Hasegawa 1/48 scale P-40 E "Bob's Robin"
Lt Robert Vaught 9 FS/49 FG - Darwin, Australia, 1942
The Kit
The Hasegawa kit is still a real beauty.  This is my 3rd Hasegawa P-40... an N and 2 E's.  Released just a couple of years ago it is still at the forefront of the newer kits that's are coming out.   That's not to say it is not without a few little problem areas. I did notice, after having built this when it first came out and now a couple of years later, a few of the ejector pin marks that had to be dealt with may have been a littler deeper or taller... depending whether they were innies or outies. 

The kit has fuselage inserts to facilitate the release of different versions down the road.  The basic fuselage is made up of 6 pieces.  2 front halves, 2 tail halves and 2 pieces for the rear canopy area.  None of the seams from the inserts coincide with any panel lines.  Making 2 complete fuselage halves is the best route to take.  Fit the parts so that, 1) the engraved panel lines lineup and 2) at the same time lineup the surface, what would be the skin of the fuselage, so there isn't any step from one surface to the other.  This will save a lot of work when it comes to filling, filing and sanding.   Doing this may make a gap along the center line on the top or bottom.  But this is easily dealt with in the same manner you need to on most other kits.   On this build, I didn't need any putty on the insets and just a small bit on the top seam behind the top insert.  Rescribing is a simple task since there are nice straight lines that just need to be reconnected.

The wing guns are a separate insert.  before you groan, " Not ANOTHER insert....?" The fit isn't bad with minor touching up needed.  the advantage here is the guns tubes are molded as part of the insert that is a part of the leading edge, top and bottom.  Much easier to fix a seam 1/4 inch back from the leading edge instead of trying to sand the side of the tubes and the seam between the guns.

The small inserts on the front of the cowl sit a little low.  This is once again done for different versions of the P-40, like the N that has vents in these small panels.  Put a small dab of putty in the recess, not so much that it oozes out, and press the insert in so it is flush.  A little Tenax around the edge will cure it in this position so it can be sanded smooth and rescribed.
Aries resin cockpit with some Mike Grant placards.
PE details and brake lines added to the LG.
Airframe was preshaded with black.  The topside is got some darkened OD, then some white was added to go over the panels to fade them a bit.  Bottoms is medium gray, also faded a little.
Landing light refactors added.

Click here to see the "How To"