Bell P-39D/P-39F/P-39K Airacobra
Brengun, 1/144 scale
Reviewed by David Couche
Eduard's 1/72 Avia B.534 IV serie Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com
The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States entered World War II. The P-39 was used by the Soviet Air Force, and enabled individual Soviet pilots to collect the highest number of kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type flown by any pilot in any conflict. Other major users of the type included the Free French, the Royal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.
Designed by Bell Aircraft, it had an innovative layout, with the engine installed in the centre fuselage, behind the pilot, and driving a tractor propeller via a long shaft. It was also the first fighter fitted with a tricycle undercarriage. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the absence of an efficient turbo-supercharger, preventing it from performing high-altitude work. For this reason it was rejected by the RAF for use over Western Europe but adopted by the USSR where most air combat took place at medium and lower altitudes.
The P-39 was an all-metal, low-wing, single-engine fighter, with a tricycle undercarriage and an Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled V-12 engine mounted in the central fuselage, directly behind the cockpit.
Brengun have produced a nice little kit of the P-39D/F/K versions, and I mean a little kit as the finished aircraft will be very small indeed.
There are two sprues holding 30 parts for this kit. The wing is one piece with the fuselage to be added to it. There are some minor shrink marks on the wing due to the thickness of the plastic but these should be removed or cleaned up fairly easily.
The cockpit is a simple 4 piece affair and with that together the fuselage can be joined. The mouldings have recessed panel lines, which to me, is a bit oversize for the scale, as well as raised detail when required. The bulk of the parts go into the making of the undercarriage and the wheel doors.
The one piece clear canopy as a texture like finish and will certainly benefit from a polish up at the construction stage.
The instructions are a double sided A5sheet with only 4 simple steps in the construction process.
The kit offers you 4 aircraft schemes, with them being;
- P-39K, New Guinea, 1943 – Donald Duck nose art (picture above)
- P-39F-1, Alaska, 1942
- P-39D, New Guinea, 1942, ‘Sun Setter” (picture above)
- P-39K-1, Kuban, April, 1943
Decals are well printed and in register on my sample.
Brengun has produced a really cute little kit of the P-39. Yes, it will need some caressing to create a great model but the foundation is there. The real challenge here is, that these schemes are all for heavily weathered airframes so with some really careful and creative painting you will end up with a nice 1/144 Airacobra. For fellow 1/144 modellers, yes I would recommend this kit.
Thanks to Brengun for the review sample.
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2019 by David Couche
Page Created 27 May, 2019
28 May, 2019
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