1⁄48Curtiss Mohawk IV
HistoryThe Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, was an American-designed and built fighter aircraft of the 1930s and 40s. A contemporary of both the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design making extensive use of metal in its construction and powered by a powerful radial engine.
Perhaps best known as the predecessor of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the P-36 saw little combat with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. It was nevertheless the fighter used most extensively and successfully by the French Armee de l'air during the Battle of France. The P-36 was also ordered by the governments of the Netherlands and Norway, but did not arrive in time to see action over either country, before both were occupied by Nazi Germany. The type was also manufactured under license in China, for the Republic of China Air Force, as well as in British India, for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).
History adapted from Wikipedia.
Building the modelThis is my newly completed Curtiss Mohawk IV in RAF markings. The basis for this build was the Academy 1/48th Scale offering which is a reboxing of the old Hobbycraft P-36/Hawk/Mohawk kit. Construction of the model was very straightforward and no real issues were encountered. I did add some harnesses to the seat which were made out of tape. I also added buckles which were made out of scrap sheet stock. Once the plane was assembled it was primed with Testors Enamel Primer and all the remaining blemishes and seams were smoothed.
At this point the camouflage scheme was applied to the aircraft. These planes had been diverted from the French Air Force to the Royal Air Force and were thus shipped to England from the manufacturer. As a result the plane was painted in the DuPont RAF Temperate Land Scheme equivalent colours, which Curtiss was prone to use. A hard edge scheme was used so the various layers were masked with 3M 2090 Painter’s Tape. As each layer was applied, post-shading was added using lightened shades of each camouflage colour.
Panel lines were then drawn with a Micron .005 Artists’s Pen and subsequently shaded with Tamiya Smoke applied via my Paasche Airbrush. I then gloss coated the model using Pledge Floor Wax. After that was applied I added the decals. I used decals from the old Aeromaster “Mohawks over Southeast Asia” sheet which depicts several Mohawk IV’s from that theater of operations. The decals went on without any issues. I then added further weathering to the plane by using the oil paint “dot method” to give the aircraft a more faded and streaked appearance. I also added various fluid leaks and stains to the airframe using artist’s oils. Additional gun residue streaks were added using Tamiya Weathering Powders. Spots of chipped metal were also applied using Metalizer Aluminum.
At this point the plane was flat-coated using Testors Dullcote thinned with Metalizer Thinner. Since the kit canopy was very thick, I added a vacu-form canopy hood from Squadron Products. Finally E-Z Line rigging wire was added to the plane. The Mohawk IV I depicted was a machine from RAF 5 Sqn. deployed to India in 1942. This plane was flown by a New Zealander, F/LT. Keith MacEwan and as a result bears a nice rendering of a Kiwi below the canopy rail.
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