Aeromaster 72-037: Stalin's Cobras

Units: Various




Scott Van Aken

This particular sheet has markings for eight P-39s in Soviet service. The P-39 was well liked by the Russians not only because it tended to stay together, but they really liked the 37mm nose cannon. Since most air combat in the Eastern Front was at a relatively low level, the P-39s inability to operate efficiently above 15,000 feet was never really a problem. In the hands of a competent pilot, the P-39 was quite maneuverable and able to hold its own and even best its opposition.

For kits, you have quite a choice. There is a somewhat mediocre kit from Airfix as well as one that is much better, but still from rivet-city by Revell, if you can find it. We then go to the really nice Heller kit, that despite being of raised panel lines, is a super kit. Then the one that most will go for, the Academy kit. It is quite recent and very similar to the Heller kit in terms of parts layout, though it does have more options.

First is a P-400 from the 19th Guards IAP. This is one that was foisted off on the Russians by the Brits who didn't like the plane at all.

From the 17th IAP is this P-39N with a large eagle on the nose flown by Maj V.F. Sirolin.

White 46 is another P-39N flown by Hero of the Soviet Union N.I. Protenkov. It has a nice fuselage flash.

White 19 is another P-39N from the Black Sea Fleet in mid 1944.

The P-39N with the snake on the side is the aircraft of Sultan Amet-Khan of the 9th Guards IAP in 1943.

White 2 is from the 129th Guards IAP and has a rather large tally on the door.

White 100 is another 9th Guards IAP plane of A.I. Pokryshkin and also has a large kill score on the nose.

Finally, white 50 with a disruptive camo scheme. This plane was flow by K.V. Sikhov, also from the 9th Guards IAP.

All of the planes but the first and last are in OD over neutral grey. There are enough markings to to all of the options on the sheet. It should make into a very impressive collection of Airacobras!

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