Cutting Edge 48-143 for P-39 Airacobra




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Scott Van Aken



I'm going to use this sheet to do a bit of editorializing. This sheet is a nice one and is well done. It is also $9.00. There are others out there that are equally well done and cost even more. However, it seems that the cost of a standard decal sheet (one that is a single sheet) has been inching up and up and up over the past few years. Why is that? One might be that there is a lot of color in the instructions. One might be the desire for greater profitability (a.k.a. 'the need for greed')

The question is how much is too much? I can tell you that I had to think long and hard about buying this sheet because of the price. Now that I have it, I'm not sure that it was really worth the money. Other than one nose art and some other minor artwork, most of the sheet is insignia, not exactly artist-intensive stuff. It seems as if we are paying for a lot of pizzazz. By that I mean color instructions. If I look at Superscale, I don't see color instructions, but I do see a price that is about a third less than this particular sheet for the same number of subjects. Something to think about.

Well, on to the sheet. With the release of the Eduard P-39 series, it is natural that we find a lot of aftermarket for it and this sheet is one of them.

There are four planes on this sheet, three have the standard paint scheme of OD over Neutral Grey.

The first plane is a P-39D of the 31st PG during the Carolina maneuvers of 1941.Other than the white crosses and unit badge on the door, it is normal in all respects for the time.

Next is a Russian P-39N Airacobra. The instructions show it having stars on the upper wing, a practice that was not common for Russian planes. They also don't provide enough stars to do the fuselage as well as the upper and  lower wings! In addition, there also is no nose number for the Russian plane. Guess that quality control was asleep on this one!

From the 15th FG is this coral over medium blue P-39Q of the 15th FG. It not only has an unusual camo scheme, but also the short-lived red surround insignia.

Finally, a 110 TRS P-39Q with New Guinea white tail and wing markings. This one is the reason I got the sheet as the 110th is a local Missouri ANG unit.

The recommended kit is the Eduard one, but the Monogram kit is very nice as well and these markings will work equally well on that kit.

Review copy courtesy of ME!!

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