Airacobra P-400 1/48 scale Eduard kit 8471 weekend edition
The P-400, essentially the export version of the P-39D with a Hispano 20 mm cannon providing a higher rate of fire in the nose. In addition to the cannon, the P-400 featured 2 .50 cal mgs in the nose, and 4 .30 cal mgs in the wings. The British intended to order 475, and to take over the French order of 200 P-39s after France fell, but early 1941 combat missions over the continent combined with the short range of the Airacobra caused the British to reject the aircraft outright claiming it was useless against the Luftwaffe. The Russians, who did most of their fighting at low level, would prove every one’s wrong about the P-39. The US also had good success with the P-39 once its strengths were properly employed. Below 10,000 feet, the aircraft was more than a match for the early A6M Zero.
The newest addition to Eduard’s 1/48 scale P-39/P-400 family is kit 8471 weekend edition. Kit is presented in a beautiful box with simple but effective illustration of an Aircobra stationed on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal 1942. When you open the box you will find three trees molded in beautiful olive plastic and one tree with extra clear transparent parts. As other weekend edition kits Photo etched parts and masks are not present, but the part I missed the most was ballast to keep the kit sitting firmly on its nose gear that Eduard provides in its other P-39/400 kits. Decals provided in this kit are for one airplane belonging to 67th, 347th FG, 13th AF, Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, 1942 in its beautiful Dark Green/ Dark Earth /Sky camouflage. Unlikely to other weekend edition kits I’ve worked on so far Eduard provided all stencil’s necessary for building one beautiful P-400. Instruction sheet is simple, given on eight pages, but perfectly clear as we used to with Eduard. Surface detail is beautiful, with subtle panel line and rivet detail. Eduard’s moldings are outstanding quality and no sink marks or pin marks are visible.
Cockpit is well detailed; the level of detail is amazing and could be compared with some aftermarket resin accessories. Assembling and painting the cockpit takes time with this kit if you decide to leave the cockpit doors open, because all the details are clearly visible and the extra work pays-off. Area behind the pilot is full of details with beautifully detailed radio.
Nose bay is well detailed with propeller drive shaft passing through the top of nose bay. I added sheet of styrene on top of gear bay in order to hide my cca 20 gr fishing led installed in nose to prevent my kit of being the tail sitter. Main landing gear bays are also well detailed as well as landing gear, Eduard provided choice of round or pre-weighted wheels.
Kit fits rather well and I only used a small amount of putty on wings-fuselage joint. Canopy is transparent and I must say the idea of molding the car doors in transparent plastic is great avoiding the unnecessary gluing the window to the door. The only tricky part building this kit is propeller assembly, you need to glue propeller blades at 30 degrees angle…