they simply added US insignia over the Chinese and left everything else pretty much the same. The bottom line is, unless Rector's E model was originally intended for the RAF, it oughta be OD/Gray... and if it was intended for the Brits then it needs that other pitot tube!)

Decal quality - I've always hated Hasegawa's kit decals because they're thick and they yellow. Badly. Looks like Hasegawa's changed their process - they're thinner and the whites are actually friggin' WHITE.

Instructions: Typical Hasegawa. Great quality with the occasional Engrish-ism. One error I could find was the painting instruction in Step 3 - the areas on parts K3 and K4 should be whatever the External Colors are, rather than Interior Green.

Note on Step 2 - It isn't really necessary to attach the cockpit at this time. You can insert the radiator assembly and join the fuselage halves. I went ahead and attached the cowling parts (D2, D3, M3, M4, A35, and O7) from Step 3, and the Tail Fin Assembly in Step 6. This way I was able to wet-sand all I wanted to without worrying about roughhousing the delicate cockpit. You only have to worry about the cockpit just before you attach the Main Wing.

Verdict: This kit shares but three things with its Revell ancestor:

1. It looks like a P-40E
2. The joint between the wing and the fuselage is still a bee-yotch
3. It is FUN!

I gave this kit four stars because of the reference/gunsight thing, the wing fit issue, and the necessity of throttle quadrant, seat belts, and gun sight.

That old Revell kit is still special to me... but the Hasegawa is a very worthy successor.

The Guard has Changed.



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  #2  
Old 08-12-2008, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Great review! And I like the story about your early days,
that really took me back. I liked the working features of
those 60's era kits. I remember building Monogram's
Helldiver when I was about 10, with the sliding canopy,
retracting landing gear and working bomb release! I was
so proud of myself that I got the release to function
I must have bombed the dog a hundred times
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Fantastic job on the cockpit.

Great detail touch.

Cheers,
Chris.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Dang Cat!
Turns out you can write a right fine review! Sounds like a winner of a kit of what to me is still the most aggressive looking of our WWII warbirds!
I got a smile on my face just knowing how happy you are to have scored this one and your progress is looking most excellent my friend!

Thanks for making the effort with that excellent sharing!
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Thank you, Gents! I just can't wait to finish her off... looking forward to painting most of the markings!

I'm going to airbrush the mouth, the fuselage band, side numbers, and her name.

I'm going to use decals for the Chinese insignias and Tigers on the sides... the difference in glossiness can be explained by the fact that the real ones were actually stickers.

Robn, I know exactly what you mean about the Monogram kits.... I never had the Helldiver, but I *did* have several SBDs! I found out that the bombs were more accurate if you added pieces of solder inside the nose!

Fun.....
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Waitaminute!
Where's the Relief Tube?
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay View Post
Cat, that's just beautiful man!! The detail in that cockpit is so clean, and the wear marks are just perfect. What color did you use on the instrument panel? I love the contrast between it and the instrument faces. Really gives it a sense of realism and depth! Can't wait to see more of this build - kick ass!
Hey Jay,

I have a favorite mix for 'scale' black... it's Model Master's Aircraft Interior Black that's been lightened a bit and has just a touch of blue to it. It looks Black by itself, but if you use regular glossy or flat black over it it gives the contrast.

Thank you, buddy!
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Dave,

GREAT review!
Mine is on my bench in the basement being held together with tape.
I can't wait to build mine too. The old Revell P-40E is down there somewhere and I had big plans to superdetail it. However, this one from Hasegawa takes the cake!
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Dave,
I noticed they have Landers' plane as Dark Earth and Dark Green.
My old worn out copy of P-40 in Action has it on the back cover as Medium Green 42 and sand on the top. I guess for that batch Hasegawa found something out about the colors???

Vince
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Vince!!!!

Hey, ole buddy!!!!!

For those of you that haven't 'met' him yet, Vince is one total kick-ass modeller and Propmaker!

About Landers' ship, it really is hard to say which one is 'right'. There are two possibilities:

The Squadron book is wrong and Hasegawa found some new info.
Major model companies make mistakes, and Hasegawa did this time.

A good while back, I built Tamiya's 1/32 Zero 52. Had lots of fun with it. Recently, I found another for cheap and thought I'd go all-out and build it as accurately as possible. I found Montex masks (Canopy, markings, hinomaru - everything) for it, plus I'm gonna lay the Eduard sets to the engine and cockpit. This'll be my Sunday-go-to-meetin' Zero.

Anyway, if you're doing a Zero, you have to figure out if it's a Nakajima- or a Mitsubishi-built aircraft. The cowling blacks, the dark greens, light grays, interior colors, and locations of aotake are all different. The demarcation line between the green and gray on the aft fuselage is the first and most visible difference, too.

Well...... evidently Tamiya doesn't know anything about this as none of it is mentioned in the instructions... and the painting guides show three Nakajimas and one Mitsubishi.

j-aircraft.com? Lots of good reading there, except that for pretty much every statement, there is a contradiction.

The Osprey book on Building the Zero? The author is one complete world-class modeller, and even his colors contradict each other. IMHO he's as knowledgable about modelling the A6M series as anybody else in the world - and yet I found a zinger of an inaccuracy in his book... he stated that modellers tend to over-represent paint chipping on late-war Zeros, and that while several a/c types didn't receive primer before getting their main colors, the Zeros always did....and that in the few instances where paint rubbed/wore/peeled off a Zero, the reddish primer was always visible.

I have a full-color pic* from a 1991 Air Classics magazine that shows a whole field of Zeros, Irvings, and Jacks in which they all show major major paint peeling and there isn't a bit of primer visible in any of them.

My point is this... there is a lot of confusion about many WW2 details. Germany and Japan weren't concerned about details such as the color of a uniform collar or if a cowling was actually really truly black... hey, there was a war on and who really cared of two Zeros on the flight line had slightly different color cockpits?

While we (The US) as a whole were much more anal about record-keeping, Curtiss were building P-40s as fast as they could for several nations... you see what I'm saying.

So, the bottom line is, build it the way *you* like it **


* It's a beautiful pic. I call it 'The Field of Dreams'.

** With this crap in mind, I don't think it would be a good idea for persons with OCD to build German armor, Japanese aircraft, or collect German uniforms. I do not suffer from said affliction, but trying to keep those details straight sometimes makes me wish I hadn't quit smoking!
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Quote:
Originally Posted by KUROK View Post
Dave,
I noticed they have Landers' plane as Dark Earth and Dark Green.
My old worn out copy of P-40 in Action has it on the back cover as Medium Green 42 and sand on the top. I guess for that batch Hasegawa found something out about the colors???

Vince
Funny you should mention Medium Green.... I was looking at a P40 build in an old issue of Scale Modeler last night. The guy mentioned that the green that Curtiss used was really close to the Model Master Medium Green... I'm leaning more toward that and Squadron's research more than Hasegawa's...
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Hey Dave,

There is also an article from an old Finescale by Dana Bell all about wartime P-40 paint. He said the "Dark Earth" paint often was more of a sandy earth color rather than pure British Dark Earth. I'll have to dig that up.
Do you have copy of P-40 Warhawk in WWII color by Jeff Ethell? It kinda shows this color.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Vince,

The 'sandy earth' color would explain why it looked so light in old photos... plus I seem to have missed that book.

Have you decided what color scheme you're going to give yours?
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

I might do Landers just to build this kit up and see how it goes.
My plan is to do a P-40F Merlin engine conversion kit (but keep that under your hat)...
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Hasegawa's new 1/32 P-40E build and kit review

Vince......

You know darn good and well you won't be able to stop with *just one*!!!
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