P-39Q-5-BE Airacobra of the deputy commander of 3 air squadron of 30 GvIAP (273 IAD 6 IAK 16 VA) — senior lieutenant A.P.Filatov, Poland, autumn 1944
Some notes on Filatov Aleksandr Pavlovich (1 April 1922 -??) Unlike
other combat pilots, he loved Russian literature and especially poetry. He was a modest man, that tried not to show himself proud of his victories to other people. When sitting down into the cockpit, he quietly listen at the report of mechanics, put on his parachute, showed no emotion, inspected attentively behind his shoulders and took off. Here his modesty disappeared: after completing 175 combat missions, he shot down 21 aircraft personally, and 4 shared in 35 air battles. He was shot down and was taken prisoner twice, but he escaped both times. The Airacobra of Filatov is very interesting because of its nose-art, uncommon for USSR VVS: three playing cards near the cab.
This model is built almost out of the box… but Profipacked box :-) Eduard's Airacobras are widely known to modelers as remarkable kits, there are no real competitors in1: 48 scale. The kit includes not only the plastic parts, but also a photo-etch sheet with fine details, painting masks and a small weight for the nose section. My model was assembled in what is called «on the flick», I had only 2 problems exclusively because of my own inaccuracy and inattention. a small weight was glued into the nose in a too advanced position, so the nose was slightly warmed and the formed slot was puttied; the small distortion of geometry led to the fact that the canopy, doors and spinner did not fit well. The spinnerrequired some work to fit, but it was impossible to place correctly the doors, so it was necessary to place both of them in open position, not only one as on the real aircraft. While painting the cockpit, the canopy mask lifted and paint got on the clear part. It was necessary to cut off and to polish it, but in the process of polishing the plastic was cracked. My attempts to repair it and flood small cracks by Glanzer (Future analog) were not successful, and my attempts to find a new one were unsuccessful. I had to use the damaged canopy all the same, because I have no experience with vacuforming. Some improvements made on my model are:
- the barrels of the main gun and machine guns were from hypodermic needles
- the exhaust pipes were drilled
- «ears» on wing-guns made from thin tin
- the location of the lights was changed to fit the drawings
- «Equipage» wheels were installed
- colored lights by «Hobby- plus» were added
1) Regarding the wing panel lines. After studying several drawings, I came across a problem. On the Eduard kit, the lines on the upper part of the wings are partially similar to the drawings from D&S, but not completely. «War in Air» (used ML pictures), on them also is very similar the Yellow Series drawing, they do not coincide. Drawings from «In action» are generally similar. Because of this, the upper part of the wing was rescribed according to drawings from ML/«War in Air». 2) the presence on this machine of underwing machine gun pods. Only in the Eduard's instruction these guns are represented for this aircraft, on allthe other drawings of Filatov's Cobra they are absent, such as on 2 archive photos. However, I took a chance and installed them; being them easily removable and installable at the pilot's will, this version is likely all the same.
I've found 3 profiles of the machine Of A.P.Filatov and two archive photographs. Profiles can be found on
- War in Air #45 — «Combat employment of P -39 Airacobra»
- Article «30 guard fighters squadron» by Vasiliy Vakhlamov. The author of this profile is Mr. Svinkov
- coloring instruction to Eduard's model
In the process of preparing the model for painting it was finely sanded and painted with AKAN metalizers and ABRO automobile's paint. Then my attempt to do preshading — first I painted the panel lines with thin strips of black color. Then the spaces between them were accurately painted by the necessary color — as a result the heterogeneity of painting is obtained (along the pointing darker tone). All paints used in this model are AKAN enamels.
After painting, the model was wet sanded with 1500-2000 grit sandpaper to smooth the paint.
Finishing, decals, aging and weathering
After painting, the model was passed with a layer of Glanzer for a glossy surface for a better adherence of the decals from the kit. Eduard uses Cartograph decals (Italy) of excellent quality, they lay practically without any problems, with a little help from MicroSol. After a day of drying, an additional layer of Glanzer was applied. The wash was done by artistic acryl manufactured in St. Petersburg: brown on the underside and black-brown on the uppersurface of the plane. Then a last layer was applied: semi-matt coating from the AKAN line.
By the way — this is the simply light-grey paint of a certain degree of dullness. Last primes — smokiness and «pant chip» to the metal layer, dry brushing some elements. For the antenna the «Hobby-plus» special thread proved to be a sufficiently interesting material. Easily painted and glued, it possesses grow prettier by tensibility, also possible to select the necessary thickness.
The technician are from the Alanger's kit, painted with St. Petersburg artistic acryl paint. The pedestal's basis was made by Plexiglas, then the earth was made from soda & superglue, concrete runway from the cardboard and grass from dill.
- In detail & scale #63 — P-39 airacobra in detail
- Mushroom Yellow Series #6106 — Bell P-39 airacobra
- War in the Air #27, 28 — P-39 Airacobra (part 1, 2)
- War in the Air # 45 — combat employment P -39 Airacobra
- Monografie Lotnicze — Bell P-39 Airacobra
- Squadron #043 — P -39 Airacobra in action
- Vasiliy Vakhlamov’s article «30 guard fighters squadron»
Special thanks to Alex Ruchkovskiy (AR) and all comrades that helped with suggestions and documents. Photos and text © by Michael Neradkov