Eduard 1/48 P-39Q Airacobra
This is the third model in my model-building career. This P-39 represents the 46th fighter squadron that was stationed at Kanton Atoll from the spring of 1943 through December 1943. The sand and light blue camouflage pattern was painted over the existing olive drab and gray pattern. Thus, my painting shows minimal paint chipping to the exposed bare aluminum and highlights the exposed olive drab from the wear patterns on the sand top coat.
This is my first Eduard kit and I love the molded details, four paint schemes to choose from, and excellent colored instructions. However, this kit does have some weaknesses. There are no alignment pins in the fuselage or wing halves so aligning the two halves when gluing them together is somewhat of a challenge. Eduard provided a decal for the seat belt harness assembly. I used it in my model but it looks very unrealistic. I probably won't use decals for seat belt harnesses again. The decal sheet was horrible. There was an existing film on top of the sheet that had bubbles all over it. Many of decals disintegrated and/or tore when I applied them which is why the Pat Riot II nose art is hardly visible. After the decals were partly dried, a film appeared on top of them. I was able to pull this film off without major damage to most of the decals but not sure why a film layer was on top of the decals and if it should have remained. The air intakes on the leading wing edges comprise three exposed joints which have to be filled and sanded. Eduard could have engineered the air intakes in another way to make this installation easier.
I positioned the right door open as that is the one the pilot uses for P-39 cockpit access unlike most other planes where the pilot enters/exits from the left side. The one thing I couldn't confirm from historical photos was the antenna cable installation. I found probably 10 different variations of antenna cable installation on various Airacobras but couldn't confirm which standard was used for the fighter squadron that this plane represents.
The primary technical challenge I had on this build is that the flat clear coat I sprayed on the model after doing the panel line wash literally wicked the pigment out of the panel lines and turned the pigment into wiggly lines. This is clearly visible on the photo of the bottom of the plane. I didn't know how to fix it without stripping the clear coat from the entire plane and starting over which would have been a major effort so I just left it as-is. I have no idea what caused this or how to prevent it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I used the Mr. Color panel line wash and Mr. Color flat clear coat (aerosol can).
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.