Eduard Russian P-39 N Airacobra 1/48
The subject this model represents is the aircraft flown by Nikolay D. Gulayev (alternatively spelled Gulaev and miss-spelt by AeroMaster as Gulyayev) of the 129 GIAP. He was the third highest scoring Soviet ace, with 57 plus 3 shared kills, behind only Ivan Kozhedub (62) and Aleksandr I. Pokryshkin(59+6). Four of Gulayev’s kills were tarans (aerial ramming) and he scored 32 of his kills (including 2 tarans) in the P-39. Another source claims that he scored all 41 of his P-39 kills in just over 12 months of combat.
The decals are from Aeromaster 48-089 “Stalin’s Cobras”, however they didn’t include the inscription on the port side which I had to hand paint.
The vast majority of P-39s delivered to the USSR were factory new and painted with a red stars on white discs in 6 positions duet to a probable misinterpretation of the Soviet request for white outlined red stars. These were probably painted using US insignia stencils. The white sections, excepting a thin border to the star, were painted out prior to the aircraft being sent to the front.
This is born out by the P-39 recently recovered from a Finish lake and by the few exceptions that retained the white discs. There are also Bell factory photos of P-39s with the red star on white disc markings.
If you look carefully you can see that the white discs have been painted out (ok, I’ve simulated this on the model) using soviet colours on the wings. The fuselage has the full surrounding panels painted out making it harder to spot. Also, the aircraft serial number has likewise been painted out prior to the application of the red star.
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.