Balkan Models BM-W01: Airacobras in Foreign Service




See review


Scott Van Aken


 1/72 scale, Three options

This new sheet is the beginning of a new line for Balkan Models. It is called the Winglet series and provides a small number of markings for subjects that perhaps would not  merit a full sized sheet on their own. I think it is a great idea and hope that these sell well enough for the series to continue.

The first one is on the P-39 Airacobra, but unlike most sheets on the subject, is for aircraft that were flown in Europe by the Western Allies.

Going by the cover, the first option is a P-39Q of GC II/9 'Auvergne' of the French Air Force in 1945. These were not new aircraft and were nearly war weary themselves, but were sufficient to help French forces in removing German forces from the Atlantic port areas during the last years of the war. This one was painted in standard Neutral Grey undersides with Olive Drab upper surfaces. The aircraft would probably be well worn.

Next are two British aircraft, both of which are P-400s. The British rejected these aircraft and they were flown but briefly by one active duty squadron. The rest were used for various trials and as hacks.

The one with the late war markings and camouflage with the photo markings was assigned to the Royal Navy for deck landing trials and fitted with what looks like a tail hook. This hook is hinged in the back and so has to be swung forward to be stowed. Should be relatively easy to duplicate with wire.

The other is one of the first received and has the US equivalent paints of Dark Green/Dark Earth of Sky Grey. The lower color demarcation line is very high.

The sheet itself is well printed and includes enough unique markings and insignia to do all three options, something you do not often get in decal sheets of any size. The sheet comes with a superbly printed color markings and placement guide. These are designed for the Academy kit, but really, even the old Revell kit would have no issues getting the markings to fit. A listing of various paint brands is included so you should be able to find some of these in your area.

Thanks to Balkan Models for the review sheet. Ask your local shop to get this one for you when it is available or visit the link.

December 2012

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