Take it or leave it, the comments here are strictly my opinion,
(and you know what they say about opinions)
I do this for fun and receive no compensation from anyone I might mention on this site.
Below is my two cents worth on some of these kits
|Bell P-39 Airacobra
The P-39 an all-metal, low-wing, single-engine fighter was one of the main fighter aircraft in service and available at the beginning of American involvement in World War II. It's mid-engine design left the nose of the ship open to range of armament second only to the P-38 Lightning in it's firepower with it's 20 or 37mm cannon and twin 50 caliber guns. Early models had four wing mounted .30 caliber machine guns which on later models were removed or replaced with underwing pods containing a single .50 cal machine gun each.
Plagued by high altitude performance issues, the P-39 performed poorly above 15,000 feet and found itself outclassed as an interceptor and the type was often used at lower altitudes for such missions as ground strafing.
More than 9,500 Airacobras were built during it's production run with more than half going to the Soviet Union as part of Lend Lease.
This unique aircraft has always been one of my favorites. From the first time I built it back in the 60's to today's offerings. It's now available in a range of sizes from 1/144 through 1/32 scale and I've gone out and bought three of the 1/48th kits vailable from three different manufacturers.
Below is my two cents worth on these kits
Might be my all time favorite kit. When available, this kit is still the most complete offering on the market.
Although the molds are old this kit still gives you the best bang for your buck. Of the kits I've built, this one is the only kit in 1/48th or 1/72nd scale that includes the weapons bay and the engine. The parts are pretty free of flash and there's no issues with fit. Unlike the other two kits, the Cockpit door windows are separate parts.
This kit comes with markings for the 67th Fighter Squadron, Cactus Air Force, Guadalcanal, the 51st Fighter Group, North Africa, and the 49th Fighter Squadron, Canton Island
Eduard offers the Airacobra in three different versions. All three versions offer the same basic kit and usually multiple variations. The current "weekend edition" offers the "N" or "K" Variant
The parts are clean and clear of any flash or mold marks and go together well. The engraved panel line are crisp and well defined. I did have an issue with the fit of the clear parts, the canopy was a little too narrow and the doors didn't sit very well in the closed position.
Eduard and several other companies make a resin engine compartment, flaps, wheel wells etc. but other than the verlinden set, there's nothing i've found available to detail the weapons bay
The "Weekend Edition"
The "Dual Combo"
Six flash free sprues molded in gray, plus one in clear with the canopy, windows and navigation light lenses.
Hasegawa - Monogram - Eduard
Still Under Construction
Kitty Hawk, 1/32
Of the offerings available in 1/32 scale, I chose this kit because it has interior details lacking in the Revell and Special Hobby kits, from the gear box in the nose to the radio equiment in the tail and everything in between. Full cockpit, engine and weapons bay.
I was disappointed that the instrument panel gauges lacked detail, with only a decal. I plan to cut out the individual dials from the sheet rather than use the entire decal or invest in the eduard cockpit detail set. Another minor detail I noticed was the bullet proof glass behind the pilot was left out of the kit.
As I look at this kit and go through the parts and instructions, I know this will be a off the deep end build, starting with replacing the gun barrels. I'm even considering pulling out the fiberoptics for the nav lights and maybe even the instrument panel... (just a thought)
P-63 King Cobra
Dora wings, 1/48 scale
I included this kit due to it's family relationship to the Airacobra