Hasegawa/Monogram 1/48 P-39 Airacobra
1600 yen in 1994
Monogram rebox from 1988
found a very interesting advertisement in Koku Fan magazine, November 1988 on
page 125. Hasegawa was releasing kit HM-8 a P-39! A few pages later, page 164,
in the new kit releases article there was a P-39 in 1/48th scale – by
Hasegawa. I cannot read Japanese. My fertile mind thought it was a new release
of the P-39 by Hasegawa. I really wanted that kit and waited for a US supplier
to put it on sale. That never happened because it was a Hasegawa re-boxing of
the Monogram kit which is supposed to be only for the Japan home market.
I thought it would be interesting to build this
kit using the Air-A-Cutie markings. During a business trip to Japan in 1994 I
decided to use the superb concierge service at my Tokyo hotel and asked them to
locate the Hasegawa HM-8 kit. They managed to obtain one and I was so pleased
with that hotel and its service. Inside my suitcase on the return trip was the
HM-8 P-39 kit and I was a blissful modeler thanks to this little find.
home I found the kit plastic was the very nice Monogram kit, the same plastic we
have enjoyed since its release in 1969 and not a new mould Hasegawa release. The
Hasegawa decals were nice, not great but good. The art work for Air-A-Cutie was
very similar to the Superscale decal.
Based on reviews of photos of this aircraft I
would say the artwork was a characterization, a good likeness but not exactly
the same artwork as some of the photos I had
seen. Also the kit was missing the nose
art artwork on the starboard side of the aircraft. So my happiness was tempered
but I was still pleased with this kit.
In March of 2007 Hasegawa released a special
boxing of the P-39 Air-A-Cutie, using their new tool P-39 plastic. That kit had
excellent decals with great artwork. That release, # 09738 P-400/P-39D Airacobra
with Pinup Girl, flew off the shelves and disappeared. I never saw one built.
if you are looking to build an Air-A-Cutie I suggest saving the HM-8
Hasegawa-Monogram kit for its collector value and getting the newer Hasegawa
P-39 kit and some aftermarket decal to build your P-39.
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