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Guadalcanal Cobras Dual Combo Kit

Eduard 1/48 Guadalcanal Cobras Dual Combo Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2015 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Bell P-39 Airacobra Scale 1/48
Kit Number 1161 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch, Resin
Pros Very nicely detailed kits Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $59.95

First Look

Guadalcanal Cobras Dual Combo Kit
Guadalcanal Cobras Dual Combo Kit
Guadalcanal Cobras Dual Combo Kit
Guadalcanal Cobras Dual Combo Kit
Guadalcanal Cobras Dual Combo 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.

It is hard for me to believe that my Eduard P-39s are now a decade older! We first looked at this kit back in 2005 and contrasted it against the Hasegawa and Monogram Airacobra kits here. Despite a few minor glitches, this kit was (and still is) my favorite P-39 kit in 1/48 scale. Here is a reissue of that kit but it isn't a true reissue, it has been updated. Let's take a look:

The kit is molded in gray styrene and is presented on three parts trees plus one small tree of clear parts, one fret of color-printed photo-etched details, five resin parts cast in gray, and two frets of unpainted photo-etch. Since this kit is actually a 'Dual Combo' (two complete kits), there are double the above number of parts (duplicates not shown). As with all of Eduard's kits, this one has nicely scribed details and a variety of options included.

Among the features and options:

  • Detailed cockpit w/color-photo-etched details
  • Positionable cockpit access doors
  • Detailed radiators
  • Detailed landing gear and wells
  • Optional bomb or external fuel tank on centerline

Markings are provided for seven aircraft:

  • P-400, BW151, 67 FS/347 FG, 13, Guadalcanal, 1942, 'Hells Bells'
  • P-400, BW146, 347 FG, 66, Guadalcanal, 1944, 'Old 66'
  • P-400, BW146, 67 FS/347 FG, 20, New Caledonia, 1942, 'Whistlin Britches'
  • P-39D, 41-38484, 12 FS/18 FG, 246, Guadalcanal, 1944, 'Daisy Mae'
  • P-39F, unknown, 70 FS/347 FG, 21, Fiji and Guadalcanal, 1942/43
  • P-39F, unknown, 67 FS/247 FG, 80, Panama Canal Zone, 1943, 'Pepper'
  • P-39K, 42-4275, 70 FS/18 FG, 28, Guadalcanal, 1943, 'Short Stroke'

The Profipacks are the best of the releases from Eduard as they already include a full set of photo-etched details, masks, and an impressive decal sheet. This Dual Combo is really two Profipacks in one box. You'll definitely want one of these P-39 kits for your collection!