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Author Topic: P-63 Kingcobra of Toko/Eastern Express  (Read 5138 times)
Massimo Tessitori
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« on: August 16, 2012, 10:20:51 PM »

Hi,
I've started to build a kit of Eastern Express, the P-63C Kingcobra with French marks.

The pieces allow to build a Soviet P-63A


and an armoured PR-63G target tug,

whose decal sheets are not included in the same box, but in separate variants of the kit.

http://www.scalemates.com/products/product.php?id=142446
I know, making it as a French plane instead of Soviet is out of place here, but my impressions could be useful anyway.
I've looked something on the web, and I've found this topic with two photos of built models
http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Gal6/5801-5900/gal5801-P-63-Marshall/00.shtm
http://airfixtributeforum.myfastforum.org/archive/eastern-express-1-72-bell-p-63-kingcobra-72141__o_t__t_11877.html
and here, much better but in French
http://fighters.forumactif.com/t31554-bell-p-63c-kingcobra-toko-eastern-express-1-72
http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=234917341

The kit comes with two light grey sprues plus a transparent one. Apart for some small flashes, the impression is excellent. The fine surface panelling with slightly protruding rivets looks excellent, as the details of the cockpit. The wheels looks thick and not completely satisfactory, I'll see if I can replace them in some way.
I've built the model, that is waiting for painting, and I can see that it requires a lot of work of testing pieces and of filing them, forthemost on the inner side. There is nearly not any piece that doesn't require to be filed, in particular the inner face of the pieces of the wings that, if left as they are, would give a way too thick rear edge.
Besides the junction between wing and fuselage, and the wheel bays walls, need to be filed to fit the thinned wing pieces.
One has to open, by drilling from inside, the holes for the gunpods and auxiliary tanks under the wings. From what I see on the boxart, the Soviet P-63A doesn't have the gunpods, so one hasn't to open the inner couples of holes.
However I can say that, if this work is done properly, one doesn't need any putty and can save the fine surface details, that will be very visible with the aluminium finish typical of French planes. If one builds the Soviet version in NG and OD, or the target tug in blaze, saving the rivets is not so fundamental.
The most visible difference between Soviet P-63A and French P-63C is the ventral fin, present only in the later version. The kit provides good alternative pieces for both variants.
Well, it's all for now. I'll add furter impressions and informations when it'll be possible.
Another difference is that the P-63C has a vertical radio mast where the P-63A has a ring aerial of radiocompass on its back.
Photos show that at least some of the Soviet P-63A had a starter dog installed on the propeller's hub.
Other things to say... the main landig gear doors are moulded in one piece anf have to be cutten . It's not difficult, and they are thin. Just, one can see that there are doors for the wheels too, but the bay is shaped curved according to the profile of the retracyed wheel, and doesn't need these doors. One can see also that the bays, seen from inside, are predisposed to be cutten to make room for the doors.
Photos show that both Soviet P-63A and French P-63C have rounded bays without those doors, so they can be left as on the kit. The squared bays... maybe for the target tug?

The doors of the nose landing gear are thick and difficult to cut, they'll require to be thinned inside or at least on their edges. They haven't internal details except for the hinges.
The tail horizontal surfaces haven't any tooth to make the building easier and to streghten the gluing; so I made two metal pins for each stabilizer and the relative holes, and glued them with cyanoacrilate. Be careful not to exchange te tail pieces; only the left one has the trim tab.
The division line between stabilizer and elevator is good for the P-63C only; the P-63A should have the division extended to the tip and slightly curved, as on the P-39.

Has anyone experience with this kit, or links to some good sites and walkarounds? Documents on the P-63 are not so easy to be found.
Regards
Massimo

 


« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 11:18:48 PM by Massimo Tessitori » Logged
Massimo Tessitori
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Posts: 5772


« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 11:16:07 PM »

Some links to walkarounds:
http://www.aircraftwalkarounds.be/Images/BellP63AKingcobra/index.html
http://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/p-63/p-63_walk.shtml
http://scalemodels.ru/modules/photo/viewcat_cid_150.html

http://avaxhome.ws/graphics/photo/Bell_P-63A-10BE_Kingcobra_Walk_Around.htmlSome historical notes

http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=263
movies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCWfE3N2_ug
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBQzkd0zIR8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABcIrFmbfA8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=NRC6yUFcoPY&NR=1

http://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php?topic=3390.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/1555027553/

Profiles:
http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2/f/681/21/0
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 12:00:51 PM by Massimo Tessitori » Logged
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