MPM 1/48 P-63A Kingcobra






See review


Scott Van Aken


short run kit


Although it looks a lot like its predecessor, the P-39 Airacobra, the P-63 Kingcobra was a very different aircraft. It learned from the lessons of the P-39 and was developed as a ground attack aircraft. It was larger, more powerful and had better armament than the P-39. Thanks mostly to the improved engine and the new laminar flow wing, the P-63 was a truly excellent aircraft. However, by the time it reached production status, it was decided not to use the aircraft in US combat squadrons.

The P-63 was used in the US in training squadrons, where it served well. Most of the 3300 Kingcobras produced were exported to Russia and France with Russia getting the lion's share. It is unknown if the Kingcobra was actually used in combat by the Russians though there were reports by Luftwaffe pilots of encountering the aircraft in the last months of the war. It was undoubtedly used in Manchuria against the Japanese, but there has been no corroborating evidence. 

As indicated by the box top, at least one example was sent to England where an improved canopy was installed in the aircraft.


Typical of short run kits from the Czech Republic, this one is comes with the parts in separate bags. One for the injected plastic pieces, one for the resin bits, one for the clear bits and one for the decals. The resin parts are mostly for the cockpit and the wheels. The injected parts are finely engraved with engravings showing where to put the underwing guns and drop tank pylons. There is some flash on almost all parts and the parts will require some cleanup as is the norm with a short run kit. 

Sprue attachment points are large but not overly so. Some of the parts will be difficult to remove as they are almost one with the sprue attachment. A razor saw will be very handy in these instances. The small bits are free of ejector pin marks, but the large ones like the fuselage and wings have very large stubs that need to be cut off prior to assembly. The kit is devoid of proper wheel wells, offering only mounting points for the gear and some inner wing blanking plates for the main gear. Another area of concern is the prop. It consists of a separate hub and prop blades. Not the best arrangement for proper alignment of the blades, especially as everything is butt joined!

Options include the underwing guns (actually, these are just about required), drop tank pylons (no tanks are supplied), the ability to have the doors opened or closed, and the bubble canopy. Decals are by Propagteam and are very nice. You get four aircraft options. One is a non-descript USAAF aircraft, another is one in Russian ferry markings (red star with white circular surround), a third is a Russian operations aircraft and the fourth is the British bubble canopy versions in RAF paints. 

MPM kits have a reputation for being a bit difficult to build, though their more recent releases have been better engineered. While not for the bare beginner, any modeler with experience building short run kits should be able to make a fine replica with this kit.

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet! 

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