Eduard 1/48 P-39Q
Eduard 1/48, P-39Q, 42-19995, CPT William A. Shomo, 71st TRS, 82nd TRG, New Guinea, 1944. CPT (later MAJ) Shomo was nicknamed the “Flying Undertaker” because he actually trained and worked as a mortician in Pittsburgh before the war. He was awarded the MOH for action later in the war.
I built several P-39’s as a kid in the late 50’s. I think they were made by Monogram, but I’m not sure. Because I have become “addicted” to Eduard kits, I decided to give this one a try. Though out of production for a while, but I was able to find this kit online. I know Eduard has newer P-39 kits out now but I wanted a ProfiPACK kit with Shomo’s markings, so this was it.
I guess I can claim that this was an “out of the Box” build, except I replaced the kit P/E and vinyl masks with newer Eduard colored P/E and paper masks. Of special note, is the softness of the kit’s plastic. This was a bit of a surprise, but once I realized that, it was actually very easy to work with…almost like a hard clay.
As usual, construction began with the cockpit. Eduard color P/E is “the bomb” and adds so much realism. A very big plus for this kit was the nose weight that came as part of the ProfiPACK kit. It took all the guesswork out of how much weight was needed and where to hide it inside the nose. The weight also formed the top of the nose wheel well, which was a plus. The overall fit was very nice, went with out problem, and very little filler was needed. I only needed CA glue to ensure I had no visible seams where none were needed. One issue I found is that the gun pods on the underside of wings fit perpendicular to the wing and not perpendicular to the ground as depicted on actual blue prints. A small detail that is easy to overlook, but easy to fix, and makes a real difference in the look of the build. Another issue I found was posed by the “car door” design when it came time to prep for priming and painting. I didn’t want paint to leak past the door seams and ruin the work I’d done on the cockpit detail. I filled the interior with cotton to catch any leaks and then tacked the doors on with PVA glue…worked great. OBTW, the Eduard masks worked great too.
Now was paint time. I used with white Stynylrez primer…the best I’ve found so far. It sprays smoothly, dries quickly, and really brings out detail. I sprayed some Vallejo aluminum on areas I wanted to chip and then applied MiG chipping fluid. Next came Tamiya acrylics, Olive Drab (XF-62) and Neutral Grey (XF-53) for the overall paint scheme. These colors seemed too dark after I initially shot them, so I added a bit of white to each and resprayed to get a “scale” color I liked. Using a wet paintbrush and toothpick, I chipped the paint here and there. This was followed by a coat of Alcad clear gloss and kit decals applied with Micro Set and Micro Sol. After another coat of clear, I applied an oil pin wash to bring out details and add some more grime and weathering. I finished the paint job with a coat of Vallejo Satin varnish. I feel that gives a better “scale” flat finish than using actual Matte varnish. The last details were a “bullet proof” pitot tube made from hypodermic needles (27 gauge inside 22 gauge) because I hate it when they break and radio antenna made from Easy Line.
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.