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Type: Aircobra P-39N
I experienced no problems with wings. I thinned the plastic of the radiators and cut the intakes in the wing roots. The N-version should feature wing machine guns positioned so that the outward barrels are higher than inward. The kit offering shows the on the same line.
I glued the lower wing to the fuselage and than attached the upper wings. This sequence assures better fit. All seams were treated with superglue. Since the Neomega’s nose wheel well resin detail was initially designed for the Heller kit, an unavoidable gap between this part and the fuselage was treated with putty.
Then the horizontal stabilizer was attached and the seams were covered with the superglue.
Detailing and Painting
The next step was to install the canopy glazing. Prior to this operation I cut the side window from the right side of the canopy to make room for the door in the open position (on the starboard side!). Care should be taken here since the canopy is thin and delicate. Clear parts received a bath of Future.
Despite rather good fit of the canopy details to the fuselage, I applied a bit of putty to eliminate the seam at the windscreen. (I hate seams!)
Now the model was ready for painting. Usually I clean plastic with the isopropyl alcohol. The model was painted by Polyscale acrylics: Neutral Gray underneath and Olive Drab elsewhere. Olive drab straight from the jar appeared to be too dark and I added about 30% of white to achieve the satisfactory color. The wheel wells and landing gear were painted in “Bell Green” color. The closest match for it appears to be Green Zinc Chromate from the Model Master acrylic line.
You could check this color on the photographs of the meticulously restored Airacobras of the Finnish museum in Tikkakoski.
Then I installed the wheel well doors from the Eduard’s PE set, as well as the elements of the landing gear from the same set.
The model was covered by several thin layers of Future. When everything was completely dry, I applied wash to all recessed lines. This operation was repeated to insure uniform feeling in the lines. After this operation the model was sealed with additional layer of Future.
Decals, superdetailing, and final assembly
I decided on the Aircobra flown by the third top-ranking allied ace Nikolay Dmitrievich Gulaev. I used Aeromaster decal set “Stalin’s Cobras”. Gulaev’s machine sported white numeral “2” on the fin along with red stars, three kill marks on the nose part of the fuselage, fifty kill marks on the port side door, and the inscription “53 Victories” on the nose from the starboard. On the port side the slogan “Za rodinu” (For Motherland) was placed aft the cockpit.
The decals adhered very well. The only problem was with the stars on both sides of the fin. The problem here is in the little bulges that replicate navigation lights. The decals refused to conform to these elements without extra help. Solvaset saved the situation with flying colors!
Then I placed the rows of kill marks on the door. To avoid silvering, I cut and applied each row separately. The inscription “Za rodinu”, that has to be on the port side of the fuselage, was not included in the decal sheet. It was custom-made for me on the ALPS printer by Erik Pilavskii.
The model was covered by flat finish (I used Model Master acrylic). The canopy framing was made from the stripes of decal paper painted in Olive Drab.
The landing gear was installed. I modified the nose gear by drilling and cutting plastic right above the wheel thus making the “fork” more convincing. The resin door was installed in the opened position on the “correct” side of the fuselage.
The inner side of the door with a wonderfully represented map holder was dry-brushed prior to installation.
The spinner was assembled with the propeller. I removed plastic imitation of the protruding cannon and substituted it with brass tubing. I used two tubes, one representing a cover, and the second one, of smaller diameter, the barrel itself.
After that I imitated chipped paint on the wing roots along the path to the cockpit. The wire antenna was installed. And finally, the door handles from the Eduard’s PE set (really small ones!) were installed.
© Ilya Grinberg
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