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P-39 Kit

Eduard 1/48 Airacobra Mk.I Dual Combo Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2006 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject P-39 Airacobra Mk.I Dual Combo Scale 1/48
Kit Number 1120 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Very nicely detailed kit - two complete kits in one box Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

P-39 Kit
P-39 Kit
P-39 Kit
P-39 Kit
P-39 Kit
P-39 Kit
P-39 Kit
P-39 Kit

Bell designed an advanced fighter aircraft in 1938 that featured a 37mm cannon firing through the propeller spinner and different configurations of machine guns in or under the wings, depending on the version. The engine was mounted behind the pilot, with the propeller shaft running under the pilot's seat and between his legs. The aircraft incorporated one of the first nosegear arrangements on an operational fighter.

The aircraft was initially destined for France, but after that country surrendered to Germany, deliveries were instead routed to the RAF. In operations, the RAF didn't care for the aircraft. It lacked performance above 12,000 feet and the Allison engine was not supercharged. Nevertheless, the USSR employed the aircraft extensively as it was found to be a worthy fighter in Soviet service until MiG and Yak production could ramp up and the Soviets received over half of the total P-39 production. The US also had good success with the P-39 once its strengths were properly employed. Below 10,000 feet, the aircraft was more than a match for the early A6M Zero.

Last year, I picked up the Profipack version of Eduard's P-39 Airacobra (reviewed here) and was very impressed with the quality of the molding. Up until this kit came around, the best P-39 in any scale was the still-decent Monogram 1/48 Airacobra, but the Eduard release had applied current design standards to the subject and we now have scribed details, photo-etch in the box, and even ballast to keep the kit sitting firmly on its nosegear.

So what's different about this release? Four things:

  1. Two complete kits in one box
  2. Color photo-etch and more photo-etch for each kit
  3. New RAF and Soviet AF subjects
  4. Two sets of the new yellow tape masks

The kit is molded in olive drab styrene and is presented on three parts trees, one small tree of clear parts, and two frets of photo-etched details. As with all of Eduard's kits, this one has nicely scribed details and a variety of options included.

Straight from the box, parts are included for the P-400 AND Airacobra Mk.I. These include the different instrument panel arrangements, machine gun configurations in the upper nose, and different propeller blades.

Recognizing that the kit would be a dedicated tail-sitter, Eduard has provided a molded metal ballast for installation in the nose gun bay. The kit also provides your choice of round or pre-weighted wheels.

The kit provides separately molded cockpit 'car' doors in clear. These eliminate the messy step of installing clear windows in the doors. These can be positioned open or closed.

A nice set of Eduard paint masks are included for the windows, RAF ID stripes, etc.

Markings are provided for six specific aircraft:

  • Airacobra Mk.I, AH601, 601 Sqn, UF, RAF Duxford, 1941
  • Airacobra Mk.I, AH585, 601 Sqn, UF-O, RAF Duxford, 1941
  • Airacobra Mk.I, BX228, 19 GIAP, 14th Army, Soviet AF, 1942
  • Airacobra Mk.I, AH636, 19 GIAP, 14th Army, Soviet AF, 1942
  • P-400, White 95, 2 GIAP, Northern Fleet, Soviet AF, 1942/43
  • P-400, Red 77, Unk IAP, Northern Fleet, Soviet AF, 1942/43

This limited edition Combo Pack is two complete Profipacks in one box. If you're a P-39 lover, this set is worth getting while they are available! If you'll note that a single-kit Profipack has an MSRP of $39.95 USD, for $10.00 more, you're getting TWO Profipacks. How cool is that?