P-40E-N Detail Set
Master Model is a Polish company. The owner is Piotr Czerkasow who is a mechanical engineer by trade. Piotr is also a scale modeler. Master model has a broad range of accessories for aircraft, military vehicles and ships in several of the popular scales. In addition they also offer a blackening agent under their Tools and Supplies tab.
I will use this set of turned brass gun barrels and pitot tube on a Hasegawa P-40N. The Hasegawa P-40 series are modular kits that have interchangeable components that allow the building of several variants, depending on what kit is purchased. Many of the same sprues are issued with the various P-40 variants. The wing armament is provided as separate parts that are fixed into the leading edges of each wing. The kit's gun barrels are molded with the gun barrels open, and generally look the part of the real weapons. However, if you wish to carry the build to the next level brass gun barrels are the way to go.
The kit pitot tube appears a bit oversized based on limitations of the injection molding process.
The Air Master set included six turned brass gun barrels, one pitot tube with two types of heads, one very tiny brass bead sight and four photoetched brass ring sights. The P-40N has an external bead gun sight, so the rings may be used on another P-40 variant. Certainly a big plus for the P-40 modeler.
The brass gun barrels are little gems of precision as are the pitot heads. Be careful when removing the parts from the zip lock bag: the bead sight is very small and can be misplaced or lost with very little effort.
The instruction sheet is small but included much useful information for the modeler. The sheet also notes this set is for the P-40E-N series aircraft, and therefore the modeler will need to check their references to determine what pitot head and external gun sights should be used.
Information on the bottom of the instructions shows other Master gun barrels sets that are available for other P-40 variants, such as the B/C US and British versions.
This is not intended to be a full build with painting and finishing, but rather to show the step-by-step process that I used to remove and replace the molded wing armament with the Air Master brass replacement parts.
The first task that should be done is to assemble the wings with the leading edge gun barrel inserts fixed in place. I fixed them in place on to top wing halves only. The top and bottom portions of the wings were held together with tape. Once the solvent has cured follow the Air Master instructions and drill 2 mm openings for the brass gun barrels. This may prove to be a bit tricky for the Hasegawa P-40N kit, but care and patience will pay off.
I started off with a drill bit that matched the small openings in the plastic gun barrels, and gradually worked up to the 2 mm size shown on the instructions. I sanded the faces of the drilled openings with the leading edge of the wing. After a few test fittings of the brass gun barrel I had a match. What a difference the brass parts make in the armament.
You will need a steady hand and sharp eye to assemble the pitot head and tube. Once the head and shaft were assembled I ran a bead of Future at the joint to seal the two parts together. The opening in the wing leading edge is a bit oversized to accommodate the kit plastic part and some filler will be required to fill the gap once the brass pitot is firmly in place. The placement of the tiny bead sight will also require careful handling. It should be noted the kit-furnished bead part will most certainly be ruined when removing the small plastic part from the sprue attachment.
This set is amazing and offers a lot of detail. It is highly recommended for the appropriate P-40. The gun barrels and pitot tube will really enhance the finished model. The gun barrels are not a simple drop into place but will require a bit of surgery to accomplish. The finished product will be well worth the effort.
Thanks to Master Model and IPMS/USA for the review copy. Check out the Master Model web site for retailers worldwide.