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P-39 Snooks 2nd


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Ok, inspired by JohnB I've started a new build - the Kitty Hawk P-39N/Q which I'll build as Snooks 2nd.  I'm only a few days into the build and already having a love/hate relationship with the kit.  I really like Airacobra's and 1/32 is ideal to show off the cockpit, engine and nose of this unique bird.


But the fit of the kit and mold quality leaves a lot to be desired.  JohnB has highlighted a lot of the fit issues so I'll try not to duplicate those here.


I was very surprised at the flash and excess pour plugs (at least that is what I call them).  The flash is very noticeable on the engine wiring harness:




And on the back of certain parts:




The exhausts come in 24 parts, and half had significant flash.  Not ideal on an $80 kit.


The fit so far has also had issues: for many pieces that are supposed to come together, either they are so tight as to nearly be snap-fit, or the lugs just don't fit.  For example: parts D10 and C30:  Part D10 has holes for locating pins, but part C30 doesn't have any pins.  Things like that just slow down assembly.


On to the build!


Have to start with the engine, but remember that only the sides are really visible:




I have a lot of work to do on the exhausts, and then will add the wiring harness and detail the engine block.


Started work on the cannon and machine gun parts:




As we know P-39 models are tail sitters so I'm trying to find as many places to put some lead including inside the machine gun magazine in the nose and all of the other hollow boxes.




Not sure how effective this will be and probably will still need to add nose weight, but hopefully a bit less.


Here is the cockpit so far.  Using the Vallejo acrylics and have been very pleased so far.  They go on very well (if not very bright!) with easy water and Windex clean-up.  I have not tried detailed work with the paint yet.  Getting used to the eye-dropper dispenser but also like being able to easily add more paint, and not having to thin it (I am spraying right out of the bottle).




This is the green the Kitty Hawk kit called for - looks very, well, GREEN to me.  I've started doing some highlights using Model Master Dark Green to reduce the monochromatic effect.


More to come.

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Good(?) start. Man, looks like you have your work cut out for you. But please carry on. I know you'll do great things with it.....Harv

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Nice start Chris, and yet another reminder of the one I have languishing on my workbench!






I call those things 'ejectites', as they're caused (as far as I'm aware) by the ejector pins pushing out the still-soft plastic from the moulds.



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Nice start Chris, and yet another reminder of the one I have languishing on my workbench!



I call those things 'ejectites', as they're caused (as far as I'm aware) by the ejector pins pushing out the still-soft plastic from the moulds.




Come on Kev, Misery Loves Company!!  We can all be in this together. :-)

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This is the kit that I'm increasingly hating to build.  I'm just amazed at how poorly engineered the kit is.  Part with locating pins but either the mating part doesn't have the holes/slots for the pins, or the slots/holes are not big enough to take the pins/tabs.  Parts that are also too big to fit where they are supposed to as well. I have multiple examples of this.  Really disappointed that every single step takes far longer than it should to deal with fit issues.


Progress so far.


Overall seems like so far can get the fuselage together - but it is rapidly apparent that all of the top of engine paint and detail is for naught - nothing of it will be seen as well as detail on the front and rear of the engine.  



Got the minions painted (I mean the oxygen tanks!).  Another dumb mounting point issue - the lugs to ensure the proper height to the tanks could have been put UNDER the frame, not on top.



Installed they look great 




The equipment tray in front of the cannon magazine required cutting down the mounting legs in the back and widening the alignment slots in the front.  Still not sure how it will all fit yet when enclosed in the nose.


I thought the front landing gear would be a nice simple project for this morning...




Painted the Model Master Metalizer, but the silver mounting piece (looks like a 'W') did not have any holes in the roof of the landing gear bay so that required some drilling mounting holes.  The entire also had to shorten the piece from the landing strut to the 'W'.  Putting these three pieces together took 45 minutes and they are not well aligned.  Still have to fix that.




Finally got ONE thing together with out a huge issue:  the instrument panel.  Did some cutting of the decal to get around the raised switch detail, but overall  it came out better than I expected.  The decals themselves are very nicely printed and not very fragile. I pushed them down over the IP details and that came out pretty good afterall.




So have to fix the front landing gear still, then get the cannon shells on the nose and add the nose guns.


Thinking about HGW seatbelts.

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Kev - I had a DEVIL of a time getting the nose gear to line up properly.  The Main strut does not fit tight into its hole so lots of play there (maybe a blessing in disguise), but the rest of the geometry just did not fit right for me.  I ended up doing a lot of cutting and lots of gap filling CA.  Am definitely interested to hear how your build experience is going.




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Guest Peterpools


Nice progress on a great aircraft and a so/so kit. I feel your pain as I'm suffering through the Italeri Mirage and it seems the engineering staffs might have a few meals and drinks together - same type problems on expensive kits.

Looking good and keep 'em coming


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Thanks Peter, Kev, Harv and everyone for the support.  Much appreciated!


I have a business trip for a week so taking a bit of a break.  And broke my magnifying light as well so need to get another one.  I did finally get the nose together and I think mostly aligned.  My cannon is also a bit skewed, Kev, but there seems to be a lot of play so when I put the gear reduction box on the nose, it all actually fit together pretty well.  Hope your will too.


Cheers gents!


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Finally got back home and a bit of time to do some real work  :innocent: .  Put the nose gear box together and that went amazingly well.  Again, almost snap-tite fit but got it to go ok.  Before I left I also got the front Geometry mostly fixed....




Also got all of the exhaust stubs on the engine.  OH, and they are definitely 'Handed' despite no indication of this in the instructions.  There are longer mounting tabs are one side of each exhaust stub and these go in the top.  There are six that go on each side if you look closely.


I plan to keep the left side closed but open the right.  Taking a cue from JohnB I'm doing a lot of dry fitting as I go, and I had a feeling that using the body panels over the exhaust to help line them up would prevent future fit issues.  I was right, I had the exhausts angled up too high on both sides.






I decided a while ago to build this out of the box but I have always seen P-39s with armored glass behind the pilot so I added two .015 plastic panels for the glass (LHS didn't have anything thicker).




I also installed the wing panels for the ammo tray and gun openings.  The topside panels, trimmed to fit closed, fit pretty well.  The under wing panels, under the ammo tray, were easily 1-2 mm too short length wise.  Oh well, at least they are underneath.  


The 50 Cal gun pods have five mounting holes, to correspond to four drill-to-open holes in each bottom wing.  I shaved off all of the mounting pins except one on each end figuring that would prevent possible problems with fit.  This actually worked very well.  Pictures to come.

Edited by CANicoll
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Minor update - I've got the wheel wells together and painted, the spinner as well and various other landing gear assembly.  BUT!!!  I did finally splurge on the HGW seatbelts and I'm not sure how or why, but they actually went together very well IMHO.  :mental:




The lap belts are not attached yet but that is next (and I had to glue the shoulder straps to the seat to keep them from sticking out).  Now that I have the seatbelts sorted I can attach the rear bulkhead and the rest of the interior and close up the fuselage.  Been waiting on the HGW belts to arrive.  

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