P-39K/N in 1/48...
...a new Weekend series kit from Eduard
Kit reference 84161 is another release from Eduard in their Weekend series of kits. These are straight plastic kits without the addition of the masks and etch details of their ProfiPack series. The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the more unusual designs of WW2 aircraft for having a mid-mounted engine and a centrally mounted heavy cannon armament. The RAF ordered a significant number of the P-39 but it didn't give the performance they needed and over 200 were sent on to the Soviet Union, where it was used in some numbers as the US also supplied them. The USAAF made use of them in North Africa, Italy and the Pacific.
The build starts with the cockpit which is well detailed, and transfers are provided for the instrument panel and the seatbelts for the pilot's seat. There is a reminder to add some weight in the nose when you join the fuselage halves together if you want the completed model to be able to sit correctly on the tricycle undercarriage. Talking of the undercarriage, it is good to see Eduard supply option for the wheels, with 'weighted' tyres. There is also a choice of an extra fuel tank or a bomb to be mounted under the centreline. The final stages include an choice of propeller blade styles depending on which marking option you go for. The cockpit transparency is nice and clear, and is interesting and a little unusual as it has the access doors on both sides, and these can be fitted open or closed. Fitting them open will allow that cockpit detail to be more easily seen.
There are two options provided for in terms of colours and markings, both USAAF machines in New Guinea during 1943.
A. P-39N, s/n 42-18805, flown by Capt. G. A. Hilbert of the 41st FS, 35th FG flying from Tsili Tsili Air Base on New Guinea during September 1943. With Olive Drab upper surface and light grey undersides, it also has an all-white tail plus a yellow spinner and fin tip.
B. P-39K, s/n 42-4358, flown by Lt. W. McDonough, 40th FS, 35th FG at Port Moresby, New Guinea during February 1943. Overall Olive Drab with light grey undersides along with a red spinner and fin tip plus some great cartoon duck nose art.
The final page of the instruction carries the positions of all the airframe stencils, which are provided and are a common feature to modern kits, adding to the task of applying all those transfers.
Thanks to Eduard for this example.