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3DStewart

P-39Q to RAF Airacobra, What's Required?

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Apologies if this has been asked before, but what changes are required to convert Heller's P-39Q to something reasonably close to an Airacobra?

 

I know the cannon and spinner are different, anything else?  This is in the context of an out of the box build, so minor details don't worry me.

 

Would cockpit and wheel wells be US colours or RAF interior green?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by 3DStewart

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I think the exhaust stubs might be different and the wing gun arrangement mightnot be the same. Most of the Airacobras were direct contract and so probably finished to Air Ministry spevs

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See the link to some excellent photos of No. 601 Sq. Airacobra Mk 1's- they were the only squadron equipped with them, and then only for a short time. IIRC, the Airacobra Mk 1 was basically a P-39F with British radios, harness, and other bits. You can see fishtail and tubular exhausts fitted, and the type of spinner and 20mm cannon installed. Compared to the Heller P-39Q, there might be some differences in the nose gun ports,  gun gas vents, and shell ejector chutes, so compare the photos to the kit. IIRC,  wheel bays, flap bays, and inner surfaces of the gear fairing doors would usually be zinc chromate yellow, but sometimes they could be seen painted interior or Bell green- I think the lend-lease Mk 1's would be in chromate yellow. The nose and main gear struts were usually always finished in Bell green, which was the interpretation of interior green that came from the paint supplier Bell used.  The Bell green appears a little more bluish ("Funny- you don't look Bluish!" for you Yellow Submarine fans.) than  interior green, which is FS34151.  @Dana Bell  would be the man to ask, but I think he's really busy on some projects at the moment.

Mike

 

https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/p-39-2/601-sqn-duxford-oct41/

 

Oh yeah, I almost forgot- if you are going to do one of the 601 Sq. Mk 1's, notice that in some of the photos in which the grey looks patchy, some of them were finished in  mixed grey, as supplies of ocean grey were not sufficient to re-paint all of the aircraft that needed their dark green/dark earth/sky colors changed. The formula for mixed grey in RAF documents was 7 parts medium sea grey to 1 part night. The 601 Sq. Mk 1's were finished in dark green/mixed grey/medium sea grey or later repainted dark green/ocean grey/medium sea grey. Does this help?

 

If you can find the Academy kit, it is better than the Heller kit, especially the nose contours, transparencies,  and wingtips, but the RS kits are the best, I think, but are more expensive

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You have discovered and revealed my best RAF Airacobra Mk 1 color reference! Are you over your illness, my friend?

Mike

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Nice photos, Chris! I will add them to the others I have saved. Skylark XIII is the one I have always wanted to do, and it is in the mixed grey, so that will be a little different, too, along with the fishtail exhausts. Thanks for posting the photos.

Mike

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3 hours ago, 72modeler said:

You have discovered and revealed my best RAF Airacobra Mk 1 color reference! Are you over your illness, my friend?

Mike

Wish i was my family is coming down with it now as well. Maybe in a few days i will start my uptick on the health front. 

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Thanks for help guys. Some great photos I've not see before.

 

I'd also add that the Airacobra doesn't seem to have the nose gun blast tubes found on the P-39Q.

 

Any idea what colour the UF codes are, white or sky?  I'd be inclined to go with sky, but on some of the photos they look almost the same as the white of the roundels and fin flashes.

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8 minutes ago, 3DStewart said:

 

Any idea what colour the UF codes are, white or sky?  I'd be inclined to go with sky, but on some of the photos they look almost the same as the white of the roundels and fin flashes.

 

Sky - I'm sure  there is a couple of colour photos of them that confirms

 

 

Edited by Dave Fleming

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38 minutes ago, 3DStewart said:

Any idea what colour the UF codes are, white or sky?  I'd be inclined to go with sky, but on some of the photos they look almost the same as the white of the roundels and fin flashes.

Sky: compare colour of codes in 2nd photo of post 6 with colour of spinner and tail band.  Also note colour of nosewheel leg in 1st photo: that's what I've always taken to be Bell green.

 

You'll also need to add the wing guns: NB (photo 1 again) that the inner gun is mounted above the wing centreline and the other one below.

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29 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

but on some of the photos they look almost the same as the white of the roundels and fin flashes.

In some photos, the codes sure do look very close to the white of the roundel and fin flash, but also match the tone of the sky spinner and fuselage band, but I think they were sky, as that is what all the color reference works state, and these Airacobras were freshly repainted upon arrival in England after their sea voyage, so I would think the finish was by the book.

Mike 

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1 minute ago, 72modeler said:

and these Airacobras were freshly repainted upon arrival in England after their sea voyage, so I would think the finish was by the book.

they got repainted from the US applied TLS to DFS for those that were issued,  when the RAF didn't want them they were shipped onto the VVS,  one was recovered in the last few years still in TLS,   there are colour pics of this.

Photos of VVS ex-RAF planes show both TLS and DFS (I can dig out links if anyone wants, they are on Sovietwarplanes BTW)

 

One interesting detail is this, Bell painted a high Sky demarcation

P39raf.1.jpg

 

when  repainted to DFS, they stencilling was masked out, which are what those little light patches are above the nose UC leg, 

49166110942_7d41a06b9e_b.jpg

 

also here on the nose and by the Sky band

49165398878_3e885d061b_b.jpg

and here close up

CH_003729_1.jpg?_ga=2.130761423.11234435

 

HTH

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