MPC 1/72 P-39 Aircobra
This was a pretty enjoyable project – turning an old “dog” kit into a decent representation. This was the old MPC “Profile Series” P-39 (I understand MPC are re-boxed Airfix kits). I love the pacific theater birds marked with white tails and wing leading edges, so went with that look.
A few “surgeries” required to just get the kit together. I had to replace all the gear doors to get them retracted, added the small vent doors on the underside and the mount for bomb or belly tank (I would have loved to add the belly tank, but kit parts were broken and I didn’t want to scratch build the whole thing…). I also had to repair the lip of the spine air scoop, add an instrument panel, and replace the gun barrels on the wing guns. The wing intakes were just open spaces in the wing halves, so using reference photos, I added blanking with styrene to create the ducts. I also added the detail to the rear deck behind the pilot. I Drilled out all gun barrels and the exhausts, and added epoxy drops for the wing lights.
To achieve some Pacific theater sun fading, I dry brushed a lighter shade of the green along the top of the nose and rear fuselage area, and on some of the wing panels. I also used oil dot filtering with several colors, and when that brush was dirty, and before each fresh oil dot application, I brushed the dirty mineral oil across the white sections to dirty them up. Then used pastel chalks on all panel lines, and for dirt/grime work on wings, walk ways, etc. I used Tamiya weathering kits to enhance the exhaust staining. Used mostly silver pencil for chipping with just a tad of dry-brushed aluminum. All of the decals were from the spares box. The Sweet Sue nose art was actually from a P-38J kit – but hey – like I said – it is a representation!
The two areas hardest to get right were the nose spinner and the canopy area. The spinner and prop blades were all a single piece, and the spinner shape was horrible. I sanded as much as I could, but finally just stopped and decided to live with it. For the canopy area, in hindsight I would have gotten a better result to glue all the glass on the model and then shape things down or add some styrene to match up all the lines. Since I brush paint and don’t mask like you air-brushers, I didn’t realize this area was going to look so disjointed until I got done. I did try to shape the glass quite a bit to get a better fit, and had to replace the side door panel glass with acetate anyway.
Finished off with Uschi line for the aerials and a scratch-build pitot probe.
16 additional images. Click to enlarge.