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Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

The two decades between the First and Second World Wars saw major advances in all areas of technology. In military and civil aviation, flimsy wood and canvas biplanes and triplanes gave way to sleek all-metal monoplanes. The lumbering "land ships" of WW1 were replaced by maneuverable tanks and armoured cars. In this GB, anything that was developed and operated between 1919 and 1939 (but not WW2) is fair game.
Runs from 10 August 2019 to 26 January 2020.
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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#11

Post by smeg1959 »

Next component was the radial engine. This is moulded in two pieces. Painted up, she looks OK to me. If I’d been F_IV, Ondra, Tom’s or one of our other resident masters of superdetailing, I would have added piston rings, ignition cables and the like, but I am but a mere mortal. Very mere, I might add. Plus all of that would remind me of the trials and tribulations I am currently having with my elderly Hyundai Getz.

As to the fuselage halves, you can forget about locating pins. No biggie, but there’s something that does need attention and that’s the thickness of the tail section on the starboard half that abuts the rudder on the port half. Way, way, too thick. The plastic Mark I (and whilst we’re at it, JACH) uses is quite soft and sands very easily, so don’t get carried away or the tail will disintegrate. To ensure alignment, I started by gluing just the tail section. When I was happy that everything was aligned, I inserted the cockpit and engine assemblies, then cemented the remainder of the fuselage halves together.

Time to glue the wing and horizontal tailplanes on and, yes, more sanding required. The inset in the wing that fits the fuselage is again too thick and must be reduced if the trailing edge of the wing is to be level with the fuselage. You also need to carefully whittle away the thickness of the floor of the cockpit insert or the wing doesn’t sit correctly. Truthfully, I’m not sure what the build would look like if you don’t do these steps. Mark I kits are many things, mostly good, but they are not “shake and bake”.

And whilst in the vicinity of the wings, a subtle change to the armament which, to Mark I’s credit, is noted in the instructions. The kit has two small projections on either side of the wings representing the 0.30-inch machine guns. However, most Hawks fitted with this armament served during WW2 and so these are applicable to the other boxings of the kit. The three P-36A options in this kit require that you slice all four off. As correctly noted by Mark I, photos of P-36C participants at Cleveland show the aircraft to be fitted with a single 0.30-inch gun on either side. I could have just nipped the extra one off each side as Mark I suggest (although they don’t indicate which of the pair, inboard or outboard, is removed) but I found both projections on the starboard wing of my kit to be wonky so I chopped the lot off, drilled a hole in each side and refitted a segment of fine piano wire. Methinks this was better anyway as Mark I’s projections looked a tad short versus pre-war photos.

So wings and tailplanes fitted, time for a couple of happy snaps.
Curtiss P-36C Hawk - USAAC Black 67 (04).jpg
Curtiss P-36C Hawk - USAAC Black 67 (05).jpg
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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#12

Post by smeg1959 »

At this point, I referred back to the instructions. When all else fails, etc. Time to attach the tailwheel and door, as well as the two gun blisters on the top of the cowling and the exhausts on the lower rear of same. Again, Mark I supply optional exhausts, depending on your choice of build. The larger rounded variants (part 21) are correct for my P-36C here. Again, a bouquet to Mark I for supplying the different types, followed by a small brickbat because the assembly instructions don’t show exactly where they should be attached. Similarly, it’s anyone’s guess where the underside gun blisters (part 24) go if you restrict yourself solely to the assembly part of the instruction sheet. Sorry, but an arrow pointing in the approximate direction of the wing doesn’t cut it, guys. Oddly enough, if you look at the painting guide for Option D, you will find the precise location of both parts 21 and 24 clearly indicated.

OK, cockpit and engine plugged up, time for the mandatory grey primer (Tamiya this time around).
Curtiss P-36C Hawk - USAAC Black 67 (06).jpg
Curtiss P-36C Hawk - USAAC Black 67 (07).jpg
Next stop, the first of the colours. White.
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F_IV
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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#13

Post by F_IV »

Nice progress! Entertaining as always too, and I read your comment with great interest. Especially regarding the silver cockpit interiors for the early builds. Kudos too for tackling such a tricky looking kit. I picked up one when Metro had their closing sale, but have been so spoilt for choice that I cant decide which scheme or subtype to go for.

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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#14

Post by ajmm »

A very enjoyable read and looking very hawkish Smeg. And good thinking on this as a first kit for Kit (again I can only restate that the name was not chosen with modelling in mind).

I really recommend test fitting the canopy in case you haven’t already - both the scallops and the forward section were miserable fits on my hawk - owing I think to the fuselage halves being too wide. Might save some pain in due course.

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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#15

Post by smeg1959 »

A fair indication of the external distractions going on in my life that I didn’t do what I normally do and review any builds already on the forum. If I had, many of the modifications I’ve mentioned would have been immediately evident upon reading your build thread, Angus. Regarding the canopy, I’ve done a little resculpting of the aperture and it seems to bed down well without the filling you needed on your Mohawk. However, those scalloped rear windows stick out like canines’ round objects, so I’m going to need to spend some time deepening their eventual resting places.

Many thanks for the warning before I started the painting proper. Again shows the benefits of these Group Builds. ;)
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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#16

Post by cowleyi »

So far so good. looks fit for purpose :)

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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#17

Post by BigReg »

Greg, glad to see you back in action. Work used to get in my way too, now it's just life and grandchildren.
David

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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#18

Post by smeg1959 »

Forewarned is forearmed. As you can see, Angus alerted me to the issue regarding the transparencies. I was initially tempted to simply make a pair of replacement windows out of acetate sheet but relented and spent a good hour whittling away at those scalloped window apertures. Eventually, the trial fit passed muster ...
Curtiss P-36C Hawk - USAAC Black 67 (08).jpg
Next a coat or two of the lightest colour in the "camo" scheme, good ol' white. Used a Tamiya TS-27 rattle can for this ...
Curtiss P-36C Hawk - USAAC Black 67 (09).jpg
Now comes the fun bit ... five more colours and masking, masking and more masking. Deep breaths. :o
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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#19

Post by pbhawkin »

looking good so far.
Regards
Peter

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Re: Smeg’s Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Mark I)

#20

Post by F_IV »

Nice one. Looking very much the P-36 to me. Good luck with the masking! :)

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