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  1. Kitty Hawk P-39Q/N Aircobra KH32013 Available from many online-stores around £53.99 The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States enteredWorld War II. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, which scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other major users of the type included the Free French, theRoyal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force. Designed by Bell Aircraft, it had an innovative layout, with the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot, and driving a tractor propeller via 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, limiting it to low-altitude work. As such it was rejected by the RAF for use over western Europe and passed over to the USSR where performance at high altitude was less important. Together with the derivative P-63 Kingcobra, the P-39 was one of the most successful fixed-wing aircraft manufactured by Bell. The above taken from Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_P-39_Airacobra The Kit and Contents. The kit comes in a sturdy box, with some great artwork on the front and sides showing the various painting and markings options. The box isnt particularly large or particularly stuffed with parts and there is some room inside for the parts to move about. The breakdown of the parts in the box is: 8 Standard Grey Plastic Parts, 1 Clear Plastic Parts, 1 PE Fret, 2 decal sheets (one large one small), 1 Set of Instructions with attached painting guides. All the sprues are individually bagged and there are two sprues attached to each other for the grey plastic parts. The plastis seems to be up to the usual Kitty Hawk standard and there is no sign of flash on any of the parts. The clear parts are very clear and come in a protective cardboard box as well as the usual bag. The decals look to be very well printed, in register and there are some really nice schemes included in the kit, more of that later. The small PE fret is a couple of what looks like intake grills and the pilots harness straps. The build is pretty standard in that it starts with cockpit interior, the fuselage and then wings, undercarriage and weapons. Whats different is the location of the engine which is behind the pilot seat and there is a full engine included here in the kit. The usual limitations of plastic are there in the cockpit and some of the smaller parts. The engine looks good and the maybe the engine cover panels themselves could be a little thinner in etch but Im sure the usual suspects will create some update sets for this kit. The Sprues. The 9 sprues are as follows: Sprues A and B: These sprues are joined and they consist of the wings, some undercarriage pieces and the control surfaces for the wings. Sprues C and D: These sprues are joined and consist of cockpit and fuselage interior pieces. Sprue E and F: These sprues are joined and cosist of the Fuselage sides, panels and the the propellor and its spinner (of which there is a choice of two). Sprue G and H: These sprues are joined and they consist of more fuselage interior parts included the engine and its parts. They also include the horizontal tail surfaces and some of the other exterior appendages including bombs. Sprue GP the 'Glass Parts': This sprue is the Cockpit Glass and the side widows for the car style doors. It also includes the anti-collision and wing marker lights. The small PE Fret: This fret has two intake grilles along with the majoirty which consists of the harness straps for the pilots seat. The Decal Sheets: There are two decal sheets. The larger has all of the national and airframe markings along with stencilling. A second smaller decal sheet contains the Artwork shown on some of the schemes along with the cockpit decals for all of the various panels within the cockpit. The Instructions: The Instructions are really clear, well printed and include colour callouts for Gunze Sangyo Mr Color and in some cases RLM which was a surprise to me as none of these aircraft have German Markings. I cant speak to the accuracy of the marking as yet, Ive yet to do any research on these but all of the choices are very colourful and interesting. I can see myself wanting to do a couple of these. The French and Russian ones are particularly attractive to me. The Painting Guidance: As mentioned above there are some great schemes here. The one I do recognise is Snooks 2nd, the only US marking option here. Again all colour callouts are for Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color and RLM (?) so you'll need conversion charts if like me you use other paint manufacturers. The Choice of colourings are: P-39Q-5-BE "Snooks 2nd", 71st TRS 82nd TRG 5th Air Force USAAF, P39Q GC III/6 "Travail", Armee de L'Air, La France Combattante, P39Q-5-BE, 1st AE, 30th GvIAP, 6th IAK. Co of 1st AE 1st.Lt.A.P.Filatov, 1945, P39Q, 1st AE, 213th GvIAP, Co of 1st AE assistant 1st.Lt.M.I.Orlov, Germany, Summer 1945. P39N-1-BE, 9 Gruppo, 4 Stormo, Italian Co-Belligerent AF, June 1944. Conclusion: This is yet another welcome large scale release from Kitty Hawk. The kits just seem to get better and better and with the included engine and schemes I think it will fly off the shelf. Granted the aftermarket will probably release plenty updates for this but one can, I believe, build a great representation of an important and often ignored WWII aircraft type. Highly Recommended to all.
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