This is my second Arma Hobby kit to build, and I continue to be impressed. The detail – from the cockpit to the panel lines and access hatches – is tremendous. In fact, for 1/72 scale, it is almost a case of over-engineering! It took me about as long to build the cockpit and close the fuselage as it did to finish, paint and weather the aircraft!
The box and instructions include colored art for four different aircraft, accompanied by nicely printed decals that performed well. Because of some of the differences between the aircraft depicted in the decals, and the fact that many of the sprues are evidently intended to allow the building of other P-39 versions, I would recommend after you select your aircraft, run through the instructions carefully and determine which parts to include. There are places where you are required to fill in some engraved access hatches and inlets for the depicted N version, if you want to be technically accurate.
I was drawn to the version with the curved-edge white highlights on the tail and wingtips. I’d not seen that before. And, who can resist a shark mouth! Like any flat decal on a curved surface, there was a little puckering for the mouth decals, but with a little scalpel work and some paint touch-up, it comes out very nicely.
Like the Arma Hobby Hurricane I recently reviewed, the styrene has a nice feel – not as soft as Airfix, but not hard or brittle. It was a pleasure to handle and responded well to filing and sanding clean-up.
One interesting component of this build is the front landing gear. You actually have to bend the plastic piece to the correct angle to assemble the leg. It makes me wonder how strong the final gear assembly will remain long-term, especially after you add the kit-provided three metal balls to keep it sitting on the nose wheel. The inclusion of the nose weight is a nice touch, and they molded a holder for the metal balls within the nose cavity.
Everything fits like a glove. Very little putty or filing/sanding is needed. Because I wanted the doors closed, I had to do a little work to get them to fit just right.
I love that canopy masks are included. In this case, there are even masks for the inside of the doors, making it easier to finish the doors’ interior sides and prep for the decals which go there. Options are also provided for two sizes of bombs (complete with decal stenciling) and a fuel tank.
There was enough detail already on this airframe that I decided not to add any rivet work.
Knowing that I want to flesh out my ‘Cobra collection, I’ll add a couple more Arma Hobby kits of this mid-engine warbird to my stash soon!
Thanks to Army Hobby for the review kit.