In terms of build pics there are two of the airframe less control surfaces in basic red paint, and a further image of the scratch-built oil cooler housing and the air intake extension piece.
There are a few shots of the pilot, Jack Woolams, who died tragically in the crash which destroyed Cobra 1, allowing her sister aircraft, the striking yellow Cobra 2 to take part in and win the 1946 Thompson Trophy with Jack’s fellow Bell test pilot Tex Johnston at the controls.
I designed and built the oil cooler housing after studying a number of photographs of the two Cobras. I do not believe it was as neatly faired in to the lower fuselage as depicted in some of the graphic artwork available on the internet, but there you go. Lovely pics though they are and very inspirational.
Having no information about the cockpit interior colouring I reasoned that it would follow the external paint scheme. The prototype plane was “second hand” ,(bought back for a pittance from Uncle Sams WW2 surplus with a few flying hours on the clock) but totally rebuilt at the Bell Aircraft factory. I figured that they would not have left the cockpit in Army drab, but that is pure guesswork. If anyone has details of the cockpit colour and it is different to my assumption, please ask them to keep it to themselves.
Also I would like to acknowledge those kind chaps at HpH models. The Kingcobra 4 blade prop is a vital part of this model and they kindly donated me one free of charge from their now defunct P63 resin kit. Nice of em. I will ask Santa for their Macchi floatplane.
This is a 1:32 model based on the ill-fated P39 Raceplane. Information source ”Cobra!”by Birch Matthews. The basic kit for this project is the Special Hobby P400* with main decals by Draw Decal and Prop stencils by Kora.
Paints used are from Mr Hobby and Vallejo.
Interior by Eduard.
Here is a list of the modifications from the base kit
- Deletion of all armament and filling of cannon/mg apertures
- Removal of armament related interior items plus radios / door trims /window winders etc.
- Remodelling fabric control surfaces to replicate aluminium over cladding
- Replacement of 3-blade prop/spinner/cannon with resin P63 Kingcobra 4-blade prop/spinner(Kindly supplied by HpH models.)
- Pitot scratch-built
- Scratch-built engine air intake scoop to replicate prototype (3-inch extension which slightly overlaps canopy)
- Scratch-built oil cooler fairing and mesh grille hung from bomb hard point as per prototype
- Additional rudder trim tab.
*The prototype Cobra 1 was based on a P39Q. Birch Matthews excellent book details all variances across P39 range. The most significant changes between each model were to powerplant / armament / prop. All of which are irrelevant in this case. The Special Hobby P400 kit includes an essential 12 stack exhaust, which I could not find available as an aftermarket item should I have chosen a P39Q kit as a start point. Finally, I scaled the Kit and found that it is most probably based on a P39Q anyway!
I returned to model making 2 years ago after 40 plus wasted years when I allowed work to interfere with my life, working in the automotive and diesel engine industries including being a Director of Landrover. I was originally a Soviet AFV nut but am now more drawn to colourful subjects, hence the Raceplane.
References… (Geoff again!)
I did some research on the web and quickly came across this great site www.ipmsvagabonds.com It has some great intel on Alan’s chosen subject and some great photos too, should you be motivated to want to find out more and even give Cobra 1 or Cobra 2 a go as a modelling project yourself.
Do check this out too from You Tube – some actual footage of the aircraft featured here…
Rare colour film of the Bell Aircraft P-39 Cobra I & II Air Racers. Includes shots to Bell Test Pilots Jack Woolams & Alvin “Tex” Johnston and the Cleveland Air Races in 1946. Film provided by the Niagara Aerospace Museum.
Below are a series of images of the completed model. Click on a thumbnail to see the enlarged image.