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P-39Q Airacobra

Arma Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra

Contents and Media:

83 parts in grey plastic; five parts in clear plastic; three small chrome balls; yellow Kabuki die-cut self-adhesive paper masks; decals for five marking options.

Price:

€26.50 plus shipping available online at Arma Hobby

£26.60 UK Price (£22.17 Export Price) Plus Shipping at Hannants

and hobby retailers worldwide 

Scale:

1/72

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

High quality moulding; gorgeous surface textures and detail; many useful options including gun pods, bombs and drop tanks; poseable canopy doors; high quality decals.

Disadvantages:

End-opening box.

Recommendation:

Arma Hobby's brand new 1/72 scale P-39 Airacobra is a gorgeous kit with its crisp surface textures, high moulding quality, thoughtful parts breakdown, useful options and very high level of detail. Although not all the options on the sprues are not mentioned in the intructions, you will be able to build many Airacobra variants from the parts in the box. This is a another excellent offering from Arma Hobby.

Reviewed by Brett Green

Introduction

 

The Bell P-39 Airacobra was a fighter produced by Bell Aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. It was one of the principal American fighters in service when the United States entered combat.

It had an unusual layout, with the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot, and driving a tractor propeller in the nose with a long shaft. It was also the first fighter fitted with a tricycle undercarriage. Although its mid-engine placement was innovative, the P-39 design was handicapped by the absence of an efficient turbo-supercharger, preventing it from performing high-altitude missions. It was therefore rejected by the RAF for use over western Europe but adopted by the USSR, where most air combat took place at medium and lower altitudes.

 

 

Soviet pilots scored the highest number of kills in the P-39 attributed to any U.S. fighter type flown by any air force in any conflict.

Other major users of the type included the Free French, the Royal Air Force, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.

* Historical background adapted from Wikipedia

 

 

FirstLook

 

Arma Hobby has launched their all-new 1/72 scale Airacobra family with the Kit No. 70055, the P-39Q.

Arma Hobby's 1/72 scale Bell P-39Q Airacobra comprises 83 parts in grey plastic, five parts in clear plastic, three small chrome balls (nose weight); yellow Kabuki die-cut self-adhesive paper masks and decals for five aircraft options.

 

  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby Kit No. 70055 - P-39Q Airacobra Review by Brett Green: Image
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The grey plastic parts are delivered on two large sprues. Moulding quality is excellent with no flaws or visible moulding imperfections on my sample. The plastic parts boast a luxurious satin texture. Arma’s website advises that long-run metal moulds are used for their kit production, and it really does show.

Being a long-run kit, the parts are moulded with all the alignment aids that you would expect including locating pins, holes, slots and tabs.

Moulding quality is excellent. So far I have only found one ejector pin circle and that is only on the inside of an undercrriage door.

Sprue attachments are moulded to the surfaces of the kits so take care when cutting these off and cleaning them up.

Surface textures are just gorgeous. Recessed panel lines, circular fastener heads and other structural details are very fine.

 

 

The fuselage is supplied as left and right halves with a few elements that allow some important options.

The most obvious is the forward upper gun cowl panels. Two styles are included with subtle variations.

 

 

Some cockpit structural detail is moulded directly to the inside of the fuselage halves. Additional separate parts include a plastic cockpit floor, throttle quadrant; instrument panel, a moulded pair of rudder pedals, control column, radios and more.

 

 

The instrument panel features raised detail that will respond well to careful dry brushing.

 

 

As an alternative, an overlay decal is supplied for the instrument panels and switch panel.

 

 

Harness strap decals are included as well.

 

 

Three small chrome metal balls are supplied as nose weight. These are placed into recesses above the front landing gear bay.

 

 

Exhausts are moulded as one-piece per side. The ends are moulded solid - perfectly understandable in this small scale.

 

 

The wing parts are full span lower and separate port and starboard halves for the top. They are suitably thin at the trailing edges. Aileron hinge lines are appropriately heavier than the general panel line detailing.

 

 

The wheel wells are nicely detailed between the upper wing halves. The are presented as one piece each and feature very fine raised letter on the sidewalls. Tyre tread is smooth. The wheels are subtly bulged and flattened.

 

 

Elevators and rudder are separate parts and may be posed to taste.

 

 

The tail wheel and strut are moulded as a single part. Detail looks good.

Ordnance includes two underwing gun pods, a pair of drop tanks, 100 kg bombs and 250 lb bombs.

 

 

The canopy parts are thin and clear.

 

 

The two side doors are moulded as clear parts. They may be posed open or closed. Note that pilot entry and egress was usually from the starboard side. Self-adhesive die-cut masks are supplied for the windows, canopy and wheels. This is a thoughtful and time saving touch.

 

 

A number of additional parts and unused options are included on the sprue such as alternative exhausts, three different styles of propeller and more.

Instructions are supplied as a 12 page stapled A5-sized booklet.

The kit is packed into a end-opening cardboard box. I have to say that I have never been a fan of end-opening boxes - access to the parts is more difficult, loose parts can easily be lost while retrieving instructions or a larger sprue, and the format is less structurally rigid, inviting the contents to be crushed when the box is inevitably at the bottom of a pile of kits.

I know it is a nit-pick but I would prefer to see future Arma Hobby releases in a lid-style of box.


 

Marking Options

The kit decal sheet offers markings for five options with some colourful markings variations in camouflage and service nationality.

 

 

They are:

  • P-39Q-10 Airacobra, 363rd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, pilot Lt. Clarence “BUD” Anderson, Oroville, California, October 1943.

  • P-39Q-1 Airacobra, 6th Fighter Squadron, 15th Fighter Group, Makin, Gilbert Islands, late 1943.

  • P-39Q-15 Airacobra, 10° gruppo, 4° Stormo, Italian Co-Beligerent Air Force, Galatina Air Base, Italy, November 1944.

  • P-39Q-6 Airacobra, 82nd TRS, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, pilot: Lt. Michael Moffitt, Saidor, New Guinea, Spring 1944.

  • P-39Q-20 Airacobra, 2nd Mixed-Special Air Regiment, Polish “people’s” Aviation, pilot gen. col. Fiodor Polynin, Warsaw 1945.

 

 

Stencil markings are printed on the same single sheet, as are propeller logos and wing walk markings.

 

 

Decals are printed by Techmod.

 

 

They are glossy, colours are well saturated and everything is in perfect register.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Arma Hobby's brand new 1/72 scale P-39 Airacobra is a gorgeous kit with its crisp surface textures, high moulding quality, thoughtful parts breakdown, useful options and very high level of detail.

Although not all the options on the sprues are mentioned in the intructions, you will be able to build most Airacobra variants from the parts in the box.

This is a another excellent offering from Arma Hobby.

Thanks to Arma Hobby for the sample


Review Text and Images Copyright 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 19 October, 2022
Last updated 20 October, 2022

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