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Eduard's 1/48 scale
Bell P-39N Airacobra

by Dušan Machan


Bell P-39N Airacobra


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Here is Eduard´s 1/48 scale P-39N Airacobra finished in the marking of Col. A.I. Pokryshkin, Commander of the 9th GIAD, VVS.

The Eduard kit itself has already been described by many expert modellers however I would like to add several comments based on my encounters while building the model which have not been mentioned before. Or perhaps I failed to find and read the right articles!




Open Doors

The automobile type door are very nice when opened but from the point of my view not both sides at once. The Airacobra in such case looks like a jet with airbrakes in action. This is a case of numerous images of/and Airacobra models I have seen. And that was a reason for my opening just the left side door as commonly practised by the VVS.



As the door did not fit to the fuselage and canopy parts (maybe I assembled them incorrectly) I had to cut the right door into two parts - the upper glass with frame and lower plated ones. Subsequently I cut off the glass from the frame and both the frame and plated part of door glued separately to the fuselage and canopy to fit perfectly. The result of this surgerical operation, that is an open glass of the door, can be also seen on many photographs. It seems this field practice was greatly appreciated by pilots, especially in hot weather conditions.

Front Wheel Doors

It took a bit of effort and labour with a file to adjust the front wheel doors to duly match the fuselage nose.


Colours and Markings


My firm decision was to build the Airacobra in the markings of the most famous VVS ace - Col. Pokryshkin. The Eduard 1/48th scale kit # 8064 offers it but the victory star field is too uniform with too thin white edges of red victory stars in comparison with photographs of authentic plane moreover in my case with eccentric white edges.



I decided to fix this issue by applying the star field on a piece of white color decal sheet and cut off every star with right width of white edge when dried and stick them piece by piece on the fuselage nose with "authentic" irregularity. It was a bit time consuming operation however the result satisfied me.




Apart from the abovementioned issues, building of this Eduard kit was very smooth. I did not used any aftermarket accessories to build this model.



Additional Images


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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Dušan Machan
Page Created 21 October, 2004
Last Updated 22 October, 2004

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