P-40 Fighter Plane

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Project by darkmyble posted 05-03-2018 10:38 AM 1297 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi folks.. here we have a P-40 Plane.

The base plan for this were taken from The Great Book of Wooden Toys by Norm Marshall and Bill Jones.
As per usual I’ve taken those plans and added to them. I thought about how I could make it better. Its a great plan but low in detail so I did what i usually do which is to scour the internet for images of the real thing and see how i can add real life detail to it.

So, having taken inspiration and gleaning information from you lovely people i scoured the internet for blueprints or images that show the P-40 in more detail. I found this image..

This gave me a lot of insight into the location of lots of detail.. and I pondered for quite some time how i could get that detail on to the body..

Whilst continuing to ponder the structure of the plan wasn’t really hard to produce, however i did find that my little bench-top hobby band-saw struggled to produce the compound cut needed to produce the 5 degree vertical cut and taper the rear portion of the plane. I ended up doing that portion on the table saw which was a lot easier.
I guess a larger band-saw with a 1/2|” blade wouldn’t of had any issues, but i found the 1/4” blade struggled.

Anyhow i then set to adding detail. Using the detailed blueprints i’d found i digitally removed parts that i wanted to add and enlarged them so that they matched the size of the toy.. then printed them off and went about adding in pencil all the panel lines etc.

I started in pencil and was initially going to use a marker pen to make these lines more permanent. My thought was that with several coats of Danish oil and then polyurethane the lines would be prominent enough to look the part but having tried it on a scrap piece of wood i wasnt happy with the outcome.

This is when I turned to my pyrography set that my wife had gifted me this last christmas.

I’ve seen lots of work done with pyrography pens etc and i’d expressed an interest in trying it so despite having never using one before i practised on some scrap wood. Mucking about with the plethora of tips i’d got with the kit was quite fun and it wasnt long before i felt confident enough to start on the fuselage, burning in the detailed panel lines etc.

I was really happy with outcome. It looked superb. Granted it might not of been 100% perfect but then I think it didn’t need to be. Adding detail isn’t enough i don’t think, adding character to a piece makes it unique. I don’t wish to produce 100% uniformed pieces, i want people to know they’re made by a human.. not a robot.

Anyhow it soon came together.. and with a few more bits of the plan added…

The same process was added to the wings..

I didn’t want it to be one colour.. I wanted contrast.. so added some dark pigment to the danish oil to get a darker finish..

It was a fairly straight process from here on in.. I found images on the internet for the shark teeth and eyes and printed them off. I’ve found that if i laminate the paper between sellotape and then use scissors to cut the image out it seals the sellotape and stops any subsequent coats of oil and poly seeping in.

I really enjoyed making the bombs.. i did so without the use of a lathe too. Using both my handheld drill and my bench-top sander. I drilled a hole in the top of some 1” dowel and added a 1/4” dowel so the drill could grip and turn the piece. After obtaining the shape i wanted it was just a question of removing the 1/4” dowel and replacing it with a wheel peg and after some shaping cutting and adding some hardwood fins i got to the desired shape and effect.

I added some strong but fine jewellery making wire from the two sets of wings to the vertical wing for some added detail along with cocktail sticks for antenna and then it was coasted in more Danish left to dry before 2 coats of poly with a light sand between each coat. I printed off some personalised logos LEO6 on some sticky back printable acetate which if added to almost dry poly blends in nicely leaving an almost invisible edge.

So there it is folks.. I hope you like it.. it was a fun build. The one thing i really enjoy about woodworking is that through all these tools and processes one can gain so much experience and that to me is a true joy. I’m not a professional nor do i profess to be, and further more i don’t think i ever will be, but as long as i can produce interesting nice pieces that kids enjoy then im happy.

This plane will be in the hands of its new owner a little lad i know who is 6 years old, such a lovely lad and i hope he enjoys playing with it as much as i got from making it.. and despite being 43.. i’ve had a fly through the house and the garden. making the sounds and everything.. haha my wife thinks i’m a nutter.. but i’m just a big kid at heart!

Thank you for reading, thank you for your continued support and kind words..

Peace to all

Mark :)

-- If at first we don't succeed, measure and measure again

14 comments so far

View crowie's profile


3439 posts in 2588 days

#1 posted 05-03-2018 11:12 AM

That looks great Mark.
The pyrographs are clever addition.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View EarlS's profile


3489 posts in 2986 days

#2 posted 05-03-2018 11:23 AM

I wish I had a toy plane like this when I was a kid. The plastic model air planes were fun to build but you really couldn’t play with them. I think I can hear it flying by….

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Underdog's profile


1454 posts in 2673 days

#3 posted 05-03-2018 12:37 PM

Wow! Way to go!
I love your embellishments on this model. It validates my idea of using my pyro pen to add details.

I’ve been having a go at Norm’s stuff too. Those plans lend themselves to the embellishments, yes?

Gotta finish up my Tanker Trucks…

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View bushmaster's profile


3794 posts in 2920 days

#4 posted 05-03-2018 01:53 PM

Love those planes, great job on all the detail.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Eric Haltom's profile

Eric Haltom

30 posts in 661 days

#5 posted 05-03-2018 03:08 PM

So cool! Great job Mark.

-- Eric, Mesa AZ.,

View ralbuck's profile


6380 posts in 2904 days

#6 posted 05-03-2018 04:31 PM

Really well done.

What I like the best; is it is YOUR plan and product!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View MilFlyer's profile


946 posts in 2309 days

#7 posted 05-03-2018 05:56 PM

As a military flyer I have always loved this historic airplane and you’ve done a really great job on this! It really shows some talent that you’ve taken this and made it on your own!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View oldnovice's profile


7522 posts in 4005 days

#8 posted 05-03-2018 06:19 PM

Sniff, do you smell wood burning?
100% perfection, isn’t that something we all try to do?

I don’t believe I could what you did, good job!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View BurlyBob's profile


7070 posts in 2903 days

#9 posted 05-03-2018 06:36 PM

That is truly remarkable. An amazing piece.

View darkmyble's profile


59 posts in 925 days

#10 posted 05-03-2018 07:15 PM

Thank you all.. your kind words are truly appreciated. You are all gentleman. Thank you

-- If at first we don't succeed, measure and measure again

View Woodbridge's profile


3712 posts in 3056 days

#11 posted 05-03-2018 11:43 PM

great plane.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View htl's profile


4924 posts in 1797 days

#12 posted 05-04-2018 12:54 AM

Great job and beautiful project!!!
Can you show us which tips worked best for your burning. Please!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6058 posts in 3047 days

#13 posted 05-04-2018 01:01 AM

Very cool looking, nice work!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Ivan's profile


15600 posts in 3505 days

#14 posted 05-04-2018 06:56 AM

Realy cool toy plane -details are just extraordinary…and this dangerous ’’shark’’ look!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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