Here are some pics of two kits of Golden Age aircraft from opposite sides of the globe, both in 1/48 scale. First up is an Academy Boeing P 26 . I built this a few years back- can't remember when. Straight from the box except for the addition of flying/landing wires of stainless steel wire. I believe the paint is the wonderful Gunze acrylics from a time when you could still buy them in the USA. The white portion of the blaze on the cowl, fuselage, wheel pants, headrest and tail is paint - the black portion and the black leading edge scallops and the rest of the markings are the kit decals.
The next batch is my recently completed FineMolds Mitsubishi Ka 14 prototype as covered in my build log. Again, straight out of the box. Black cowl and wingtips and red tail surfaces are custom mixes of Tamiya gloss and flat acrylics rubbed out with Blue Magic polishing compound after curing. Main gear fairings are Vallejo MetalColor acrylics. The rest is Bare Metal Foil Matte Aluminum.
It is interesting to compare the top speeds of these two aircraft - they are both very similar yet had vastly different maximum speeds. They were both powered by 600 HP radials but the Ka 14 achieved 279 mph against the P 26's 234. Granted , the P-26's first flight predates the Ka 14's by a few years - ( 1932 vs 1935 ) - still , 45 mph is a significant amount. It is also interesting that in the Ka 14's ultimate production form - the A 5M - top speed had dropped back down to the 235 mph range. Why the difference ? I'm not certain. I'm sure the Ka 14 was aerodynamically cleaner and perhaps lighter but I suspect the fact that the Ka 14's engine with reduction gear presumably swinging a larger , more efficient prop had much to do with it. The second prototype did away with the reduction gear and the inverted gull wings. Fun stuff for airplane geeks like me to ponder!