P-40K 'Flamin' Mame' Amchitka



Aircraft: Curtiss P-40K-1-CU Warhawk 42-45949, 343rd Fighter Group, 18th fighter squadron, US Army Air Force, Amchitka Island, autumn 1943, pilot Lt. Paul G. Budesa.

References: from the 1943 photographs provided by Karl Budesa (above and below). This aircraft would have had the factory applied blue roundel with white star (1942), modified in spring 1943 to include white bars and the red surround, and finally the blue surround added autumn 1943 - leaving the blue roundel quite faded compared to the dark blue surround as in the image of 'Dell', above.

Kit: Hasegawa #08079 1/32.

Accessories/modifications: Eduard seatbelts (here), gunsight from music wire.

Paint: Tamiya acrylic, Alclad Aluminum II, weathering by oil wash and silver Prismacolor pencil, Testor's Dullcoat from spray can.

Decals: National marks, white bars and underwing 'U.S. ARMY' lettering with Tamiya paint and AdAstra masks. Nose art custom decal by ILJ (here), Techmod US yellow serial numbers (48807).

Issues: I think 42-45949 was a commonwealth scheme aircraft (Dupont dark earth and medium green), as suggested by the patches of the 'dark [sic] earth' on the tailplane and top of engine cowling (images below and above). Alternatively, substitute parts (e.g., the engine cowling top, rudder and trim tab) could have been added to repair a damaged uniform olive drab aircraft (e.g., 42-45943, here) with faded paint overall, or the aircraft could have been overall very faded olive drab with fresh dark olive drab and medium green patches. The unusual paint patches on the rudder suggest it was a replacement item, with an overpaint to correct the aircraft's serial number. Photos also suggest the sides of engine cowling were painted over with fresh matt olive drab before application of the 'Flamin' Mame' logo nose art, as on other aircraft in the group. Several of the reference photos show a contrast between the matt cowling and the glossy remainder of the aircraft (note the light tan/sand shade of 'earth' - colour selected for the model - photos of Aleutian P-40s show this). Aleutian P-40s had treaded tires (not available yet as a resin aftermarket item).

42-45949 in flight, summer 1943.

Parked aircraft at Amchika, summer 1943 (42-45949 in foreground, before the logo 'Flamin' Mame' was applied to its engine cowlings).

Parked aircraft at Amchika, late-autumn 1943 or early 1944 (42-45949 'Flamin' Mame' is at far right)

All period images courtesy of Karl Budesa.


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