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Author Topic: VVS P-39 Questions?  (Read 9787 times)
John Thompson
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« on: November 20, 2007, 02:36:39 PM »

I'm in the process of building the Hobby Boss 1/72 P-39N. Some questions:

The Squadron "P-39 In Detail" shows a restored P-39Q with undercarriage and wheel wells painted a dark green similar to the cockpit (the so-called "Bell Green"). Is this correct for late Airacobras? Photos do seem to confirm a dark colour used on the undercarriage.

According to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-39_Airacobra
...Soviet Airacobras were usually employed with the wing guns removed. I think this makes sense in the case of the podded .50-calibre guns on the P-39Q, but was it also true for the four .30-calibre wing guns on earlier versions, such as the P-39N?

Thanks in advance!

John
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Dark Green Man
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2007, 12:36:11 AM »


John,
I posted my reply at Modeling the VVS forum....

[/color]
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 02:10:37 AM »

Hi,  Smiley
I would be interested to know how the P-39 of Hobbyboss is as a kit.
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 05:39:07 PM »

Hi, Smiley
I would be interested to know how the P-39 of Hobbyboss is as a kit.
Massimo

Hi Massimo!† Smiley Okay, you asked for it, so here it is:

Itís not a bad kit, but there is no reason to recommend it over the Academy P-39. The Hobby Boss P-39N and P-39Q kits are identical, with only the decal options being different. I like the following things about the Hobby Boss kit:
-   Thin trailing edges on the wings, rudder, and elevators
-   Good rib detail on the control surfaces
-   Good intakes at the leading edge of the wing roots
-   Good panel line detail Ė not too heavy, not too light
-   Overall seems to be accurate in outline and shape
(Too bad I couldnít say the first three of these items about the Hobby Boss La-7, which has thick trailing edges, terrible rib detail, and NO wing root intakes!)

Things I donít like, and which I am trying to correct while building it, are:
-   The intake scoop behind the cockpit is too short, so I made it longer (extended it toward the tail) with putty.
-   It seems that this kit was originally designed as an early P-39, so the two 50-calibre guns in the top of the nose are missing completely. Itís necessary on the P-39N and P-39Q to drill these out.
-   For the same reason, the nosewheel is too small (like an early P-39). Itís molded in one piece with the landing gear leg, so replacing it is difficult, but I might try filing it out and using the larger nosewheel from an old Airwaves P-39Q resin wheel set. The main wheels are not very good, either, with no detail.
-   The exhaust stacks, again, look correct for an early P-39, but not the P-39N or P-39Q. Iím not sure what Iíll do about this yet Ė I have a Moskit exhaust set that would solve the problem, but I certainly donít want to use it on this kit!
-   The prop and spinner need a lot of work. The spinner is too short and rounded off at the tip. I replaced the front of the spinner with one from an early-series Toko/Roden LaGG-3, and reshaped it a bit. The prop blades need to be made much narrower at the root of each blade to get the right shape.
-   As with most Hobby Boss kits, the undersides of the rear part of the fuselage and of the nose are molded in one piece with the wings. Getting a good smooth joint, especially on the nose, is difficult and requires a lot of sanding to get the underside to blend in with the main part of the nose.
-   The locating holes for the drop tank and the P-39Q gun pods are quite large, and need to be filled in carefully if not using these parts. There are very noticeable holes in the sides of the fuselage to represent the cockpit door hinges (the doors donít open, and the tops of the doors are molded as part of the one-piece canopy); these holes need to be filled partially, to make them less obvious.

I would not recommend this kit to a serious modelbuilder Ė the Academy kit is much better, and needs a lot less correction, so it would probably be easier overall and more satisfying to build. My reasons for building the Hobby Boss kit were only because I had bought it out of curiosity, so I thought I might as well try it, and because I wanted something easy to practice painting!

John
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 05:46:07 PM by John Thompson » Logged
marluc
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 06:48:38 PM »

Hello John:

Thanks for this review.Has the kit a nose landing gear bay? I have the Academy P-39 and I donīt like it too much.First,the wing tips have a wrong shape,the main landing gear wells are too shallow and the cockpit door is opened in one side only (the wrong side for my taste).But as you mentioned the Hobby Boss itīs not much better.Greetings:

Martin
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 10:49:35 PM »

Hi John, Smiley
thank you for the review. I don't think that I'll buy this kit, if Academy is better.
Or, as analternative, I could turn it into an earlier model, if this will resolve some problems. Could you suggest something on this possibility, please?
By the way, it could be interesting to compare the wing tip shape between the kits.
Massimo
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Renato71
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2007, 05:40:59 AM »

Hi,

Thanks for explanations, John. I have both kits and I orefer Academy over Hobby. Details look more accurate, and at least one of the doors is open† Wink
If it helps you to make more precise judgment, I've posted some scans in "Model Kits" board, as I don't want to saturate this topic with lots of a (off-topic) pics. But, I hope they will be useful.

Cheers
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Renato
John Thompson
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2007, 06:58:53 PM »

Hi John, Smiley
thank you for the review. I don't think that I'll buy this kit, if Academy is better.
Or, as analternative, I could turn it into an earlier model, if this will resolve some problems. Could you suggest something on this possibility, please?
By the way, it could be interesting to compare the wing tip shape between the kits.
Massimo

Hi Massimo! I don't know very much about the Airacobra, but maybe later, with the help of the Squadron "P-39 in Detail" book, I can look to see if this kit will make a more accurate early P-39. Renato has done a great job of posting images of the various P-39 kit parts in another thread, so that will answer your question about the wing tip shape - well done, Renato!

Hello John:

Thanks for this review.Has the kit a nose landing gear bay? I have the Academy P-39 and I donīt like it too much.First,the wing tips have a wrong shape,the main landing gear wells are too shallow and the cockpit door is opened in one side only (the wrong side for my taste).But as you mentioned the Hobby Boss itīs not much better.Greetings:

Martin

Hi Martin! The nose landing gear bay is really not a separate part in this kit. The "roof" of the bay is just part of the cockpit floor, and the side walls of the bay are just the sides of the opening for the landing gear, so nothing from this kit can be used to improve the Academy P-39, if that's what you had in mind.

John
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John Thompson
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2007, 02:18:33 PM »

For Martin, some information regarding 1/72 P-39 nosewheel bay options in resin:

From CMK, set No.7006; sorry I could only find this instruction image, but I hope it will help:
http://www.cmkkits.com/res/data/013/001351.jpg?seek=1

From Pavla, set No.C72014; note the neat mainwheel wells:
http://www.pavlamodels.cz/katalogy/detail.php?k=cockpits&c=C72014&styl=styly.css

Both sets have parts or details not included in the other; I suppose somone building the "ultimate" P-39 in 1/72 scale would want to use parts from both sets! Let me know if you want more information.

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2007, 03:01:57 PM »

Hi, Smiley
From photos of the buit model, I had the impression that the Academy kit features a bit too low canopy and a slightly unaccurate shape of the air intake on its back. Does anyone know if the vacform canopy of CMK or of other firms is better?
Massimo
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Renato71
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2007, 04:06:28 PM »

Hi all,
Glad to help as much as I can, just something to give in return for various valuable info I got here  Grin

As for color of undercarriage, I've checked available pics again, and I have to say that dark green is the only option for main gears, but I'm not 100% sure about their wells.
On modelism.airforce.ru theres review of Academy P-39 kit, with few pics of original, and among those there is:
http://modelism.airforce.ru/reviews/foreign/p-39n/P-39_3.jpg
... where inside of the main gear cover is dark green, but it looks like well is zinc chromate?

Another interesting one is one named "P-39 fighter in Nome, Alaska before taking off for Siberia" on wiki:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:P39_Nome_Alaska_LOC_fsa_8e02409.jpg
... where it is clear that nose gear covers are of lighter color then main gear covers (light gray?). And, the nose gear is silver, while the main gears are dark green.
(When you click the pics you get amazingly big original where you can read: "P-39L-I-BE serial 42-4673")

But, if you think along the lines of the main components of Aircobra, nose is a completely separate main component, made on a separate production line. It is highly possible that the manufacturing line where nose sections were assembled painted "their" interion in one color (zinc?), and those guys that worked on cockpit, where main wheel bays come as a main component, painted in "their" in another color (dark green).
If those second guys were doing installation of main gear as well, they could paint those, according to their liking. And, if nose gear was added somewhere further down the production line, under yet another crew, they could paint (or not) nose gear, doors and well according to their liking. Or available paint.

Cheers!
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Renato
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 12:09:32 AM »



WOW !
I really like that LARGE image !
now if only there were more images of WWII planes with that much detail....

you may find this informative and interesting....
http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/01/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us.htm
http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/02/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us_part2.htm
http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/05/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us_part3.htm



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Renato71
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2007, 01:10:54 AM »

Yes, DGM!
That was the page I was looking for over last few days. I've lost the link and I kept thunbling over other pages† Tongue

Herer is a quote from those pages:

Bell P-39 Airacobra

Despite its massive production numbers, this aircraft appears to be relatively poorly documented. Available colour photos show Interior Green and Bronze Green for cockpits; Interior Green, Zinc Chromate Yellow or Aluminium lacquer for wheel wells; nose undercarriage legs painted with Olive Drab and Interior Green; wheel hubs in Interior Green and natural metal. It would seem that the jury is still out for this aircraft.

According to Bert Kinzey in his Detail and Scale book on the P-39 the interior colour used by Bell was called just Bell Green. That included the cockpit, the wheel wells, the landing bay doors and the undercarriage struts. There has been a lot of discussion as to what exactly Bell Green was. The suggestions go towards something similar to Medium Green.

Based on the analysis of a preserved Lend-Lease P-39Q-15, the inside of the wheel wells was painted in Zinc Chromate Yellow for the wing part and Olive Drab in the part overlapping the lower fuselage, apparently a result of separate painting of the subassemblies at the factory. The undercarriage legs and internal faces of wheel covers were Interior Green, with smaller actuating arms finished in Bronze Green. Additional piping and wiring was painted in Aluminium lacquer.


Then, on the page http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p39/index.htm
... you cvann access several interesting shots, namely this one, with nose interior:
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/sheppard/p39/p39d.jpg

It's hard to tell, but it looks like this one had interior painted in "zinc", while attaching frame for covers are in olive drab (namely, upper surface color). Simultaneously, other pics display rather light color of frames, for attaching various covers along the rest of fuselage. And, wing joint is definetely zinc.

John, thanks for bringin up this very interesting question.

Cheers
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Renato
Libor Jekl
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2007, 03:54:27 AM »

Hi, Smiley
From photos of the buit model, I had the impression that the Academy kit features a bit too low canopy and a slightly unaccurate shape of the air intake on its back. Does anyone know if the vacform canopy of CMK or of other firms is better?
Massimo

Hi Massimo,

My experience with CMK vacform canopy is annoying, it did not fit well and also didn't like the shape (I think it might be just a copy of the kit parts). Therefore, I used the original one from the box and slightly sanded it and polished. The intake has incorrect shape, but it would be quite difficult to update it, so I just add a flap inside and played little bit with scalpel blade to partially improved the inner hole shape. Speaking of Academy Cobra, I also don't like (among the others) the shape of the rear fuselage which seems to be a bit narrow and undersized. I thought the HB could make it better, but it seems it is just a poor copy of the Academy kit.† Undecided

Cheers
Libor
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John Thompson
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2007, 01:16:09 PM »

A big "Thank you!" to everyone! (Fantastic model, Libor - mine won't look quite as good... Wink ) I think I'll use the same "Bell Green" colour that I used in the cockpit for the landing gear struts and interiors of the wheel well doors, and Yellow Zinc Chromate for the wells themselves - it certainly seems like Bell had no standard plan for application of paint to these areas. Cheers to all!

John
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