Genessis Models Survey



Sign up Calendar Latest Topics

  Author   Comment  

Avatar / Picture

Squadron Leader
Posts: 1,212
Reply with quote  #1 

1/48 Academy Tomahawk IIb

I started this build over a week ago but haven’t posted it up yet because progress has been painfully slow, and I didn’t want to post until I had something worth showing.  To tell the truth, shortly after starting this kit, two particularly nasty and serious events occurred in rapid succession in my life that have totally drained me of any motivation.  In short, all my ‘get up and go’ has ‘got up and gone,’ meaning work has been in fits and starts, a bit here and a bit there.  But I’m not fishing for sympathy here, so enough of my woes, and here’s the story so far.


After the nightmares of the Aries resin cockpit on the D.520 build during the turkey shoot I was rather reticent about using the AML kit I had already purchased some time ago in anticipation of this build, hence my earlier thread on resin cockpits.


But, I have it, so I’ll use it.  (I already have several others purchased for the next couple of builds.  Depending on how this one goes will determine if they end up on eBay!)

At this point, fit was an unknown quantity, but the instructions were bloody useless, being small in print and lacking any solid information as to what goes where.


The Academy kit itself is pretty simple, to the point of being basic, with very little in the way of detail.  Two main runners, plus the two fuselage halves, and a clear parts runner. 
20181129_153650.jpg  20181129_153701.jpg  20181129_153756.jpg  20181129_153921.jpg 

Clear parts are a little misty in places, with a few blemishes in others.  Might have to try out my new jar of Gauzy.


I also had a Peewit aftermarket mask set, but since this was for the Airfix kit they didn’t fit.  My bad for not checking properly!


The kit is the ‘Aces of African Front’ and so gives several variations of the classic ‘Sharkmouth’ scheme, which is fine by me, as I love any form of nose art, and especially sharkmouths!


First order of business, improving on Academy’s paucity of detail.  Someone was kind enough to point me in the direction of a blueprint of the real subject, with an accurate rivet plan.  Unfortunately, the kit panel lines don’t seem to marry up with the real thing, and there is a massive amount of riveting on the genuine article.  Since I have never done any re-riveting before, I elected to err on the side of caution, and only rivet along the kits panel lines, and using artistic licence to add a few others that seemed to my eye at least to look about right.



And after…


The AML kit also comes with p.e. wheel wells, which I didn’t realise till I opened the box.  Nice, but it meant butchering the kit wings, totally eradicating the kit’s own wells.  Since the instructions are, as mentioned, vague, I was understandably worried, not knowing how much to cut.  Luckily I guessed it about right.

  20181130_141030.jpg  20181130_162822.jpg 

Part of the cockpit set is a piece of wire, which you are intended to cut, shape and glue into a frame for the seat.  After struggling to bend the wire, the superglue had a laugh at me, and refused point blank to have anything to do with the steel wire.  So I made my own out of Slater’s plastic rod.


Despite the crappy instructions, the cockpit resin parts themselves are in fact really nice, being beautifully detailed.  You’re supposed to glue them all together into one unit, but I elected to attach the sides separately into the fuselage halves, then work the rest in afterwards.  The black oblongs are the rear halves of the nose mounted .50 Brownings.  On the Academy kit these are nothing more than literally flat, shapeless boxes.

  20181210_125532.jpg  20181210_125542.jpg  20181210_125553.jpg  20181210_125604.jpg  20181210_125610.jpg  20181210_125614.jpg 

On the real P-40, the instrument panel doesn’t attach to the floor, making fitting it to the kit a bit troublesome, as it needs to hang in mid-space while you attach the two fuselage halves.  Further complicating matters is that the two gun breaches need to go either side of it.  Three hands would have been a definite advantage here!


And here is by far the worst fit issue I have encountered with any kit so far.  The wing roots are a good mm too wide to slip into the lower wing joint.  This is no fault of the resin kit as, unlike the Aries kit on the D.520, it all went in reasonably easy.  No, this is an Academy issue, and will take a shed-load of careful filing and shaping.

  20181210_190904.jpg  20181210_190911.jpg 




Avatar / Picture

Squadron Leader
Posts: 1,212
Reply with quote  #2 

So, it took a lot of nerve-wracking, very careful trimming and sanding, with a great many dry fits, before I managed to get the wing roots to sit snugly into the wing centre section, and I managed it without any horrendous gaps to fill.  What I did have, however, was instead of a nice, smooth curve from one to the other, where the removed material sat there is now a slight, but noticeable step.  Rather than spending days of filling and sanding, with no guarantee of it turning out any better, I decided I would be better off just living with it.  I would say it’s a lesson learned, but as I said, this was a kit issue, and nothing so far as I can tell to do with my assembly. 

  20181212_142710.jpg  20181212_142717.jpg  20181212_142725.jpg 

Then another issue with the kit reared its ugly head.  The canopy fit is dog-awful.  No idea how to overcome this.  I think it will sit in my display cabinet with the canopy slid open!


Never mind, crack on with the assembly.  Tails on next.  Starting to look like a real fighter.  I know much has been romanticised about the elegant beauty of the Spitfire, and yes, it’s a damn fine-looking plane, but for my money the P-40 comes a close second, from a sheer aesthetic point of view.


I have read elsewhere, on other build vids, how some people go to the trouble of drilling out their kit’s exhaust stacks, so I thought I’d have a bash.  A bit fiddly and time consuming, but I have to admit it’s one of those little details that is really satisfying, and easily as good as any resin parts.


This, on the other hand, was just bloody annoying!  Why did Academy make me assemble a whole prop using three individual blades, to be sandwiched rather awkwardly between a front and rear half of the spinner?  Especially as the kit includes a perfectly good complete prop, from, I assume the P-36 kit?  What, they couldn’t knock up two spinner halves that could wrap around the one-piece prop?!


So to painting.  My pre-shading is definitely getting better, and I think is showing just enough through the Vallejo Azure blue here.


Top coat, with primer, pre-shading and the aluminium/chromate green mottling which will be the chipping.


After laying down the middle stone base colour, I masked up with Panzer Putty, but thought I’d try re-applying the pre-shading.  It came through nicely on the middle stone, but would no doubt be lost under the second colour, dark earth.


And the moment of truth, with mixed results.  I’m very pleased with the shading, it worked just as I had hoped.


But something is going wrong with my camo masking.  I had similar problems with the Dewoitine, with large variations along the demarcation lines.  In places it is nicely feathered, but in others it is sharp, and in a lot of places it is like there are two lines, sort of a shadow effect?  I may start a thread on this later, to see how you guys do things.

  20181214_203616.jpg  20181214_203648.jpg 

Next came decaling, something I usually enjoy.  The kit came with Cartograf decals, so no real worries there.

Unfortunately, as I was applying the fin flashes, I discovered I had a GA wadded up on the end of my thumb.  This, after already hitting it with the micro-sol, so it was extra-soft.  I don’t know what the neighbour thought, but I’m certain he heard every expletive!  I dipped my thumb back in the bowl of water, and using a couple of brushes, gently teased it all back open, then slid it slowly and carefully back into place.  It almost worked, but if you look you can see the A is slightly crooked, and the top of the G and one lower corner of the A are damaged.  Still, I think I can cover this with a little more chipping.


Stencils.  Funny things.  They are dead fiddly, and maddeningly frustrating, but they are one of those things that really make a kit stand out.  I had already ordered a stencil set from Foxbot.  They’re actually for a U.S. P-40E, but who can tell?!  The Foxbot set is excellent, with plenty of space around each individual stencil, and all clearly numbered with good placement instructions.  It took me all day to complete, crossing each one of the instructions as I went, but once done, is very satisfying. 


Another coat of Klear, and tomorrow I can start the weathering.








Avatar / Picture

Squadron Leader
Posts: 1,212
Reply with quote  #3 

First layer of weathering, a jolly good dousing with Flory sand wash!

Wash on…


And wash off.


I’m particularly pleased with the undersides.  Flory products certainly do the business!


Next I added the gun smoke-stains using Prisma-colour oil-based pencils, blended in with odourless enamel thinners.  Doesn’t look so good in the pics, but it’s not bad on the model itself, though I still think I can do better.  I also added some oil stains and fuel leaks in various places, also with pencils.


After that I coated it with W&N’s matt UV varnish, then hit it all again with more Flory sand wash.  I wanted the wash to really grip to the matt surface, particularly in the decal areas.


After wiping it off I was pleased with the results.  The decals now look as grubby as the rest of the airframe.

  20181217_161343.jpg  20181217_161354.jpg 

Next came a liberal dash of Flory dark sand pigment, concentrating on the wing roots, where the crew would be tramping the desert sand in, and the wheel wells, and the wing area immediately behind them, where the wheels would kick back copious amounts of sand and debris on take-off and landing.


Back to assembly, and the undercarriage.  I added some brake lines with fuse wire, and you can also see the AML p.e. wheel bays.  Though the instructions are poor the parts themselves are very nice, and really bring the otherwise bland Academy wells to life.

  20181217_195432.jpg  20181217_195452.jpg  20181217_195508.jpg 

Four little Brownings, all in a row!  Mr Colour burnt iron was the paint of choice here.


On the home stretch now, just the guns, gun-sights, prop and antennas to fit.


The kit’s pitot probe was way too long, and I trimmed well over half of its length before it looked about right.  In the photo it looks like a tree trunk, and though it’s not quite so bad in reality, I think in future I may look into aftermarket brass ones for other kits.


In almost all P-40 reference pics I have, the real subject has a rather complicated antenna wire system running from the fin to each wingtip.  However, some RAF planes must have had different radio fits, because any I have seen with a radio mast, as mine has, do not have any antenna wires at all, thus saving me a bit of work.


Just before fitting the prop came the AML p.e. ring-and-bead gunsight.  Like all things p.e. they were damn fiddly to fit but looked pretty nice when done.  Unfortunately, just after this pic was taken, I tried to touch them in with middle stone paint and the ring part dislodged itself.  In trying to re-fit it I marmalised it, leaving me with no option but to use the clunky Academy item.


And here she is, finished!  In hindsight I think maybe I overdid the pigment, but other than that I’m pretty pleased.



Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.