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P-39 Kit

Eduard 1/48 P-39N Airacobra Weekend Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2012 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject P-39N Airacobra Scale 1/48
Kit Number 84163 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Very nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $20.00

First Look

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

designed an advanced fighter aircraft in 1938 that featured a 37mm cannon firing through the propeller spinner and different configurations of machine guns 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 (a result of some pre-war politics in the US defense industry). 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.

Eduard has reissued their P-39 Airacobra kit in a 'Weekend' edition. The Weekend edition has the same plastic parts as the other P-39 releases, the difference is the absense of the photo-etched parts. We've previously reviewed this kit and found it to be equal or better than the Hasegawa kit in several areas ( you can see the comparison article here).

Technically this Weekend edition is more like the Accurate Miniatures reboxing of this kit as it didn't include the photo-etch (like this kit), didn't include the nose ballast (like this kit) and charged the same full price as the Eduard fully loaded kit (NOT like this kit). When we reviewed these kits several years ago, they both were retailing around $30.00 USD and today the Hasegawa kit is well over $40 USD and higher on the special releases.

The kit is molded in olive drab styrene and is presented on three parts trees, and one small tree of clear parts. 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, Airacobra Mk.I or P-39L/N. These include the different instrument panel arrangements, machine gun configurations in the upper nose, and different propeller blades. The kit also provides your choice of round or pre-weighted wheels.

The kit includes 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.

Markings are provided for one specific aircraft:

  • P-39N, 100 Guards IAP/9 Guards IAD, 1945, as flown by G. Dolnikov

The decal sheet provides decal instrument faces in place of the photo-etched parts as well as a nice set of airframe stenciling.

Whether you're modeling on a budget or want to build a good P-39 without the complexities of photo-etched parts, these Eduard Weekend editions are the way to go. This kit is still one of Eduard's better kits as it is nicely detailed and not very complex to assemble.

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!