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Julien

Bell P-63E Kingcobra (72005) - 1:72 Dora Wings

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Bell P-63E Kingcobra (72005)

1:72 Dora Wings

 

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The P-39 Airacobra was deemed to be a damp squib by the US, although the Russian pilots thought well of it, as it suited their needs, but Bell tried to improve the aircraft by basing their attempts on the more suitable P-39E with a redesigned wing, engine and the inclusion of a supercharger that was omitted from the original Airacobra in order to save money, which inevitably affected high altitude performance.  The resulting airframe was so much different and noticeably larger, so was renamed and given the designation P-63A by the military, who ordered it into production toward the end of 1942, which was the main in-service variant.  In an attempt to improve performance it progressed to the D variant, which was the basis for the P-63E, but with a return to the cab-door canopy, and a ventral fin extension to improve stability.  Only 13 Es were built, and the project stuttered to a halt from there.

 

 

The Kit

Dora Wings is a new company to us, and have kindly agreed to send samples for review.  Mike reviewed the 1:48 version of this kit here, however as he is not a proponent of the "one true scale" he has left it to me to introduce this one.  The kit arrives on six small sprues of plastic, a clear sprue; and provides a PE sheet and a set of masks. Very much the complete package,

 

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Construction starts in the cockpit area the seat and bulkheads being made up and attached to the floor, the rear radio area is also made up. The front bulkhead with the instrument panel is made up and attached. The instructions have you add the front landing gear at this stage, though you may well be advised to see if you can leave it off for addition later. The indies for the front gear well are also then added to the other side of the cockpit floor. 

 

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Construction then moves to the wings with the main gear wells and radiators being installed, the drop tanks are also built up at this time. The wings can then be closed up, Flaps and the air intake are also built up at this time. The fuselage is then closed up around the cockpit and the side exhausts added. The top air intake can then be added. On the wings the flaps are added, and at the tail end the tail planes and rudder are added.

 

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To finish The main gears, canopy and propeller are added along with the drop tanks and underwing guns. Last part on is the cockpit door and top aerial. 

 

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Markings

Decals are provided for 6 aircraft.

 

  1. 311721 USAF
  2. 311720 USAF
  3. 311727USAF
  4. N9003R Civil registration
  5. 401 Honduran Air Force
  6. 402 Honduran Air Force

 

The decals are printed by in house and would appear to have no issues , its worth noting that the USAF never used the aircraft and the USAF markings are probably for delivery flights to the Honduran Air Force.

 

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Conclusion

The P-63 came along at a time when the attention was focused more on the nascent jet age, so it gathered little attention, and many folks probably couldn't even tell the difference between it and the P-39 unless they were side-by-side.  That said, it's an appealing aircraft, and as a model it looks like it will go together pretty well.  It's a shame there weren't more variations on colour schemes, but as there were only a few airframes built in this configuration, it's hardly surprising.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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