Revell "Cobra II" P-39, kit H-144:98
I'm turning things over to a guest columnist this month. David Carter is a very accomplished builder from here in the central Arkansas area, having won several awards at the National IPMS/USA level, and is one of my best friends. Welcome aboard, Dave!
This is one of my favorite classic kits. My example has a copyright of 1955 engraved under the top wing. The instructions tell us the kit is made in 1/45.6 scale! The kit includes decals for the famous winner of the 1946 Thompson Trophy. In this race, the first Thompson Trophy race after WWII, The Cobra II won with a record setting speed against a field of Mustangs, Corsairs, and other Bell aircraft.
The kit consists of 26 bright yellow plastic and three clear parts. One of the highlights of the kit is a very nice pilot figure which is molded integrally with seat and stick in hand. His head is turned to face out the left door, which can be left open. Like the modern Academy 1/72 scale kit Revell chose to make the kit's left door open when in actual service most pilots actually used the right door on the real aircraft.
Typically for kits of this period there is no interior apart from the pilot, and as you would expect the wheel wells are not boxed in. In fact there are tabs to help hold the doors in the closed position for an in flight model. Surface detail is of the fine raised type, with a pronounced scalloping for the control surfaces. Wing walks are molded into the upper wing.
The kit has a few shape problems, most notably the spinner and the vertical tail. The markings on the decal sheet are not completely accurate when compared with photos the real aircraft.
Also included is an insert for a Science Program you could join for 10 cents, along with two of the Air Power Series of Collectors Cards! I wonder if anyone out there has all 12?
The kit was also issued with USAAC markings for a WWII aircraft, although I don't have one of these to tell if there is any difference in the plastic parts (The "normal" kit included a correct three-bladed prop - ModelerAl). Revell also issued the USAAC kit in a "Whip Fly" version.
I made one of these in around 1969 and it was a fun build. I've wanted to put the decals on a Monogram P-39 but word is that Eduard will release a Cobra II version of their excellent new kit soon. I can't wait!!
I'll be back with some more vintage plastic next month. Till then, "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to..."
Be sure to visit Al's Place while you're surfing the 'Net!