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Hasegawa 1/48 Scale P-39

This is the wonderful Hasegawa P-400 / P-39 kit (depending on what box art you buy, the kits are the same, other than decals). The kit was a lot of fun to build, it goes together without any problems and with a few added details, especially in the cockpit can really be turned into a nice model.

The only issue is with the canopy being a little narrow to the fuselage. This can be tackled a couple different ways. You can either try to shape the sides of the fuselage and then have to redo panel lines, or do what I did, carefully spread the canopy out while gluing it down with super glue, (sometimes I’m amazed at what I get away with during a build). Anyway, it held.

I added some PE eduard seatbelts and some other PE goodies in the cockpit. The gun barrels were drilled out, but I noticed in my reference picture I was using that this aircraft had all the gun barrels taped over. To depict this I used a very thin layer of tissue, dipped in white clue and water to make the cover. A single layer of the tissue was used otherwise it looks too thick.

The markings are of a P-39 on Adak Alaska in 1942 with the 11th AF, 54th FG. I used a picture from a book on the Aleutians campaign as a reference. The picture is very common one that shows up on a lot searches on the P-39 in the Aleutians.
Overall a fun build made so by a fun kit !

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses to Hasegawa 1/48 Scale P-39

  1. That’s a beauty, Terry….a really nice piece of modeling. I like that!

  2. Well done top to bottom.

  3. I really like the look of this plane and you seem to have captured it very well.

  4. Nice!! Great job.

  5. Nice!!! Dont see many P-39s posted these days so happy to see your build.

  6. Well done Terry, I’ve done 5 P-39’s to date, only one Hasegawa and like you thought it was a great kit. Looks really good.

  7. There’s something about the Airacobra. For me, the angles are all wrong, the centre of gravity just seems ‘off’, and that whole tricycle thing doesn’t fit. But she works; classic concept of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

    Looks great, terry, especially in olive drab. What sort of weight did you use in the nose?

    • Yah, I’m with you on the design, for years I always thought of it as a misconceived idea, but when I did some research while building my first one I began to realize how neat of a design it was, seems its only real problem was the misguided decision to not allow the use of the superchargers, and for what’s its worth, it really is a cute airplane.
      For the nose weight I used some old lead scraps like fishing & wheel weights. I carved it down with a pocket knife to a somewhat close fit to wedge into the nose area, then used some 5 minute epoxy to ensure a secure fit. The directions call for 15g of weigh, that’s what I weighed my weight out too and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the comment !

      • You are welcome, Terry – this is a lovely build. More and more I find myself wanting to find something different either in the subject or scheme of my builds and the P39 is certainly an unusual aircraft. Great tip about the epoxy in the nose.

  8. Terry,
    I really am impressed with your work. Your painting and subtle weathering really makes your work shine. Aside from it’s shortcomings I have always thought of the P-39 as a beautiful design. It was a P-39 that crashed within the city limits of the town I live in. That was in 1943 and considering the town is immediately next to SFO, that is remarkable.
    Superb model and again I admire your skills.

  9. I still wonder about how the gas filler caps on the models wingtops protrude. I’ve only seen one “in the sheetmetal” , years ago, on the Lakefront military park in Buffalo. It was one of Shomos, before he went to the Mustang in the SWPA. I didn’t notice the caps, at the time. It was well used.
    Say what you will, recall that a (admittedly modified) P-39 once held the world record for speed, for a number of years, taking it from that ME 109 special variant.
    Good looking aircraft, great looking model.

  10. I just LOVE P-39s and your model is a beauty, Terry. Like others have said, the biggest failure of this aircraft wasn’t the airplane itself, it was the “misguided decision to not allow the use of the superchargers” as you so eloquently put it.

    As for weighing the nose, a little trick my Dad taught me; I use shotgun shot mixed in / held in place with modeling clay. You can use wheelweights or other heavy metal scraps; the trick is using the clay to keep it all in place. I have a P-39 I built when the Monogram kit was new (late 1960s?) and the clay in the nose is still holding the weights in place with no plastic distortion or any negative results.

    Well done, Terry!

  11. Great work Terry – a nice, light touch on the weathering and chipping – looks very realistic. Love it!

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