Eduard 1/48 P-400 Airacobra Weekend Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Very nicely detailed 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 P-400 was specifically a P-39D built to UK specifications. 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). When US aircrews entered the theater, they operated the P-400s as well as the P-39s that came over into combat. 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, with the Soviets receiving over half of the total P-39 production.
Eduard has reissued their P-39/P-400 Airacobra '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), and didn't include the nose ballast (like this kit). When we reviewed these kits several years ago, they both were retailing around $30.00 USD and today the Hasegawa kit has been out of production for a while.
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 two aircraft:
- P-400, AP287, 36 FS/8 FG, New Guinea, 1943, 'Air-A-Cutie'
- P-400, unknown, 91 FS/81 FG, Tunisia, 1943
The decal sheet provides 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-400 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!