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

When I started to finish this story a few week ago, I felt like "one more part" would do it. There is too many things to show. I have now added more parts.

I could not do justice, just showing two or three photos on the here we go with a bit of information and lots of excellent photos.

Thanks to Steve Bamford, who I call "MR. ARC;" told me how to get good quality images on this P.C.

The first photo in this story shows a drawing and the photo-etched parts, which do not fit! As mentioned in Part-1, Chuck Davenport sent this 1/32 scale P-40E "photo-etch" set to me. (see the black and white photo #8 and #18 in Part-1). For some reason, this photo was left out of Part-1 I have no idea what this set cost, however I have purchased other photo-etch sets and they are not cheap. I felt then, and now! "That the membership should have been informed that most of the items in the set are not for the P-40E."

The Revell cockpit is OK for the novice builder, but not for a super-detailing guy like me! As mentioned, the floor to the cockpit is the top wing section which I built in and added all the goodies.

When you look at the two photos of the center wing section, which is the cockpit floor, you can see all the panel lines and rivets. When I'm finished with the scribing, I give the entire area a thin wash, using black Tamiya paint and lots of denatured alcohol. After I have sanded off the wash, the black paint stays in the panel lines. You then look for screw-ups and fix them. You can leave the paint in the panel lines, which will show up under the final floor paint. (If you do not add too much final paint color)

When I used the photo-etch seat for my pattern, lo and behold, the seat was too tall. Look at the photo showing the right side of the fuselage that has the cockpit tub installed in my "test" kit. Note the location of the floor ! You will see that it's way below the curved section of the fuselage. This is where the top of the wing fits to the fuselage.

With the floor finished, including the left and right side consoles, it's time to start on all the other parts: (boxes, guages, lights, etc)

The lens for the gun-sight is made out of clear round rod, from the "clear parts tree." I chuck it into my drill, then file and sand it down to the proper diameter. The end is sanded from 600 to 2000 grit, then polished with Blue Magic, while it's turning in my drill at very low speed. It has a slight "half-moon" shape to it. I just push it into the aluminum tubing and it's done. I use clear plastic sheeting material for the angled reflector lens. It's also sanded to 2000 grit, polished, and dipped into Future Floor Wax.

The control stick, springs, etc show their size on this penny.

I have enlarged the gun sigh rings to show a bit more detail. The tapered gun sight post which is forward of the ring was made by filing a brass rod, while it was turning slowly in my drill. the end was dipped into thick super-glue to form the little bead.

The seat bealt straps were fashioned by using ribbon from a fabric store along with the Waldron seat-belt buckles. I use white ribbon and dip them into a thined down solution of Tamiya paint.

The instrument panel is compeated, and looks A-OK in my book! My client was happy too. Got to make him happy, he's paying me $$$$.
I made "plaster-of-paris" molds for my windscreen and side windows. Lots of work, but they turned out excellent.

For alignment, I used brass rods. When I got it right, the items were removed and painted on the inside.

See the little black circle item inside the left rear window. I read that this is some type of horn, and it sounded an alarm to let the pilot know there was something wrong. I think it sounded when the gear was not completely down and locked for landing!

This photo shows the frisket film. It's tricky cutting it for the windows, canopy and windscreen. I place a small piece of film on the plastic, then draw on the lines. I remove the film and cut out the mask. It's placed back onto the plastic to see if it fits. Sometimes I have to make more than one for the same window. It's too big or too small.. Once I get it right, it's worth it, because the frisket film is very thin, and when it's removed it leaves next to no paint build up on your frame lines, like ordinary masking tape. ( I can do this in 1/72 scale as well)

Using the brass rods, I position the windscreen, and windows. I tack the items with super-glue, and removed the brass rods, then insert the styrene rods. After all the super glue was added and dry, every thing was sanded to 2000 grit, and polished out.

I revised the kit canopy and added the open-close handle. It turned out looking good!
These photos show the finished cockpit. I send these to my client ! If he likes what he see's, I can proceed by attaching the finished wing to the fuselage. (My client likes it!!!.......what do you think ?)

One final note: I made sure that I could install the seat on final assembly. While I was working on the model I felt that it may be difficult to mask off the cockpit area, with the seat installed. I certainly did not want to get any paint on the inside; especially on the inside of the rear side windows.

In Part-4 I'm going to show YOU ...... oh heck that's a secret!

Go to part four

© Rodney Williams 2002