Reviewed by Caz Dalton
"KIT OF THE YEAR" - That's saying a lot, but once you fellow modelers see this kit, you'll have to agree.
We've waited for too long for a decent 1/48 scale P-39 kit to replace the good, but outdated Monogram kit; and Eduard delivers. This kit is listed as the P-400, but contains parts allowing any version of the P-39 series, even a P-39Q sans .50 caliber underwing gun pods (Build an "Ivan" 'Q' model, which most often didn't have the pods). The only version you can't build is the P-39C, but even that is possible if you cut out the vertical tail fillet.
The P-39Q will be released containing a separate sprue for the underwing .50 caliber gun pods.
Anyone who has the old Superscale sheet for 'AIR-A-CUTIE' need worry no more, this kit can be built as a P-39F. I can see Aeromaster at work already!
I may have to put this at the top of the heap; it's just too tempting. Let me tempt you also with a preview of the kit:
This sprue contains the wing tops and bottom, cockpit interior parts, two different spinners for a four blade or three-blade prop. Propeller blades for the three-blade prop, 12 stub exhausts for the P-400 and P-39F, drop tank, and seated pilot.
Is that beautiful or what? In addition to the fuselage halves, this sprue carries more cockpit interior assembly parts, horizontal tailplanes, two different six stub exhausts (one straight and one fishtail), three cowling covers, and a 500 pound bomb. The instrument panel is also here, as well as the cockpit floor, intake splitter, seat, armored seat back, and nose bay detail parts
Small Parts Sprue
This is the third sprue of the khaki-colored sprues. It contains two sets of wheels, bulged and unbulged, two four-blade propeller blades for the four prop versions, landing gear struts and doors. Many of these small parts are for the different versions, so a check of the version you wish to build may be required to pick which part to use. The tiny little parts near the center are the raised gas nvents for the 'P-39Q. Main Wheels and nose wheels are provided for any variant.
Crystal clear and smooth are the words here. The doors are molded on this sprue and the interior sides have the correct molded in detail. Other clear pieces are the underwing landing light, the armored glass behind the pilot, and the gunsight.
Above and Beyond
Okay, so it's not a good scan, but then, it doesn't have to be. Also included in this kit are vinyl masks for the clear parts, wing walks, and background for the shark's tooth decal. Also included is the made to fit white metal nose weight. WOW! The only thing missing is seat belt decals. A Profi-Pack kit will be released next month and this will have all the photoetched goodies, but this kit has it all right here, right now.
Decals provide markings for two SWPA P-400s and all stenciling. They look very good and Propagtem is nowhere to be seen on the sheet, so I don't have any idea who did them for Eduard.
Burn that plastic today. Buy this kit. Show Eduard that you appreciate a manufacturer that listens to modelers' polls and have acknowledged the wish list for this airplane.
This kit retails for US$29.99 and the Profi-Pack should retail for US$39.99. I am sure that wise shoppers can get both kits for $10.00 or so less - I know I did!
Thanks Eduard; all I can say is more…more…..more!
Review and Image Copyright © 2000 by Caz