Sheet:

Fantasy Printshop  48-108 International Airacobras

Units: Numerous

Price

12.95 from Fantasy Printshop.

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

The P-39 Airacobra was one of those planes that would have probably passed into obscurity were it not for the Second World War. Designed as a high altitude interceptor but thanks to various meddling, not provided with the engine it needed to do that mission. Still, it was a very maneuverable and capable aircraft as long as one flew it at low altitude. The Russians loved it for its ruggedness and heavy cannon armament.

This new sheet from Fantasy Printshop has markings for eight Airacobras flying with various nations, including the US. No specific kit is given, but we modelers are blessed with three very nice P-39 kits. The oldest is by Monogram from the 1970s with raised detail. Next is the nicer Eduard line-up of P-39s and finally we have the even nicer Hasegawa kit from just a few years back.

#1 is a French  P-39 Q from GC 1/9 operating in North Africa during 1944. OD over Neutral Grey with remnants of the USAAF nose markings.

#2 is a similarly painted Italian P-39Q of the 4th Stormo. White nose on this one operating in 1945.

'Spare Parts' is a USAAF P-39 of unknown variant. It seems to be painted overall black for use as a night fighter with the 46th FS in 1943.

#4 is a Portugese P-400 in RAF camo.  It is one of 19 planes  interned after running low on fuel en route to Gibraltar.  They were later sold to Portugal who operated them for many years.

Another British Airacobra I is one of those operated briefly by 601 Sq in late 1941 before the type was deemed unsuitable for European operation.

Next a test RAF bird with 776 Naval Air Squadron for carrier suitability trials.

A Soviet P-39Q, White 67 is next. US insignia were painted out with AMT 4 green or AMT 7 light blue on the underside

Finally a P-39D of the Carolina maneuvers in 1941. This plane was operated by the 39th PS/31 PG. The large red markings will need to be painted on.

The decals themselves are superbly printed by Fantasy Printshop and look to be very opaque and in register. Placement guide provides upper and lower markings guide as well. If I had to make a change, I'd increase the size of printing on some of the items. Some of the print is so tiny as to be illegible or near impossible to read with out bringing the sheet to within inches of one's eyes.

This is an outstanding decal sheet and one that I think you need to have in your stash for your next Airacobra project.

For 1/72 modelers, this sheet is also available as 72-108

February 2008

Thanks to Fantasy Printshop for the review sheet.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.