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P-39 Hasegawa 1/48 scale

Like most aircraft modelers, doing WW2 stuff, the first thing I wanted to build was the fast, sexy stuff like Mustangs and Spitfires, or the top aces of the time. But as I got more into researching and reading about the war, I soon discovered that a lot of the real hero’s were the guys who flew the early stuff, like going up against a Zero with a Wildcat, or in this case, flying a P-39 and probably hoping that the BF 109s were not hungry that day. As a good friend of mine mentioned to me, that you have to remember, this was the era of the model A Fords and aircraft technology was still relatively new.

This model is Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale. It does have a few fit issues to wrestle with, like the canopy fit and the gun inserts in the wings. But it you give it the proper time and attention you can over come these pretty easy. For me I was able to get a good fit on the canopy, but after spending hours on the wings, finally cut off the guns, worked in a good fit with the inserts,(a little filling), then replaced the rifle barrels with hypodermic needles, I was then good to go. The early P-39s actually had a shroud around the barrels, most of the time these were removed, but I elected to add them on, I thought they made the guns look more interesting.

Research was difficult, especially when it came down to markings and specific groups. The best I can speculate on was that a lot of squadrons were absorbed into others and eventually the survivors were handed over to other country’s. I found a lot of in the field applied camo and squadron codes paint over, and over again.

The photo I used for this model was in Italy in 1944 .It had flown with the 93rd FS, in Africa in1943, and who knows who else used it. The picture also indicated it was a P-39, however it had the exhaust stacks of a P-400.

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses to P-39 Hasegawa 1/48 scale

  1. Terry, very nice. For me too, one of the aircraft of a type – Hurricanes, for example – that provided a halfway house for the technology of the time.

    The cockpit looks well detailed, and the panel lines enough wear to be convincing without ‘tramlines’ of dirt spoiling the effect.

  2. Nice job, Terry…..I like it.

  3. A true beauty Terry. I have the same kit. Mine will be a Pacific bird. Great looking model !!!

  4. I’m with you – some of the earlier birds like the P-39 and P-40 just have an iconic shape to me! Great job on the build and finishing.

  5. Holy Smokes! Now that is an aircraft one does not see everyday. Personally, I think the P-39 is a very sexy looking kite. Well done sir!

  6. Best presentation I’ve seen of the “field applied camouflage” in North Africa. Very nice model.

  7. Terry,
    Gorgeous. I like everything you have done with this beautiful airplane. I may have suffered as a first Line fighter but it was beautiful. It had great lines. I posted a monogram build of a P-39 that I had seen many years ago. Great job, I like it.

  8. Very cool looking plane, and a great model, good job, Terry.

  9. Terry, great model! I’d also like to see a GOOD 1/48th P-63, but it’s either a sole vacuform or short run (MPM?).
    Is that skull a squadron or individual marking? I’ve seen it someplace, I know.
    Wonder what a Merlin would have done to the performance, and a supercharger?

    • Bernard. Their is a lot of speculation/controversy about the removal of the superchargers early on in this aircraft, that really hurt performance. During early test with the supercharges they were impressive.
      You are right about the skull. It was a squadron marking for a training squadron. I modified it by trimming away the sword sticking out of its head (touching up the spot) and making it an individual marking. The picture I was working off of, only showed the starboard (right)side.

  10. Very nice choice of markings; definitely NOT a P-39 Cliche. Let me guess- You have one more in your stash don’t you?

  11. You should see his display case. They ALL look this good!

  12. Lovely finish to a beautiful model Terry. Especially the semi sheen & weathering. Your choice of markings is really good as there is a great deal of variety in the Mediterranean/ African theatre to produce something really different.

  13. Sharp looking Airacobra, Terry !

  14. Another terrific build Terry, excellent!! Cano looks great and, if I may ask, where do you find all these markings?? You seem to have a way of finding different, yet really cool stuff to mark you aircraft with. Great job!!

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