Revell's 1/72 Bell P-39 Airacobra
Not too long ago I really enjoyed the build of Revell's old 1/72 F4F-4 Wildcat. The Wildcat did need a little work to bring it up a bit but I just loved the whole build. So after building a few Matchbox kits in a row, I decided to give another old Revell kit a try. I had this P-39 in my stash for a while, it was picked up from one of our club meetings many years ago. For a while I've been planning on making a P-39 so this one was it!
Revell first released this in 1965, re-boxed many times over the years but it is no longer produced. This build comes from their 1982 boxing with the decals for the P-400 export model which were operating in New Guinea, 1942. When I first started this build I was thinking of doing this scheme and wanted to use the original kit's decals but I changed my mind. Instead wanted to make a P-39 with a desert scheme. I had an old set of ESCI decals which had 4 different P-39's to choose from. I went for the markings of a P-39L "The Pantie Bandit" from the 93rd Fighter Squadron, 81st Fighter Group, Tunisia, mid-1943.
On all of the older drawings of Pantie Bandit this aircraft would have been olive drab on top, neutral grey on the bottom. But around 2010 and after a more desert like scheme was preferred. I have seen it with sand/spinach, sand/brown or an RAF desert scheme. So for this build, I chose dark yellow to replace mid-stone or sand , khaki as a faded olive drab and light blue instead of neutral grey. I used the painting instructions from a later 1/48 Eduard P-39 kit with the Pantie Bandit as one of its options. I did not apply the yellow stripes on the wings and tail because I could not see them on the actual shots of the real plane.
This was my third time building this kit so I had a good idea on what I wanted to do with it. My first two were made in 1974 and in 1976. Not a bad kit to put together but there were some areas that I wanted to correct. I made some corrections to the tail area, wing tip, nose gear area (lengthen the struts) and replaced the spinner/propeller.
The plastic on this kit was very brittle, so while building I had to deal with cracks on the tail, wing, one main landing gear, cockpit floor and propeller. With the propeller I was not planning on using them, they were replaced with a very nice P-39 spinner/propeller resin replacement set from S.D.S. Models. The rest I just brushed on the area liquid glue or super glue to keep things together and it worked.
All and all, an enjoyable build, I like the way on how the corrections done to the tail area, lengthening the nose gear and using the resin spinner/propeller improved the overall look. Stretch sprue was used to add guns to the wings, nose, pitot-tude and antenna mast. EZ line for the aeral.
The red border insignias and black wing walk strips came from an old set of Microscale decals. The ESCI decals worked fine and Microsol made them settle down nicely.
Yes I could have bought and built the new Arma Hobby kit but this is how I like to enjoy this hobby.
26 additional images. Click to enlarge.