Author Topic: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1  (Read 1319 times)

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Offline NARSES2

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Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« on: June 09, 2018, 02:47:03 am »
All being well I'll be doing a Armee de l'Air H 81-A1 for my France fights on scenario. Not sure yet if she will be based in France during the battles of late Summer/Autumn of 1940 or in Tunisia during the attacks on Italian Lybia in 1941. Whatever it doesn't really effect things.

Need to get the bulk of this done by Tuesday bedtime as the next couple of days are hospital tasked and the following weekend is a social one.
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 12:49:32 pm »
I had to Google that, it's a Curtis Tomahawk, isn't it?
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 01:21:47 am »
I had to Google that, it's a Curtis Tomahawk, isn't it?

Indeed it is Kit. The French had a few hundred on order at the time of the Armistice.

Anyway progress has been made. I've got the internals done and a few other bits painted. In all honesty you don't need to spend to much time on the internals as with not having the option to open the canopy you can see very, very little through its framework. However I still tried to do my standard level of detail (As mentioned previously I think this urge to paint small detail harks back to my days of painting 15/18mm wargame's figures), but turned back from using the Yahu etch French seatbelts I have and just used painted tape.

I'm using the new tool Airfix kit, built it out of the box previously, and apart from two related issues it's a nice one. The two issues ? Firstly it's the slightly soft plastic Airfix use and secondly it's the sprue gate design and location. Some are absolutely fine and almost separate perfectly cleanly just by  looking at them. Others are a pain to put it mildly and take some careful work with a razor saw to remove partially and then clean up with sharp blade and sand paper. If you use cutters the plastic can snap. The worst case is the separate upper cowling, obviously moulded separately to allow for different versions, which has four sprue gates, all moulded to be partially on the surface of the part it'self. There is no way you can separate all four without some damage to the part it'self. Not major and will only require minor p.s.r. , but it's just annoying on an otherwise lovely kit.

As an aside I've not seen this issue addressed in any review I've read of the kit. So maybe it is me and I'm just cocking it up ?
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 06:36:43 am »
Progress is on track, but the next two days I've got hospital appointments, so hopefully back to the job in hand on Friday.
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 06:44:30 am »
She's finished, so firstly the progress shots -

Curtiss Hawk H-81-A1 Armée de l'Air,

In the beginning



End of day 1



End of day 2 showing little bit of filler at root leading edge, down to me



End of day 3



End of day 4



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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2018, 06:46:51 am »
And here she is in all her technicolor glory. Sunglasses might be useful under certain conditions.

The French ordered 100 Curtiss P-40’s on 5th October 1939 and the order was subsequently increased to 230. The first aircraft was completed on 6th June 1940, but by then it was far too late and the order was subsequently transferred to the RAF.

However in my France Fights On scenario a slight tweaking of this actual completion date means that the first of these aircraft could have been available to the Armée de l'Air in time for the battles of late summer and autumn 1940 around the Somme Line and then in central and southern France before the survivors were evacuated to French North Africa in order to continue the fight.

So here we have Curtiss Hawk A81 A-1 flown by L/C Marcel Haegelen in actions around Bourges in Central France during the autumn of 1940. By this time Haegelen had been credited with 4 ½ confirmed German and 1 Italian “kill” so had achieved ace status.

The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed two oddities in the markings of this aircraft. The first is that the type number is shown as P-81 rather than H-81. This has been put down to the Curtiss factory miss-interpreting the French instructions although why this should be the case when they had manage to get the type markings of several hundred H-75’s correct is a mystery ? (in reality my eyesight and hand/eye co-ordination has as much chance getting individual digits of this size in place as a snowflake does of surviving in hell, and I happened to have P-81 handy from the XP-81 I built). The second oddity is that the stork marking on the port fuselage appears to be looking backwards ? Haegelen explained this by saying that as he was always looking over his shoulder and that is why he survived so long then one of the storks should reflect this (in reality it folded over whilst I was putting a clear coat on and I didn’t notice).

The other possible oddity is in the green colour I’ve used for the upper camouflage. Initially this looked way too bright to me, but after looking at some profiles in my copies of French Aircraft in the Planes and Pilots series Hataka may well be correct. There were various official variants of French camouflage colours and a fair few unofficial ones. Hataka include both Vert (which I have used) and Kaki Francais in their French Air Force set and it would appear that most models you see on tables are completed in the Kaki colour. So whilst I still think it’s a little too bright it is still a good match for some of the types in the aforementioned books.

It’s the first time I’ve used Hataka’s “Blue Line” series of paints which are specifically made for brushing and I must say I’m impressed by them.

Markings came from the AZ boxing of the Curtiss Mohawk Mk III/H-75C-1 and the spares box and despite the kits foibles which I’ve mentioned above and my cack handedness at times I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Finished shots











« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 06:49:33 am by NARSES2 »
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Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2018, 10:23:31 am »
 :bow: :drink: :cheers: :cheers:
I love it!!!   Parlez vous?!?!!?!?  Those colors are fab.  ;D ;D


I did indeed notice the P-81 right off the bat....     a worthy explanation if you ask me and I rather like the "added touch" whether it be from a place of convenience or planned. Sometimes it's just easier to come up with some "BS" to explain it than alter things.  :wacko:

I got a chuckle out of the Stork...  every once in awhile a decoration moves or does something weird we simply don't catch it. Normally they don't work out so well, however!!!  My F-15N has one of the little round circled numbers that number the transfers (that do NOT go on to a plane ) that managed to find it's way on to the wing. I didn't mention that, though.  ;D  I didn't even notice until a couple days after pictures. It's staying there.  :rolleyes: ;D



Can't beat a good Hawk!  :mellow: :mellow:
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Offline zenrat

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 12:15:35 am »
Looks great Chris.  Love the colours.
 :thumbsup:

It has me thinking what Impressionist camo would look like.
Fred

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

Offline Mossie

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 08:30:19 am »
A very nearly was.  Great work Chris, I can see a lot of French Hawk variants in your whiff scenario.  I vaguely remember you already have?
I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.

Offline Glenn Gilbertson

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 03:37:10 pm »
That looks great! :thumbsup:
The green looks very similar to that in the old Humbrol Authentics paint range; I think that this green was used in tri-colour upper surface schemes, while a much darker green was used when painting overall.

My 2007 version was based on the ancient FROG kit, and used Humbrol's colours (still usable after all these years!)


« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 05:06:35 pm by Glenn Gilbertson »

Offline joncarrfarrelly

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 05:40:15 pm »


 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline joncarrfarrelly

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 05:57:56 pm »
Looks great Chris.  Love the colours.
 :thumbsup:

It has me thinking what Impressionist camo would look like.

Like WWI camouflage.  :wacko:

Have a trawl throgh Roy Behrens’ blog and dazzle camouflage website:
http://camoupedia.blogspot.com

http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/Camoupedia/DazzleCamouflage/

His three books are excellent.
http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/BobolinkBookshop/FalseColors.html
http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/BobolinkBookshop/Camoupedia.html
http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/BobolinkBookshop/ShipShape.html


"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2018, 02:34:57 am »
A very nearly was.  Great work Chris, I can see a lot of French Hawk variants in your whiff scenario.  I vaguely remember you already have?

I've done a fair bit of French stuff Mossie, but strangely this is the first Wif Hawk. Note I say first  ;D

That looks great! :thumbsup:
The green looks very similar to that in the old Humbrol Authentics paint range; I think that this green was used in tri-colour upper surface schemes, while a much darker green was used when painting overall.


I've done a bit of digging and it would appear that the shade of green used, and the other colour's come to that, might have depended on the manufacturer. I've a fair few of the old Authentics military colours and they are all still usable, even though some of the tins are showing signs of rust.

Looks great Chris.  Love the colours.
 :thumbsup:

It has me thinking what Impressionist camo would look like.

Like WWI camouflage.  :wacko:

Have a trawl throgh Roy Behrens’ blog and dazzle camouflage website:


Absolutely Jon. You wonder what some of the designers were on ? Mind you a lot of the stuff that is now illegal wasn't back then  ;)

Thanks again lads

« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 02:36:39 am by NARSES2 »
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Offline zenrat

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Re: Armee de l'Air H 81-A1
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2018, 02:40:13 am »
Looks great Chris.  Love the colours.
 :thumbsup:

It has me thinking what Impressionist camo would look like.

Like WWI camouflage.  :wacko:

Have a trawl throgh Roy Behrens’ blog and dazzle camouflage website:
http://camoupedia.blogspot.com

http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/Camoupedia/DazzleCamouflage/

His three books are excellent.
http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/BobolinkBookshop/FalseColors.html
http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/BobolinkBookshop/Camoupedia.html
http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/BobolinkBookshop/ShipShape.html




Thanks Jon.  Bookmarked for when I have more time.
Fred

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.