Building a 1/16 scale P39N Airacobra

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by Leif Oh, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. yaniv

    yaniv Active Member

    outstanding work

    u are a master

    1 of the most butifull model i gever seeing
  2. barry

    barry Active Member

    Just a thought is it anything to do with your ink cartridge you get the same effect with water droplets.

  3. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Hi, Leif! :D

    I hope you worked out the difficulty with the spray does sound like a bad can you got this time. It does add a bit of a rustic finish, though probably not in the way that you intended. :(

    Nice riveting tool! It's a lot of work, but it pays off in providing that little extra detail you don't normally see. I appreciate the tips on how to use it; I would probably have made a bunch of little holes in my panel, not just remove the top layer of paper. :shock:

    As always, a superb write-up with a great set of detailed photos! :D

    Looking forward to the next installment.


  4. silverw

    silverw Member

    Hey Leif, whew...had to catch up, al the way from 19B.
    I like you thinking about the "test" build. Everting I do is a test, till I see what happens :!:

    Great stuff :D
  5. ripper

    ripper Member

    Hi Leif, really a nice work! When I see your building process, I have one important question - what kind of printer do you use? I use laser printer, which gives me a nice, stable print, but the drawback is, that next time colors come out differently...
  6. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Ripper, I use the ubiquitous Epson C80 inkjet - cheap to purchase, expensive to run, like most have found out. About colours, I think you may have noticed that my Airacobra has turned out a slightly more brownish hue than intended. This, I found way into the build, has more to do with the scanner and the settings there, than the printer.

    What I should have done - and have done since in other scans - is to prepare the settings a bit better, and/or adjust colour levels in Photoshop a bit better before printing.

    It is in fact possible to get the proper olive drab hue from my original scans, with some adjustments. But then all the rest of the model would be different from the fuselage. So I decided to stick to the same brownish hue.

    This particular aircraft just will have been exposed to a certain amount of Russian winter & mud, that's the way it has to be now.

    But the next time...

  7. yaniv

    yaniv Active Member

    i c thet u are using a "LIGHT BOX" for making a spaciol cuting on the back side of th epart

    u have or know wer i cen got some instriction to make one of my oun?
  8. ripper

    ripper Member

    Leif, the problem I have with buble-jet ink printer is, that the paint smears and fades after touching the surface or applying water-based glue. So I switched to color-laser priter, which does not have these drawbacks, but, in turn, colors are slighly (but enough) different each day... So I have to print all pages at once, because if I need an add-on - well, it will not go together to the "older" parts
  9. Gecko23

    Gecko23 Member

    They are really simple to make. In a pinch, you can cut a hole in the bottom of a cardboard box, flip it over a trouble light, or bare lamp, and top it off with a piece of lexan/plexiglass/glass/etc and use it.

    Or you can do the exact same thing using more expensive materials. :)

    Kidding aside, I made a 2'X2' light box for my wife earlier this year, it only took 4 hours or so (most of that watching paint dry), and $60 in materials.
    Half that cost was the plexiglass top, a lot of the remainder was the flourescent bulbs I used.

    I could get more detailed if you like, but like I said, there is really nothing to it.
  10. cecil_severs

    cecil_severs Member

    If you have access to a craft store like Michaels, you can buy a small one for about $15.00. You can probably find them on line as well.

    Hope this helps.

  11. Gecko23

    Gecko23 Member

    I forgot the cheapest alternative, tape the part to be traced to a sunny window. :D
  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Plastic fabricators generally have scrap pieces for sale at very reasonable prices. I have taken to using acrylic in place of glass plate as the pieces are around $0.50 U.S. and are genreally around 50 cm x 25 cm or so. Placing one over a flourescent fixture does make a quick and easy light box.

  13. yaniv

    yaniv Active Member

    henks u all

    can some one pablish a link with good pic of "light box" or so?
  14. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

  15. yaniv

    yaniv Active Member

    thenks alot man its very help
  16. bfam4t6

    bfam4t6 Member

    I am starting to miss your great tips! More importantly....I WANT SEE HOW IT TURNS OUT! :D You've done such a wonderful job so far. I understand that it can be time consuming to post every step of the way but it would be a shame to not share at least the completed product with us :D
  17. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Thanks Dustin for prodding me. Several things have caused a lull in the building. Those which belong in the sphere of paper modeling have to do with an acute (now turning chronic) spell of fear for bungling the process of applying those big compound sheets covering the wings.

    But I will overcome that. The Airacobra is sitting there right in front of me every day when writing these small postings, and I'll get back to it one of these days, when other things in life have sorted themselves out a little bit. Meanwhile it is a great comfort to keep in touch this way.


    PS. By the way, nice new avatar! I take it that the B17 might actually be underway, or at least being mentally prepared for...?
  18. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Go have a look at a very well built P39 by Damraska!

    Meanwhile, all you Airacobra lovers, go have a look at a very well built Modelart 1/33 P39F by Damraska. You can have a quick look at it here in the gallery, or at Damraska's own site.

    On his own site, Damraska reviews a number of card aircraft models (as many of you may already have seen); the P39F is a recent addition. The P39F review is accompanied by a series of the largest and most revealing photos of paper aircraft models I have seen. You can clearly see both the limitations of the Modelart kit, and the very high class of workmanship by Damraska.

    In his review, Damraska makes an interesting distinction, comparing the Modelart P39F with the Halinski P39N: "The two models represent opposite ends of two spectrums--accurate and boring (Halinski) versus approximate and interesting (Modelart)."

    That certainly would seem to merit some discussion, although perhaps best carried out in one of the more general forums on this site. I started a thread in the CardModeling forum, for those so inclined.

  19. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    21. The Airacobra gets its wings - finally!

    21. The Airacobra gets its wings - finally!

    (Dustin, this one is for you in particular. Thanks for prodding me!)

    After several months on the shelf above my building table there was quite a lot of dust on the Airacobra fuselage and the wing framework waiting to be skinned. I finally decided to defy the wing jinx and go to work. Here's the story of how the 1/16 scale Airacobra got its wings - finally:


    1. The wing skin is made up of two parts (had to divide the original part; wouldn't fit into the width of the paper otherwise), joined by a 10 mm strip. Ailerons and flaps have been cut loose, edgecoloured, and reset with ordinary office tape. The wheel wells turned out to be of less than perfect fit for the cut out in the wing skin, which is why I added a thin layer of grey paper, in order to mask the thin gaps which would have appeared otherwise.

    2. The wheel wells should have been glued to the wing skins, according to the instructions. No way I would have got them into the wing framework that way, which is why I glued them into the structure at one single spot only. This way I could still adjust their position laterally to achieve the best fit possible eventually.

    3. Getting ready to glue in the bottom wing skin. Glue is applied only to the aftermost part of the centre section joint line, and immediately around the wheel well. No other place at all (in particular, no part of the spars or ribs!). The secret here, I found by painful experience from the other wing half, was not to try to do too many things at once, and not glue the wing to the structure, except at the wing root. This in order to be able to adjust the fit as you go along.

    4. The skin has gone on at the bottom. Now we got a fixed point, and the rest is a matter of adjustment and trimming. Here, I mark the front part of the skin for trimming.


    5. Front and beginning of top part of skin being trimmed.

    6. Marking out the rest of the trim necessary on the top part.

    7. Aligning the top part, aileron to aileron, on the bottom. A few millimeters trim of the bottom part turned out to be necessary. Not good, but not too bad either.

    8. Trimming aft end of middle rib, in order for it not to be visible under the skin.


    9. Adding reinforcement folded strips 3 mm inside of trailing end. Not specified in instructions, but experiences from other wing half indicated that it would be helpful.

    10. Now, finally, glueing the bottom part to the tip rib.

    11. Glueing the front part of the bottom to the framework.

    12. Edge-colouring the trimmed top part.


    13. Glueing in the air duct to the inside of the front part of the skin. Wouldn't do to forget that detail, with all the work that went into it.

    14. Massaging the airduct into place from the outside.

    15. Glueing down the trailing edge of the top part of the skin. Now it is closed. Using a steel ruler to ensure that the trailing edge stays absolutely straight.

    16. Glueing on the bottom wing tip. Glue only on the base tabs.


    17. Top part of the wing tip goes on.

    18. And now glue is applied from the outside to the perimeter. The wing tip with its many small cuts are massaged to a reasonably good shape.

    19. Only details left now - adding the navigation light (green acrylic mixed with white glue).

    20. And the final coat of clear matt acrylic is applied. This turned out to be slightly disappointing on both wing halves, with some sags even after 24 hours of drying time. Will have to think about a proper method here for the future.


    And here it is - the wings are mounted and glued into place after some trimming of the fuselage framework parts.

    It really is kind of huge, isn't it...

  20. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Wonderful tutorial on large scale wing building. I think we've all been wondering when you'd get the courage to proceed. Now you've outdone yourself on a superb job of craftsmanship. Your careful attention to the visual presentation is a lesson to us all. Thank you for taking the time to express this to us all.

    Warmest Regards, Gil

    P.S. It is rather big! Wondering where you're going to display it...,

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