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Author Topic: P-39 kits in 1/72 compared  (Read 12674 times)
Renato71
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« on: November 22, 2007, 05:35:27 AM »

Hi,
This is a small addendum to topic "VVS P-39 Questions?", but as it is a bit OT, and there are questions about kits, I would like to place this scans in a separate topic for easier access.

I have scanned following kits and original decals:
- HobbyBoss (P-39N)
- Academy (I have kits 2223 and 2177)
- Heller (no USSR markings) and, for a good meassure
- Revell
Also, for a comparison of decals, I've added Eduard and AeroMaster decals.

This is not a review. I'm a bit out of touch with Aircobra, so I leave it to the more knowledgable. Btw, I did not buy Heller and Revell kits - a friend gave them to me when he gave up on the subject.

Cheers!
Renato

EDIT: I've updated pics with details of Airfix kit. Comments two posts bellow.

Wings - Upperside

Wings - Underside

Rest is not to scale with above!



Horizontal tailplanes

Fuselage halves

Nosewheels

Propellers


Original decals:


Decals sets:
« Last Edit: November 23, 2007, 09:35:47 PM by Renato71 » Logged

Renato
John Thompson
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2007, 09:50:45 AM »

That's excellent - thanks, Renato! This is a very helpful comparison of these kits. Here I go again with another "Oops!" - obviously the wing root intakes on the Hobby Boss kit are NOT accurate (but at least it HAS wing root intakes, unlike the HB La-7 kit!)  Wink

Oh, there's one other 1/72 P-39N kit which is actually quite good, but not easily available - it was manufactured by Zvezda, and was an original mold. There was also a P-39Q from Frog, which was one of their last releases, and might have been more available as a Novo release than from Frog; it's also a pretty good kit. Again, it makes you (and me!) wonder why I waste my time on the Hobby Boss one...

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2007, 12:55:43 PM »

Hi Renato, Smiley
thank you for your exhaustive file of images. By sure, the tail and wing of Revell look even of another type of plane!

From images, I see that the doors of the nose landing gear are already moulded on the piece of the wings. How are they made? Thick, or acceptable?
And how is the cockpit of this model?

Hi John, Smiley
what about the kit of Zvezda? I read a vague description of it as similar to Academy. What are the differences between the kits?

Massimo

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marluc
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2007, 02:33:44 PM »

Renato:

Thanks for the comparison,it´s an excellent report.John is right,the Academy offering is much better.Best regards:

Martin
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Renato71
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2007, 06:26:18 PM »

Hi all,

I already knew that Academy kit was excellent, but I couldn't resist a good deal on ebay for this Hobby kit  Tongue
It is a long time since a compared any P-39 with any drawing, and to be honest I do not remember what drawing are the best. I've spent few hours searching my "library", but I'm not 100% sure. I know that I have a copy of several drawing where I made notes like "This one is OK" etc, but where they are? I found only those from Detail&Scale, and Academy looks very good.
Revell is piece of trash. It looks like they worked on drawings which were "squashed" - in length it could be 1/72, but in overall height it's more like 1/80. Details look attractive due to extensive riveting, but they are mostly inaccurate. Canopy looks like something between Yak and Mustang, wing looks like they are clipped and horizontal tail like it's from another kit.

Regarding Hobby, on a first glance I did spot few of the differences that John mentioned, and it is clear to me that fixing more than one Hobby kit is just too much of a work. But, if you have only one, just make it look like Academy as much as you can and I think that even a difference in paneling will not be that easy to spot. Unless you put them on a same diorama, and present them to the true experts.

We have to agree with John - Academy is a way to go. But, Hobby is salvageable. One thing that is most attractive are decals - in case you cannot get your hands on AeroMaster sheet, or you don't need the whole set but just Sirotin's "Hunting Eagle" (drool!).
As for the second choice in Hobby decals, which cover Goldinov's a/c (previously flown by Babak), for which they rather simply say "White 01", I think Eduard's decals are better choice. There are large differences in both shape of lettering and shade of blue for inscription behind the cockpit. Eduard also offers decals for both pilots.
Interestingly, Hobby offers winged detail with red center, while there is no reference to those in painting instructions.
John, am I talking about the same kit you have? "For Vanyu Babaka" on box cover?

Regarding additional manufacturers, as far as I know, there are also:
-   MPC, for which I believe is Airfix,
-   Airfix,
-   Aoshima
-   Accurate Miniatures
-   Testors (repacked Heller)

For Airfix kit, I believe it is NOT the same as Heller or Revell. I do not have one, nor do I remember seeing one myself, but judging by few pics from Internet, layout of parts if quite different then Heller or Revell - it's more like classical Airfix "tree" with one center sprue branch, without the frame sprue.
However, it is possible that Revell or Heller remoulded this by adding a frame?
As for Aoshima, I've never seen that one either, nor any other Aoshima kit. I'm told they are "generally like Hasegawa, even better".
I'm interested into details of Zvezda and Frog kits. Any idea about date od issue? If their P-39 is as old as their MiG-3, I'm afraid that is not a good sign  Undecided

And, as a small reference, here are some sick walkarounds of P-39Q and P-63A:
http://ambiorix.spymac.com/Walkarounds_English.html

PS - I've edited the title of the topic to reflect the scale of the kits and expanded the list of manufacturers.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2007, 10:05:07 PM by Renato71 » Logged

Renato
John Thompson
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2007, 07:36:15 PM »

Hi Renato! Yes, the kit you describe (P-39N, "For Vanyu Babaka") is the one I have. I will try over the weekend to post some comments about the Zvezda and Frog kits, if I can find some time! The Zvezda P-39 is very good, and I am quite certain it is an original mold, unlike the Zvezda MiG-3. The MiG-3 actually came to Zvezda through partnership with Italeri, and the molds themselves originated with a French company called Cap Croix du Sud. Yes, the MiG-3 is a terrible kit, but the blame for this is not on Zvezda!

Regarding Aoshima kits, here you must be careful. About 25 years ago (or even longer!), Aoshima released a quite large range of kits, but these were not very well molded or accurate by today's standards. I had the P-63, back in those days, and it was not a very good kit, but it was the only P-63 available. The P-39 would have been part of that series of kits, although I don't remember it. Aoshima then seemed to vanish, but about 8 years ago, the company reappeared. They released a series of Ta-152 kits and also a series of kits of the Japanese Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden/Shiden Kai ("George"), which were *excellent* in quality and detail. These two more recent kit series are the ones that are meant when people say "generally like Hasegawa, even better", and I think they are right. The older Aoshima kits are NOT good; they were only average or worse, even by the standards of the day when they were new, 25+ years ago!

I don't have the Airfix kit, but it was an original mold from long ago by Airfix, and not a reboxing of the Heller kit. This was long before the time when Heller took over Airfix, when they were both completely separate companies.

Now I feel quite old, sharing all these memories... Wink

John
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Renato71
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2007, 10:01:38 PM »

Hi all,

Well, I managed to get some pics of Airfix kit! I've found it on ebay and contacted the seller Smiley
I've updated above pics to include corresponding parts. Because the photograph that I've received was of no great quality, and it was hard to determine exact scale, I had to improvise a bit.

As you can see, not a great kit when compared to Academy. Generally, it looks like something in between Heller and Revell, but closer to Revell. Unusual feature of this kit is canopy in 4 pieces: front with roof, rear, and two windows for doors (see links bellow for a full size pics). Wingtips are of incorrect shape, same as in Revell's kit. Landing gear also looks a bit too short. Propeller spinner is molded together with blades.
It is possible that Revell used this kit as a basis for their own and fixed few details, like exhausts, and added few details, like engine and rotating tires.
While digging up for my references, I've found what it looks like first series of Revell kit, bagged and with no instructions. Arrangement of parts differ, and they are arranged around "star" sprue, without the frame sprue. I knew I saw this feature somewhere and that is what confused me a bit, as I thought that it was an Airfix.

Now, John, if you are old, then you must be of my age as I forgot that I have that old bagged Revell  Roll Eyes

Few questions are unanswered:
From images, I see that the doors of the nose landing gear are already molded on the piece of the wings. How are they made? Thick, or acceptable?
And how is the cockpit of this model?

Yes, nose bay doors are molded into lower fuselage. They are thick, but they have to go for a different reason - there are of incorrect shape as their lower edges are straight and there is no gap between the doors and the fuselage. No problem to fix if you have surplus of Revell kits, like I do Wink
Cockpit is simple in detail and in one piece - instrument panel, stick and seat are molded together. I'll try to post few pics of cockpits and canopies, but for that I have to use camera, scanner will not do, and I'm not a great photographer :S

Airfix kit, complete pictures:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w43/Renato71/P-39_airfix_1.jpg
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w43/Renato71/P-39_airfix_2.jpg

Cheers!
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Renato
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2007, 04:16:10 AM »

Hi all,  Smiley

Quote
Well, I managed to get some pics of Airfix kit! I've found it on ebay and contacted the seller
I've updated above pics to include corresponding parts. Because the photograph that I've received was of no great quality, and it was hard to determine exact scale, I had to improvise a bit.

As you can see, not a great kit when compared to Academy. Generally, it looks like something in between Heller and Revell, but closer to Revell. Unusual feature of this kit is canopy in 4 pieces: front with roof, rear, and two windows for doors (see links bellow for a full size pics). Wingtips are of incorrect shape, same as in Revell's kit. Landing gear also looks a bit too short. Propeller spinner is molded together with blades.
It is possible that Revell used this kit as a basis for their own and fixed few details, like exhausts, and added few details, like engine and rotating tires.
While digging up for my references, I've found what it looks like first series of Revell kit, bagged and with no instructions. Arrangement of parts differ, and they are arranged around "star" sprue, without the frame sprue. I knew I saw this feature somewhere and that is what confused me a bit, as I thought that it was an Airfix.

I've built the kit of Airfix more than thirty years ago. I remember it was of light blue plastic, and had US and Soviet stars. It was different from Revell kit that I built too.

Quote
Yes, nose bay doors are molded into lower fuselage. They are thick, but they have to go for a different reason - there are of incorrect shape as their lower edges are straight and there is no gap between the doors and the fuselage. No problem to fix if you have surplus of Revell kits, like I do
Cockpit is simple in detail and in one piece - instrument panel, stick and seat are molded together. I'll try to post few pics of cockpits and canopies, but for that I have to use camera, scanner will not do, and I'm not a great photographer :S

Perhaps I'll try to work on the original doors. I prefer to have strong details to avoid accidental damages after the completion of the model.

Quote
Regarding Aoshima kits, here you must be careful. About 25 years ago (or even longer!), Aoshima released a quite large range of kits, but these were not very well molded or accurate by today's standards. I had the P-63, back in those days, and it was not a very good kit, but it was the only P-63 available. The P-39 would have been part of that series of kits, although I don't remember it. Aoshima then seemed to vanish, but about 8 years ago, the company reappeared. They released a series of Ta-152 kits and also a series of kits of the Japanese Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden/Shiden Kai ("George"), which were *excellent* in quality and detail. These two more recent kit series are the ones that are meant when people say "generally like Hasegawa, even better", and I think they are right. The older Aoshima kits are NOT good; they were only average or worse, even by the standards of the day when they were new, 25+ years ago!
I've the P-63 of Aoshima too, somewhere in my attic, still to build. A bit toylike model, but the only one in the '70s. I've read a review of their Zero describing it as a fantasy model with some resemblance to the original. They had a Reppu on their catalogue, the only one at that age too.

Massimo




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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2008, 12:57:18 PM »

Hi,
I've bought  and dry-assembled the model of Hobby Boss. Now we can see the shape of the fuselage and canopy and have a better look to the ensemble.




The profile is the most interesting view. The shape of canopy is different from Academy; in a respect its's better, because it reproduces a profile with its top point moved aft; on the other hand, the profile of the doors gives the impresssion that the strut will result moved rearward.
The fit of the propeller shaft inside the fuselage is not so easy.


The spinner's profile is wrong, it should appear as a cutten cone. Perhaps one can correct it by gluing a plastic ring and working with filler. The prop blades looks to have a too wide chord on their root.
As already noted, the guns recesses are missing, and no version can fully justify this.


The front. The wingroot intakes are completely wrong.


From below. The gun pods are for Q version, that requires the deletion of the guns on the leading edge of the wings. On the other hand, the N requires the omission of the pods and the scribing or painting of slots for waste cases.



The landing gear looks not fully satisfying; for example, all the doors would require some work to scribe the division lines with fuselage. At a superficial look, wheels look not satisfactory.

On the whole, the kit looks not bad. Its defects can be corrected. But I agree that it's not the best one on the market.
Massimo
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marluc
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2008, 10:34:03 AM »

Massimo:

Thanks for this review.I think that the carburator intake profile is wrong,it´s too rounded.And as you mentioned,the canopy profile is better than Academy´s,but it is a little lower than the real one (i´m comparing the kit with a side photo of a Cobra).The wing tips are the same as the Academy kit and are equally wrong.I would use both kits to make a good model,just my opinion.Greetings:

Martin
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2008, 03:22:41 PM »

Hi Marluc,  Smiley
thank you for your observations.
I noticed some errors on the panels of the wings, but I am not sure that the drawings were 100% accurate. Possibly I'll look for better ones.
We still have to find any review of the Zvezda kit.
Massimo
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2008, 11:27:49 PM »

Hi, Smiley
I've started to correct the worst defects of my Hobbyboss kit.
the lack of guns on the nose;
the lack of inner wingroot air intakes;
the shape of spinner and prop blades;
the structure of the cockpit;
the wingtips;
the front wheel;
the profile of dorsal intake;
More photos to come, when Imageshack site will answer in the line.

Massimo





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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 11:36:23 PM »


My model is not destined to have an open door, so I limit my works to what will be visible from the clear canopy. A new seat made of plasticard; cutting the top of the rear wall; a new, more inclined rear wall overposed to the original one.


From below, one has large pins that make scarcely useful a wide detailing of the landing gear pay. However, one should at least close the windows on the floor under the instrument panel, or some light will pass and desturb more than anylack of details.


This ventral view shows the remotion of the tank rack (absent on the photo of my plane) and flattening the part in front of the radiator outlet. Later, having seen the Hasegawa kit, I would modify this work, it's better to leave that part but to round it and fillet with filler. Lateral outlets should be inclined.
The wingtips were a bit reshaped by filing the rear side. I have still to file it somewhat. No modifies were made to the aileron incision.

From above, one can see the rear deck of the cockpit, the nose guns, the flattened dorsal intake, the rebuilding of part of fuselage under the windshield, the corrected spinner and prop blades.


Here we see the armorglass behind the pilot, and the radio.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 12:21:52 AM by Massimo Tessitori » Logged
marluc
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2008, 06:27:09 AM »

Hi Massimo:

You´re making a very good job.I like the way you improved the cockpit,the seat is made from scratch? The nose LG actuator is a good detail.Please,keep us posted with your "in progress" photos,they are useful.Best regards:

Martin
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2008, 02:31:18 AM »

Hi Martin, Smiley
the seat was easier to do than to explain. It is made by a stripe of plasticard, cutten into 4 rectancles of different length that made the rear/lower part. They were glued between them and on a side triangle, and then, another triangle was glued on the other side. Then I added some cyanoacrilate and waited to dry. The sides, then, were shaped by drilling and filing.
Massimo
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