A Pair of Airacobras
Eduard's 1/48 scale
P-39D Profipack &
P-39Q Weekend Edition
When I was a kid just learning about WWII aircraft, I thought the P-39 was the neatest looking aircraft ever. With those sleek lines, it just HAD to be the hottest fighter of the war.
Of course I was disappointed to learn otherwise but the trauma of that childhood disappointment aside, I still think the P-39 is a very attractive aircraft.
Having built the several of the Monogram kits, I eagerly awaited the release of Eduard’s state-of-the-art P-39 (but not eagerly enough to continuously ask if anybody knew when it would be released). Since it’s release, I’ve built the two featured here. P-39D ‘Profipack’ I started with the Profipack kit and settled on the P-39D, “Evelyn”. In this boxing, you get a beautiful PE sheet with instrument panels for several different versions and two styles of harnesses. You also get a nose weight, a gorgeous decal sheet with markings for multiple aircraft which makes selection difficult, and Eduard’s vinyl canopy masks which I’ve never liked and didn’t use.
Construction posed only one problem. My research indicated that the left side door was rarely used because the throttle quadrant protruded into the doorway, so I decided to pose the right side door open and close the left side. The problem was, the door was bigger than the opening. So I trimmed the door. And trimmed. And trimmed some more. And when that wasn’t enough, I trimmed even more until I had a good, tight fit. Too tight, as it turned out, but more on that later.
Painting involved pre-shading with black then spraying a camo scheme of AeroMaster dark earth, and green over sky.
The decals were beautiful and went down flawlessly over a the Testor's GlossCoted model. Lightened shades of the base colors, an oil wash, some pastels, a silver pencil and a thinned misting of a sand color completed the weathering.
And then disaster (at least in a modeling sense). I removed the canopy masking and saw a few stress cracks on the left side of the canopy. Over the next few days, more and more stress cracks appeared on the canopy, the windscreen and the left door. Apparently, I didn’t trim the door enough and the fit was too tight, causing the cracks. You may be able to see cracks in some of the pics.
Oh well. I’ve taken this model to several contests with no hope of it placing!