Hasegawa has started a beautiful series of P-40 Warhawks beginning with the E Model. This kit came in a box with Sharkmouth artwork so I had to get it. Eduard has come to the challenge of helping detail this kit with several products which include an interior set (pre-painted parts), a flap set (subject of this review) and paint mask set.
This set comes in Eduard’s new packaging. While still a plastic-wrapped cardboard header, the plastic wrapping is resealable. Look closely at the lower rear edge and you will note the flap which can be used to carefully slide out the parts. So I will no longer bend the frets as I tear into the package!
Before working with photo-etched parts, I gather my tools. These include good tweezers, flat and round nose pliers, a sharp curved blade, a cutting board, and eye protection.To make my job easier by minimizing parts launch, I am using The Small Shop’s PE Parts Cutting Set, their 2” Hold 'n Fold tool, along with a scalpel with a number 10 blade.
To attach items, this set only requires liquid cement, Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue, and cellulose glue (such as Elmer’s White Glue). Very small items can be attached by softening the plastic with the liquid cement and then touching the edge with a micro-drop of CA. I use a darning needle to apply the micro-drop but a similar tool can be made by cutting or filing a tiny ‘V’ shaped cutout on the wide end of a flat toothpick. Elmer’s was used whenever a part was being tested for fit but needed to be removed. Using a cotton swab dipped in hot water usually releases the part quickly.
Sometimes a very strong bond is needed and for this I either apply epoxy cement or solder. Luckily, this is not needed here.
Building the flaps
The instructions are two pages and are mostly clear. The order of the folds should be thought out before applying, since bending back and forth may cause the part to break at the fold line.
The detail etched into the parts is fantastic. The fold lines are clear as well. The ribs on the flaps are slightly raised allowing me to slide the scalpel blade close enough that no nibs are left over after cutting. If the need arises to file a nib off, use the bending tool to hold the part with only the nib protruding.
Photo 1 shows the flap on the fret and the completed item at right. The nibs you see were filed off and are the result of the folding method employed by Eduard. In photo 2, we see that the ends are already folded up and the rib structure is about to be folded onto the flap skin. I used the bending tool to clamp the rib structure tight onto the skin and no glue was necessary.
Comparing to photo 2, we see, in photo 3, me folding the ribs themselves onto the rib structure.Note that the ribs are held together by a span. This is what is folded over. Photo 4 shows me clamping down the ribs onto the rib structure using the Hold 'n Fold.
Now, using my tweezers, I twist each rib and place it onto the appropriate structure. Diluted white glue is used to ensure that the rib does not lift. Photo 6 shows the result.
Now we tackle the flap bay. Again, the sides are folded first, then the leading edge. Note that there are vertical grooves on the leading edge to help ensure placement of the ribs later - see photo 7. The next photo shows the ribs already in place and photo 9 the span wise stiffeners. I stopped here because I need to get 0.2mm rod before adding the last panel.
I had both sets ready for the aircraft in less than half an hour. This includes time used to take photos. I highly recommend this set as easy to use and great-looking. Compared to photos in Squadron’s P-40 Walkaround and Rossagraph’s P-40E book, the flaps are very accurate. Well done Eduard!
Eduard has been doing some innovative origami techniques to facilitate the use of their sets.