Bell P-400 Airacobra
Cactus Air Force at Guadalcanal
u m m a r y
||Accurate Miniatures kit #0407 - P-400 Airacobra Cactus Air Force at Guadalcanal
|Contents and Media:
109 parts in grey plastic; 5 clear
plastic parts; self-adhesive masks for canopy, doors and wheels; markings for four aircraft
available online from Squadron
High level of detail; crisp and finely recessed surface features; very high quality moulding; many options for all major P-39/P-400 variants; thin and clear transparencies; clear instructions; well printed decals.
Thickish wing trailing edges.
Miniatures' 1/48 scale P-400 Airacobra
is available online from Squadron.com
Eduard from the Czech Republic released their original 1/48 scale P-400 Airacobra kit in 2000. This was a milestone kit for Eduard, featuring unprecedented fine detail, crisply engraoved panel lines and small sprue attachments. In his review on HyperScale upon the kit's release, Caz Dalton suggested that this was the kit of the year.
The P-400 was followed by a P-39Q. This was essentially the same kit with a small extra sprue containing the under-wing machine gun pods often seen on American-operated P-39Qs.
Accurate Miniatures has now packed the expanded plastic sprues from Eduard's P-39Q release into their 1/48 scale P-400 Airacobra offering. The plastic appears to be identical to the original Eduard parts with the exception of the colour. The original kit was presented in a pale olive colour, while Accurate Miniatures' release is medium grey (an aesthetic improvement in my opinion). The quality of moulding has not suffered at all, with crisply moulded parts displaying no imperfections on visible surfaces.
The kit boasts 109 grey plastic parts. Many of these are options for the different Airacobra variants.
Labelling this kit "P-400" sells it short, as you are offered parts to build either a P-39C, P-39D, P-39F, P-39N, P-39Q, P-400 or an Airacobra I. Optional parts include different arrangements for armament, alternate wheels, propeller assemblies, centreline bomb and a drop tank. Three styles of exhaust are also provided - straight-through six stack, fishtail six stack and twelve stack.
Surface detail is beautifully rendered, with crisply recessed panle lines and selected recessed rivets.
Detail is very good too. The cockpit is well equipped. If you want to add more detail, all the photo-etched sets released for the Eduard P-39 will fit this model too.
Transparencies are thin and beautifully clear. Separate doors are supplied for both sides of the fuselage.
I built Eduard's kit shortly after it was released, and found it to to be a trouble-free project with logical construction and very good fit. Some care is required when aligning the main parts due to the absence of locating pins though. The only shortcoming I noted was the thick trailing edges of the wings. I did not notice this until after the wings were assembled, and I eventually thinned them on the bottom from the outside. Forewarned is forearmed, though, and it will be much easier to thin the trailing edge of the bottom wing half before assembly (the top wing halves are already very thin - almost translucent at the wing tips).
Nose weight is not supplied, but you will definitely need plenty to ensure that the model sits on its nose gear.
Markings are supplied for three varied aircraft:
P-400 "Fancy Nancy" at Guadalcanal, finished (Presumably) in Olive Drab, Medium Green and Medium Grey
Airacobra I in Soviet markings finished in Olive Drab over Medum Grey, and
P-39M of 345th FS, 350th FG in Algeria, April 1943, finished in Desert Stone and Sand over Medium Grey
The decals are perfectly printed by Cartograf.
Self-adhesive masks are also provided for the canopy, car-door windows and wheels.
In my opinion, this kit is at least the equal of Hasegawa's 2006 P-39 family in terms of surface detail, and is superior in a number of respects.
The Accurate Miniatures kit offers far more options in a single box, has a better detailed cockpit and does not suffer from Hasegawa's strange, slab-like vertical tail.
The inclusion of three interesting new marking schemes makes Accurate Miniatures' 1/48 scale P-400 an attractive package.
Thanks to Accurate Miniatures
the review sample.
kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from
Review and Images Copyright © 2008 by Brett Green
Page Created 11 March, 2008
Last updated 11 March, 2008
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