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Battle of Kasserine Pass Group Build: 1/48 Eduard P-39L Airacobra

My last last contribution to this group build. Thanks again to David Thomas for stating this GB, it’s been a lot of fun and the selections presented here by fellow iModelers have been truly inspiring. Great historical narratives and some excellent builds. No real issues were involved with building this P-39 and those that were are self inflicted. As someone stated before, I know where all the mistakes are and I’m not telling.

This model represents one flown by Major Charles W. Hoover, the CO of the 345th Fighter Squadron. It’s believed it’s the only P-39 in the MTO to wear the sharksmouth nose art and was credited with 1 1/2 victories flying this P-39. Paints used were Model Master acrylics and Tamiya enamels, where I did some brush painting in the cockpit then used rattle cans for the fuselage. Some of the included PE from the kit was used for the belts and some additional cockpit detail. A Pitt Pen helped to highlight the panel lines and I did use the supplied decals which were very good. Nylon thread represents the antenna.

Not one of my best efforts and not a show winner but that means I’ll probably do another one.

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.


19 responses to Battle of Kasserine Pass Group Build: 1/48 Eduard P-39L Airacobra

  1. Very nice, Tom….I like it a lot.

  2. I love this build Tom. It’s packed with character and the base is amazing. You have to love those ‘car door’ kites – and the eight-track the pilot has fitted in the instrument panel is knockout (pic 6).

    • Don’t be silly David, anybody above the rank of Capt would have a cassette player in the cockpit and not an eight-track. That clicking sound you hear when changing tracks is quite annoying.

    • The fact that it LOOKS like an 8 track & you guys are going on about it is sooo hilarious to me!

      But Tom is right – it’d have to be a cassette. (Now if only they had been invented back then … )

      This is true and I’ll bet Louis will agree. I had a cassette player hooked up in my tank MANY times. I ALWAYS rocked out on long road marches and went to a bunch (like grapes) of gunneries playing music – when we weren’t being recorded, that is. The same place the cassette hooked in to the tank’s intercom system was also where they hooked up a PRC77 portable radio so the graders could hear my fire commands and the crew responses during our Tank Table VIII individual tank gunnery qualifications. We couldn’t sneak in the music THEN! The word got around though – when we had to borrow crew from other units, there were guys who would volunteer to come help on my tank because they KNEW we had fun! (During gunnery, we HAD to have a full 4-man crew – usually needing a loader. On field problems you only needed 3 crew or sometimes only 2 which was not totally uncommon. VERY seldom did we ever have every tank with all crew positions filled. Usually 3 crewmen.

      Uhhh … sorry to hijack your great build comments, Tom!

  3. Great looking P-39, Tom! I’ve always admired the P-39 and despite the somewhat bad rep it got (brought about by Bell deciding the turbo-supercharger wasn’t REALLY necessary because of drag caused by another cooling scoop) it was there when it was needed. It also somewhat foretold the future – the tricycle landing gear being the most obvious.

    Great job, my friend!

  4. Wow! Was that ever lickity split! Lovey finish as usual, Tom. I’m thrilled to have yet more color and variety in the KP GB. You brought her in just under the wire, too!

    Thanks for your many, excellent contributions. Collectively, we told a story.

  5. Great job Tom

  6. Great looking Aircobra, Tom. Here’s a picture I took of my friend Gene Zumwalt who actually flew them in WWII. He ended up flying P-38s for most of the war and really hated the Aircobra. It had a tendency to yaw violently (hence the double doors for escape). He preferred the Kingcobra. I took this pic on Gene’s 90th birthday. He’s still alive and is doing extremely well, and boy, does he have some stories to tell about being shot at by German AAA and bombing oil refineries.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • You should record those talks with him so younger generations can hear them and maybe understand what kids in those days did. As to the P-39, it was the Russians that truly loved the plane and had a delegation travel to the US to inform the Bell engineers it had a tendency to enter into a flat spin. They were correct and some changes were made to the CG to correct that problem.

      • I agree with Tom …………. I made the mistake of not recording two of my friends who were pilots in WW2. One flew Hellcat’s with VF-16 (Payne Whiteway) from the Lexington and scored two Zeros. The other was a P-47 pilot (Ed Malo) who flew over Europe prior to and after the Normandy invasion, with mainly ground attack missions. He also participated in the Falaise Pocket flying ground attack missions. Both of these gents are no longer with us, but luckily for me Ed Malo wrote a small book on his wartime experiences and gave me a copy. . Each day is a gift, so please don’t hesitate if you have the opportunity.

  7. Nice model of a unique aircraft Tom, congrats!

  8. really really nice aircorbra. Greaat job!!!

  9. Nice model! But I wonder what they were thinking painting the wingtips white; that was and Axis aircraft identification in North Africa.

  10. Wow Tom,
    This is another one you don’t see built too often. You’re a building machine, and some serious competition to the “Iron Werks”……….. but in a good way. Looks great my friend.

    I had a family member who worked at Bell in New York, during the early part of the War. He enlisted and became a top turret gunner on B-25’s. KIA over Italy 03 Oct. 44

  11. Nice build Tom! Even though it was a much maligned aircraft, it’s still an eye-pleaser!

  12. A really great build!

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