Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk Production Color Photographs Part II

A series of color photographs detailing the production of early P-40 Warhawks at the Curtiss-Wright Plant at Buffalo, New York, Summer 1941.  With war in Europe and U.S. Army Air Corps orders exceeding the normal capacity of the plant, production spilled out into the open air around the factory.  LIFE Magazine photographer Dmitri Kessel took this series of pictures, part II.

A busy photograph showing aircraft in various stages of completion outside the Buffalo plant. This photograph is often shown reversed, but the fuselage access door under the insignia was on the aircraft’s port side.
A good view of workstands for the diorama builder.
Workers posing for the photographer with an unpainted Warhawk.
Several details visible here, the engine has leaked a lot of fluid.
Watertower with the Curtiss logo. A wide variety of completion progress between the airframes visible here.
Two fuselages on stands outside the plant.
Even the area outside the plant was crowded, although not as badly as inside.
Another photograph normally seen reversed, given away by the pitot tube on the port wing of the aircraft in the background.
Details of the engine, with the assembly number marked on the cowling.
A view of the paint shop, with components being coated with zinc chromate primer.
The transportation arrangement for the trip to the Buffalo airport.
When transporting the aircraft by truck wasn’t fast enough, the aircraft were flown to the Buffalo airport from the Curtiss parking lot. A P-40 takes off in the background.

Revell Focke-Wulf Flitzer Whiffer in 1/72 Scale

The Focke-Wulf Flitzer design had entered the mock-up phase at the end of the war in Europe.  It shares the same general configuration as the successful DeHavilland Vampire, but early drawings added a liquid-fueled rocked for added acceleration.  This feature would likely have been dropped on production aircraft.  I also thought the wings looked a bit short and extended them both by about ¾ of an inch (18 mm) at the tips.

The aircraft is painted in a late-war camouflage scheme with the blue-white-blue Reich’s Defense Bands of JG 300.  The Ruhrstahl X-4 air-to-air missiles are spares from Revell P.1101 kits.

Military Modelers Club Louisville 2021 IPMS Model Show

Yesterday was the Military Modelers Club of Louisville 2021 Model Show.  This was the second show in IPMS Region IV since Covid (the first being the Roscoe Turner show in Indianapolis).  This show continued the trend of clubs re-thinking their site paradigms and was relocated to a much larger venue, the Triple Crown Pavilion & Convention Center.  The bigger venue and the general desire to get out again resulted in a very successful show and an MMCL club record of 481 entries.  The drive down was rainy but by the afternoon the skies had cleared and the day was beautiful.  The club is justifiably famous for their outstanding raffle and this one did not disappoint.  Overall a fine day out!

Revell Focke-Wulf Flitzer Build Part II

Here the Flitzer has been primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000, checked for flaws, and re-scribed as needed. With the extended wings the general configuration even more closely resembles the DeHaviland Vampire.
I painted the Flitzer in the late-war scheme of 76 / 81 / 82 with the light green fuselage color mixed from 81 and white. The Reich’s Defense bands are the blue / white / blue of JG 300.
Decals are from the spares box, but follow late-war standard Luftwaffe marking paradigms.
I cut out the flaps and replaced them with plastic card so I could show them dropped. The Ruhrstahl X-4 air-to-air missiles are spares from the Revell P.1101 kits. I had intended to add drop tanks as well but the Fitzer was looking a little busy under the wings so I decided to leave them off.

Dragon Focke-Wulf Ta 152 H-0 of Oberfeldwebel Walter Loos in 1/72 Scale

Walter Loos didn’t join his first operational unit until January 1944, and was one of the few late arrivals to survive the war.  He served with the Sturmgruppe IV./JG 3, whose mission was to penetrate the massed American bomber formations in heavily armored Focke-Wulf Fw 190’s and engage the bombers at close range.  While he was credited with destroying 22 heavy bombers, he was himself shot down 9 times.  He was credited with a final score of 38 aerial victories.

The model represents Loos’ Ta 152H-0 of Stab/JG 301 based at Neustadt-Glewe in Germany during April 1945.

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Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk Production Color Photographs Part I

A series of color photographs detailing the production of early P-40 Warhawks at the Curtiss-Wright Plant at Buffalo, New York, Summer 1941.  With war in Europe and U.S. Army Air Corps orders exceeding the normal capacity of the plant, production spilled out into the open air around the factory.  LIFE Magazine photographer Dmitri Kessel took this series of pictures.

The assembly line moves outside, which makes engine tests a bit easier.
Tail assemblies in primer.
Wing assemblies, showing useful details of the flaps and wheel wells.
Fitting the canvas cover into the wheel well in the wing. These were sometimes removed in the field.
Working on the underside of the wing panels. Flap details are visible again in the background.
Crowded conditions inside the plant. Note the style and color of the “ARMY” lettering under the port wing, “U.S.” was under the starboard.
Stacks of wing spars.
Fuselages early in the construction process.
Fuselages in various stages of completion, again note the crowded conditions.
Engine tests outside. Note the identification code taped to the fuselage in the foreground.
Tanks in the paint shop receiving primer.
A bonus photograph of a wingtip from another Curtiss design, a rather obscure type in production at the same time as the Warhawks. Any guesses as to the aircraft?