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Bob Torres
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Toko (Eastern Express) 1/72 Bell P-63C Kingcobra

March 7, 2023 · in Aviation · · 28 · 0.8K

My first , I really enjoyed my recent Revell P-39 Aircacobra which also made me interested in bringing a Kingcobra on to my collection. Started out as an easy build but found some parts had to be trimmed, sanded and filed down to fit. The wings needed a lot of work, I had to thin down the entire wing. The wings were very thick, which left big gaps throughout the leading and trailing edges. This build turned out to be a bit more work than expected but I did like how it looked with recessed panel lines, rivets and its overall details seen from the outside (some small panels are slightly raised).

For this build all of the painting including gloss and flat coats were done with a brush. Usually I at least use an airbrush for the gloss and flat coats. On painting aluminum, I usually either use the airbrush for aluminum or use Testor's Silver from a spray can. I decided to brush the aluminum (Tamiya Flat Aluminum) to add the weather look since looking at the photos of this aircraft used in Vietnam it did not show a clean aircraft at all, especially on its final year in action.

I used the kit's decals which were okay. They represented the P-63's that few in the French Indochina War from 1949 to 1951.

I am okay with the final results, this is one of those builds that look pretty good standing from a distance.

The French Air Force used the P-63 extensively in Indochina where they saw quite a bit of action, mainly on ground attack missions. The P-63 were replaced with the Grumman F8F-1 Bearcats starting in March 1951 and by April the P-63 flew its last sorties.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

28 responses

  1. @v1pro, Bob, that looks like a real hard workin' aircraft! 😃 Great looking model my friend! 👍

  2. Looks great, Bob (@v1pro). 1/72 is a little scary, but it really looks the part. Well done. I have a P-39 on my list to do. My Dad was stationed on Adak in the Aleutians at the start of the war, and I want to do one of the P-39s that were stationed there. There is a great movie called "Report from the Aleutians" that shows the planes and conditions that these guys operated in. The movie is available on YouTube or I think Netflix (maybe on Prime Video). Anyway, it is worth a watch if you haven't seen it.

    • Thank you George, I found the video in You Tube. I am going to watch it tonight. Not a pleasant place to be stationed. Your father and all who served sure had their work cut out for them. Many years ago I made an
      Aleutian P-40E using the 1/48 Revell kit. Too bad I no longer have that kit, it was a pretty impressive looking scheme.

  3. Bob, @v1pro , your King Cobra looks great . Uncommon aircraft & markings. I wish a nice quality P-63 were available in 1/48 scale.

  4. Looks good, Bob, brush painting the flat aluminium really paid off.

  5. Nicely done Bob, it does have a well used look.

  6. Fantastic job on the challenging Toko kit, my friend Bob!
    Well done!

  7. Great result on your first Kingcobra, Bob @v1pro
    Your extensive work on the wings turned out great.
    The weathering does look great.

  8. Well done, Bob!

  9. Great looking. The Tropics deteriorate machinery w.o. Merci. France fought hard and still does in its former holdings…

    • Thank you Bernard. Yes, for 2 years they flew the P-63 without replacements until the Bearcats took over. It is amazing on the variety of equipment that was used.

  10. veru unusual painting!

    • Lis, I was trying to mimic a tired looking P-63. I do wish I gave my kit one more coat of aluminum. I personally think the aircraft was actually painted aluminum than left as a metal finish.

      5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  11. Nice work, Bob.

  12. A good-looking version of the King Cobra - well done!

  13. Nice Kingcobra, and it looks the part of a hard-working warbird!

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