Hasegawa 1/48 P-40E Warhawk
|NOTES:||Superscale 48-492 Decals used|
I am not going to dwell into lots
of details about George Preddy’s story with the P-40. Tom Cleaver’s article (kit
09086) in Modeling Madness retells the actions in which the 49th
Group was involved in
George Preddy later became the third highest scoring American ace in the ETO, the seventh highest scoring American ace, and is the top P-51 Mustang ace.
But let me share with you the story BEFORE
George Preddy was born in
An example of his good heart is that when he learnt that one of his new friends at the YMCA had lost his mother some years ago, he offered him to live with the Preddy family, which “Bozo” Boaz happily accepted.
George worked at the cotton mill to save money
for his College studies. He was president of a social club while in high school.
It was called the GUB Club. And here were some of his great friends: Bozo,
George and Otto built a tree house and hung ropes from trees. They moved from tree to tree like monkeys. They were also always fighting, most of the times George losing to the larger football player Otto. But George never gave up!
College was a means for George to learn to fly.
Three years after he graduated from high school he was able to fly for the first
time. Hal Foster, a friend of the family took him on a ride to
His instructor was Bill Teague, who owned a
His father granted him permission to try to
enter the Navy and became an aviator (
He decided to improve his body by strict exercise and his height by getting Bill and Bozo to pull from him! During the summer of 1940 they finally went on the barnstorm tour. One incident that happened during the trips around the mountains is that they found that a little girl was very ill with pneumonia. At no cost, they flew her to the closest airport. Later on they learnt that the girl had fully recovered.
that he was going to fly in fast planes, he passed the exams at the Army Air
Corps. He enlisted as a cadet in the National Guard. Immediately he asked to be
transferred to the Air Corps, but weeks passed before they answered. Just before
his unit was going to be transferred to
Slowly and steadily he made progress, flying ever-faster planes. Just 5 days after the Japanese attack to Pearl Harbor, George and his friends received their wings and he was transferred to the 49th Pursuit Group, 9th Pursuit Squadron (with P-39 Aircobras).
From this point onwards, you can
read Preddy’s story in
After the accident and his recovery, his was
sent to rest to the States. On
In those monsters he flew in the ETO during
1943, obtaining his first confirmed kill and being shot down into the
After his exploits as fighter pilot flying
Mustangs, he was licensed for some weeks and returned to the
When he went back to the ETO, he became Leader of the 328th Squadron. Flying one the Mustangs and after achieving 4 more victories, he was shot down and killed by friendly anti aircraft batteries while chasing a FW190 low over the Ardennes on December 24th, 1944.
Now, you may wonder what is my personal relation with George Preddy?
Well, in 2007 I had to travel from
So back to work, then to
I decided to build George’s last Mustang (published elsewhere with support from the PMF).
Last year (2009) I had to
repeat the same trip to
After the passing of Otto’s second wife some months ago, he moved to a house close to his daughters in Chapel Hill, NC and is not able to take care of the Preddy’s display at the airport anymore.
I have framed on the prints, gave the second one to one of my Argentina’s Air Force veteran friend and decided to make a little memorial at home to remember George Preddy. So I printed George’s picture that Otto likes the most, framed it and placed it along Cripes A’Mighty 3rd, the pin and now…Tarheel.
This article is dedicated to Otto Gaskins, who is a shinning example of loyalty and friendship. After all those years, Otto is still helping to keep his best friends’ memory alive.
Hasegawa’s Kittyhawk has decals to build 2 of Neville Duke’s North Africa planes. I searched for a P-40 that would allow me to build George first fighter…and my friends from Hornet Hobbies in Toronto found the Hase Kittyhawk. Wrong decals, but every single part that allows you to make the correct P-40…and many more! Two different types of rudder are supplied, along with different intakes and bits that allow you to build several configurations. From my point of view, good to have those options but the problem is that it is over engineered and therefore there are several unions of parts that need to be sanded out. More below…
Like always, I pre painted all the interiors (cockpit, wheel wells, air intakes) in US Interior Green. Everything fits really well. I added some PE seat belts from the spares. Instrument panel was painted in black, dry brushed in silver and drops of Future were added to replicate the face of the gauges.
I put together the fuselage halves and added the back part of the fuselage (there is a small gap that I filled with Putty). In this picture you can also appreciate the amount of filler used to cover the gaps between fuselage and supplied headrest area.
Then I continued with the wings. Nothing special except some heavy use of Putty again, this time around the machine guns inserts.
There was a tiny gap in the top union of the wings and fuselage that I corrected using Acrylic base, a brush and a damp cloth.
Construction moved ahead pretty fast with no other problem found except the ordinary sanding here and there.
The plane was ready to be painted.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
After masking the cockpit and areas to be protected, I tried to pre shade all the panel lines. Something I had not tried in many years. It was not that bad!
Then I gave the undersides a coat in Neutral Gray (MM Acrylic 4757), taking care to leave the black lines somehow visible (but I was not very successful on this side of the plane)
I masked the undersides and moved to the topside. Here Olive Drab (MM Acrylic 4728) worked much better and managed to get a decent, though subtle, pre shade.
Using sanded black and rust pastels and a brush I dirtied the plane here and there (exhausts, machine guns, moveable surfaces, etc).
I added the wheels and gave the kit a coat of Future. After the application of Future I added some “chipping” with a silver pen.
I stated in the initial information, I used Superscale decals. The Superscale set represents the first version of George’s Tarheel, before the puffing dragon was added to the right side of the nose.
They adhere very well, have good registry but…the white has lots of “pixels” and it does not back the blue color completely (national insignias) so you end up with two shades of blue…a lighter in the center and a darker “rim”.
They went very well with Set and Sol and conformed very well to the panels.
One thing missing in the SuperScale set (probably because they assume you’ve bought an American kit and not a British one…ahem!) is the “U.S. Army” lettering for the undersides.
As I had built the Otaki P-40 many years ago, I was able to retrieve these decals. But they were yellowed. So I had to trim all the clear carrier film, one by one, and put them in place. Instead of putting 2 decals, I had to apply 8! But they withstood very well my treatment.
The standard steps to finish the plane took place:
Propeller, propeller hub, wheels, wheels doors, antenna, gunsight, canopy and details here and there.
I painted the formation lights and the plane was finished when I glued the windshield.
An excellent kit, easy to assemble as any Tamigawa one!
George Preddy, Top Mustang Ace (Joe Noah and Samuel L. Sox, Jr)
Preddy Memorial Foundation website
Conversations with Otto Gaskins and his daughter Twink Lester
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