On the Bench: 1/32 Hasegawa P-40F Warhawk

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk The Curtiss P-40 is one of the few aircraft that is simultaneously vaunted and shafted by history. On the one hand, it was the fighter immortalized by Claire Chennault’s American Volunteer Group – more excitingly known as the “Flying Tigers”. On the other hand, it’s basically all but ignored for its…

On the Bench: 1/350 BB-56 USS Washington

The USS Washington – BB-56 Guadalcanal is usually associated with Marines and bonzai charges, but it was the Navy that bore the brunt of the casualties in the waters off the island. And it didn’t go especially well. Thanks to Marine control of Henderson Field, and the heroic efforts of the Cactus Air Force, the…

On the Bench – A Fine Pair of Jugs

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt What can I say about the P-47 that hasn’t already been said? It’s my favorite plane. It’s a bruiser of an aircraft, with eight .50 cal machine guns and  a staggering capacity for absorbing damage and staying in the air. It’s been too long since I’ve built a Jug, so how…

Aftermarket – Grey Matter 1/32 P-51D Tires

As I’ve written before, Tamiya’s 1/32 P-51D Mustang is an astonishing kit on most every level. But no kit is perfect, and the big Tamiyastang’s biggest flaw is easily its rubber tires. Actually not the tires themselves, but the thin mold seam than runs the circumference. From experience with the Spitfire Mk.VIII, this seam is…

Future Build Preview: PBJ-1J Mitchell

In the early days of World War II, the U.S. Navy realized that it had need of a land-based bomber force to support its operations, particularly in the roles of anti-shipping and anti-submarine warfare. Of course, the USAAF wanted its bombers all to itself – most famously Hap Arnold’s hoarding of B-17s to support the…

Tamiya Spitfire Mk.VIII Build Report 2: Merlin Build-Up

One thing most nations discovered during the course of World War II was that engines mattered. A lot. In fighter aircraft especially, the choice of engine could decide whether a new airframe turned into a war-winner, or got relegated to secondary theaters and lesser allies. The Spitfire never had to worry about that. It started…

Tamiya Spitfire Mk.VIII Build Report 1: Cockpit and Main Airframe Assembly

Is it possible to be a modeling adrenaline junkie? It seems that, after coming back to the hobby last year, I’ve been hurling myself at challenge after challenge, barreling right into situations that used to intimidate the bejesus out of me. In the last six months alone, I’ve tackled my first open-turret armor, my first…