Colonel Robert L. Scott's P-40E "Flying Tiger"; Part Two
by Rodney Williams

After reviewing those small "black and white" photos in Part-1; I felt I could regress somewhat, and send some nice big color photos. I only had a few black and white photos of the real aircraft, including a couple of color one's.

Having no measurements, it takes lots of experience to make these wheel wells, main struts, rotation gears, let alone the axle, torque links and the angle braces.

Many items were put together using a pin-hinge arrangement. I have made notes on some of the photos, showing the .010" diameter pins not being cut to length. You must make sure everything fits together with this system.

When I am happy with the end result, everything is taken apart for painting. On final assembly, I heat one end of the pins, which gives it a "mushroom" shape. It is inserted into both parts, then cut to length. I carefully "mushroom" over the other end with my little soldering iron...."presto----it's finished."

I photograph many of my parts on an U.S. minted penny. A penny is about 3/4 of an inch in diameter; (20mm; - .750." DIAMETER) This gives the viewer of how small some of my "hand-made" part are. Some have emailed me about my tools. I do not have any fancy items such as a drill press, or lathe. Everything is made using my different sizes of cutting blades in my "X-Acto" handles. I have some small drills ranging from .006" to .013" in diameter. I have several file sets from "0" cut to real fine # 6 cut. I also use the Flex-i-files, and my Dremel motor tool, and a small 1/4" drill.....that's it ! At times, I build jigs to hold parts when I solder them.

Look at all my panel lines on top of the wing, including the simulated rivets. I draw on all the lines, then butt masking tape on both sides of the lines. (Leave a little gap between the tape, so the point of the scribing tool has room to move). When this is finished, I sand the model, check for screw-ups, and fix. Next, I measure the distance between two panel lines.....Let's say it's 1". I need a rivet every inch ! In 1/32 scale, that's every 1/32 of an inch. I make a mark with my pencil every 1/32 of an inch next to the panel line. I draw a line about 1/64" away from the finished panel line to each side panel. Now my marks show a " + ". I just push in my scribing pin in the center...."PRESTO>>>> YOU GOT ONE RIVET ! " Just keep doing that a few 100---1000 + times, and your finished. Sand the rivets like you did the panel lines.....If you screwed-up, and got it off center...fill it with super-glue, and re-do it......Don't forget !

I always use two kits when I build. Here you see that I cut out the access door on the left side of the "test" or "spare" fuselage. I placed this door on top of my .005" thick piece of aluminum. I just scribe around the door, then cut it out. It's placed on the other fuselage and I scribe-in the panel lines. "It's real easy for me.......just practice.....if I can do can you! Use your computer....put it to work......"no !! not the one on your desk, use the one that's located behind your eyeballs."

For you novice modelers, just remember this. When I got back into modeling in 1977, I knew nothing. I got a model out of the box on Friday night....and it was "finished," and up on my model shelf Sunday night ! It's like your first step when you were a baby, you fell down, but got up and tried again....soon you were walking with no problem. Can you remember that day ? You shoud remember you first "kiss" with the opposit sex ! Like model didn't know what you were doing......but you learned........"I did !!!!!!!!!"

Hope you enjoyed my P-40E so far......there's MORE to come!

Go to part three

© Rodney Williams 2002