CMR 1/72 P-63D Kingcobra

KIT #: 5029
PRICE: $32.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Dan Lee
NOTES: Resin kit with vac canopy

HISTORY

 

The Bell P-63 KingCobra was primarily used by the Soviet Union against both the Germans and the Japanese despite the fact that they agreed to only fly the P-63 against the Japanese based on the Lend Lease agreements.  It was an upgraded more powerful version of the P-39 Aircobra which proved to be an excellent fighter bomber and low level dogfighter.

 

There were several versions of the P-63, the D model was unique in that it had a larger wing and a bubble canopy.  There was only one D built which is the subject of this kit.

THE KIT

 

This particular Czech Master Resin kit comes with approximately 20 pieces including a one piece wing and fuselage.  It also comes with a couple of vacuformed canopies, decals and a set of instructions.

 

FYI, this is my first ever resin kit.  I bought this on sale when there was an attempt at a Resin Group build in the MM forum.

 

CONSTRUCTION

 

My first task was to wash the parts with dish soap and warm water to remove the mold release agent.

 

The model went together very easily.  I glued the wings and intake on the one piece fuselage.  Filled in the gaps and pinholes with Vallejo Plastic Filler, did a little bit of sanding around the intake piece and lightly wet polished the surface with various grades of polishing cloths in preparation for the paint job.

 

I ran into trouble with the ailerons.  These were glued on and broken off and then glued on and broken off several times mostly due to clumsy handling.  To say that was I was unhappy about it was an understatement.  It involved a lot of gluing then sanding.

 

The various small parts were removed from the casting blocks and cleaned up in preparation for painting.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 

The P-63D-1 is a NMF plane.  I sprayed the entire plane and the various parts with Tamiya Fine Surface Primer.  I didnít have too many problems with it and polished the surface several times with varying grades of polishing cloths till it got very shiny.  I sprayed on the Tamiya TS-30 Old Leaf Silver in two thin coats.  The paint was polished but I did not use any polishing powder with it.  I thought about varying the colors of the metal, but decided against it.  FYI, I also painted the tiny parts like landing gear well doors at the time.

 

When everything was dry, the exterior was masked off and the cockpit was sprayed Dark Dull Green (Tamiya XF-5) while the rest of the interior bits were hand painted black.  I made tiny seatbelts from Tamiya masking tape for the seat.

 

The landing gear itself was painted with AS-12 Polished Aluminum.  I masked off the wheel rims and the forward part of the fuselage (glare panel) and they were sprayed flat black via airbrush.  The wheel wells were masked off and the interiors (including the gear doors) were sprayed with Tamiya XF-4.

 

However I ran into a problem with the prop which was broken in so many pieces that I didnít want to rebuild it.  At that time, I was also working on the Trumpeter F-100C which sapped all my enthusiasm for modeling and I stopped building everything.

 

Several months later, I was at the LHS and found a 1/72 P-63 kit (Toko) for cheap so I bought it and used the prop (and gun barrels) from the kit instead.  The rest of the P-63 kit went to the spares box.  I had to drill out the hole for the prop because the mounting lug for the Toko P-63 was bigger than the kit one.  I used a 1/8Ē drill bit for that task.

 

The prop hub and prop blade tips were painted flat white then flat yellow.  When the tips were dry, they were masked off and the prop was painted flat black.

 

Decals

The decals went on without any issue (as the surface was so smooth) using some MicroSet.  No weathering was done with the model.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

 

I trimmed the vacuform canopy carefully to get it to fit, masked and then sprayed it black.  When it was dry, the windscreen was masked then sprayed on Tamiya Old Leaf Silver from the can.  I had a little bit of overspray to fix but it was easy to clean off. 

 

The various landing gear parts were attached using CA glue.  Also added the painted exhausts.

 

The gun barrels were cut from the Toko kit, painted Gunmetal and super glued on while I used a thin piece of plastic rod for the pitot tube.  These were attached using CA glue.

 

Thanks to the one piece fuselage, the plane is a tail sitter and there is really no way to fix it.  I had to glue (with CA glue) a piece of clear plastic to the fuselage to act as a support.  It was trimmed so that all the wheels touch the ground. 

CONCLUSIONS

 

If you have never built a resin kit and want to build one then I recommend this one as it makes for an easy build despite the NMF paint job.  It is a good introduction to the techniques and pitfalls of resin kit.

Dan Lee

September 2012

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