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Tom Bebout
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Midway Group Build 1/48 Monogram P-39 Airacobra 42nd Fighter Sqd

On June 3,1944 the Japanese began their offensive against American forces station in Alaska, at Dutch Harbor. Most of their bombs fell into the harbor and little damaged occurred. They would return on June 4th and set oil storage tanks on fire, damaged the hospital and a beached ship. Japanese forces followed up their air strikes with an invasion of Kiska Island on June 6 then Attu on June 7, 1944. So bagan the Aleutian Island Campaign to recapture the islands and to destroy the invading fleet. By August, 1943,all US territory had been recovered.

Although US forces had drawn up plans for attacking northern Japan they were not executed. However, sorties were flown against the Kuriles and the Japanese base of Paramushir, which diverted over 500 planes and some 41,00 ground troops. Probably the greatest gain from this campaign was the capture of an intact Zero on Akutan Island. The plane was promptly returned to the United States and made it's first test flight in September, 1942. Valuable intelligence information was obtained from this aircraft.

The has been around for quite some time and I acquired it along with another one for $10. Inspired me to do one for this build. Did add an Ultracast seat and some wheels , the rest is OOB. Tamiya and Model master paints were used and nylon thread for the antenna. Some how I broke the nose gun off so I replaced it with aluminum tube. Aftermarket decals were used and this A/C represents a P-39 with the 42nd Fighter Squadron, 54th Fighter Group.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Nice build and presentation, Tom...good all-around work.

  2. Great looking P-39 Tom! I love that old Monogram kit; it's still a nice model after all the long years since its release. I built one many years ago too; here a look at my Russian P-39:

  3. Well done Tom, another Monogram classic. I believe this kit may have been released earlier than the Devastator, still it does stand up well to the newer generation kits from Hasegawa and Eduards. I have this in the stash. Don't think I will be able to get to it this year. Thanks for sharing

    • Chuck, I remember buying one in 1968 after getting back from Viet Nam. 'll check the copyright on the earliest box I've got, once I get the chance. All the ones I've seen are molded green.

  4. Very Nice Tom ! I really like this one... The poster idea is a good one too. (BTW, I had my P-39 out again today... It's moving closer to the build table...).

    The article you wrote and the accompanying photographs are fantastic. Good job on all counts.

    A few years ago I met an old US Army Infantry veteran who fought at Attu. He still suffered from a condition called "Attu-itis". Seriously I'm not making this up. It's a documented medical condition caused by being in contact with frozen earth or very cold ground for too long of a time. It causes joint stiffness and pain, and lasts a lifetime.

    • Sounds like frostbite. Got the same while kayaking early in spring and having my heels in contact with inside of hull. The cold water outside of the hull was enough to make my heels go numb for 15 years. Reckon attuitis is a take on arthritis.

      Tom, very nice build of the old P-39 from Monogram.

  5. Love it! Love these Monogram builds

  6. Ahh the blue box Monogram. Great build!

  7. Very nice! Back when I first got back into building and built a few 1/48 kits, this was one of them - I have fond memories of the kit and the build.

  8. Well done Tom, you really did a great job closing up the open panels. I think the Monogram P-39 hold up well against the Hasegawa & Eduard kits.

  9. Hello Tom,
    Monogram, always good.
    So also this one. Nice finish.
    Regards, Dirk/The Netherlands.

  10. Another beauty, Tom!

  11. Classy build... Classic kit!

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