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The Bell "Airacobra" series of aircraft were in service at the beginning of WWII and served throughout the war. A unique design -- the engine was mounted behind the cockpit to make room for the massive cannon that fired through the center of the propeller hub -- it didn't receive too many accolades in U.S. service. Designed as fighter and interceptor, most of them had their turbo chargers removed to save weight, which greatly reduced their effectiveness at high-altitude intercepts. The aircraft saw great use by the Russians, however, and was loved by them for the role of low-level ground support. The Airacobra served with the U.S. and a half-dozen allies throughout the end of the war. Post-war the aircraft were used in limited testing. Several aircraft were also modified and successfully raced on the post-war civilian air racing circuit.

Paints Used

Model Master Acryl Olive Drab, Neutral Gray, and Aircraft Interior Black

Vallejo Model Air White and Medium Olive

Golden Acrylic polymer UV varnish

This is the Eduard P-400 kit in 1/48th scale. I started her years ago, back in 2004 to be exact, and made good progress on her until she and the USS Weehawken were both damaged in a freak "shelf falling off the wall" incident. After that she became acquainted with another shelf, the "shelf of doom" (the spot all modelers have where started, but not finished, models, reside) until I picked her up again in late 2015. Yes, that's an eleven year interval. Turns out she wasn't as damaged as I'd believed, only a crack along the bottom of the fuselage and dislodged nose weight. Once construction resumed -- I had finished the interior during the initial build phase -- everything proceeded quickly and smoothly.
The bulk of the work on this model was spent on the finish. This was my first attempt at pre-shading, airbrushing in black for shadows along panel lines and details, before applying a lightened and intentionally-splotchy finish coat of OD green and light gray. Overall I'm pleased with the effect, even if it doesn't show all that well in the photos. The big battle came with the decals, which I purchased over 10 years ago. Decals get old, and I probably should have gone with newer ones, but these are the beautifully done PYN-Up line that are no longer being produced and fetch INSANE prices on eBay. The "Air A Cutie" scheme has been done ad nauseam by model builders for decades, but I wanted this artwork in my display case, so I went with it. The decals fought me because of their age. I started with the fuselage insignia and they wrinkled like recycled aluminium foil. Fortunately I have spares for insignia. After a few false-starts, I got smart and re coated the decal sheet with liquid decal medium, and that helped a lot. Still, there are tears here and there, and more air bubbles than I'm comfortable with. She looks good sitting in the case, but she won't win any awards.
Overall, I'm glad this build is done. Between nearly being destroyed in the shelf accident, and the problems I had with the decals, finishing this project was more of a relief than a joy. Still, I'm glad I finally finished her, and plan on making it a habit of picking something off of the shelf of doom, to finally finish them up, at least once a year.


2015-11-01 17.18.42 2015-12-08 21.04.14 2015-12-12 13.08.58 2015-12-12 15.27.26
2015-12-12 15.31.07 2015-12-23 16.07.45 2015-12-24 15.48.18 2015-12-26 17.12.56
2015-12-29 20.46.08 2016-01-06 09.14.56 2016-01-14 18.23.15 2016-01-17 18.01.27
2016-01-17 21.30.01 2016-01-17 22.02.17 2016-03-06 14.00.23 2016-03-06 14.00.33
2016-03-06 14.00.59 2016-03-06 14.01.04 2016-03-06 14.01.16 2016-03-06 14.01.28
2016-03-06 14.01.43 2016-03-06 14.02.32 IMG_3754 IMG_4478