1/48 Accurate Miniatures Bell P-39 


by Ralph Emerson "Shonen Red" Dabao



This is Accurate Miniatures' (ex-Eduard) offering of Bell P-39Q-1 Airacobra. The Airacobra is armed with two .50 cal machine guns in the cowl and another 37mm cannon in the nose of the aircraft.  This variant, the P-39Q-1 has additional .50 cal machine guns on both wings.  The engine of the craft is mounted in the mid section of the aircraft to provide a streamlined nose profile and to host the 37mm cannon.  Due to it's design, the aircraft had the tendency to go into a flat spin.

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The kit is built entirely out of the box fashion.  The details from the cockpit to the exterior panel lines look superb.  Thanks to the included pre-formed mask, covering those clear parts is easy.  In fact, if you weren't to paint this kit, you could build it in just a day!  The box also has extra unused tidbits because you could do any P-39/P-400 of your choice.  Checking other references is a must when you want to build other versions.  The decals were made by Cartograf, and they look great.  They're quite thin and a small coat of your favorite decal softener will fix the decals to the plane.

Despite being beautiful, the kit has some flaws.  First, I wish Accurate Miniatures supplied a clear instrument panel just like their Dauntless that I've built two years ago. Second, there is a noticeable large gap when attaching the wings to the fuselage area. I recommend dryfitting first before gluing the wings.  Last and if not the most deadly among all is that the plane is a tail sitter!  I recommend adding weights to the front before gluing the halves of the fuselage.  I noticed this only after placing the wheels after the kit was painted.


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Photos and text by Ralph Emerson "Shonen Red" Dabao