Revell 1/32 P-38 Lightning

By Kevin Williams

My first ever contribution to LSP. I unfortunately don't have a lot of photos of all that was done to this kit. At the time of building, I used a Minolta 35mm SLR for taking my photos. Attached images are scanned from original prints. It was my habit at the time, and still, to use photos as a visual reinforcement for my description of work done at model contests around the region.

This is a 1/32 scale Revell P-38 Lightning I built roughly 12-15 years ago, I can't really remember. It was my intention to add as much detail as I thought necessary to make for an attractive display, as well as be a competitive model. To that end, several things were done. Several small plates and framing around shell discharge are were done with plastic strips.

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Gun bay, including 20mm cannon, ammo feed chutes, ammo boxes, access door, etc. was completely scratch built using rods, tubes and sheet plastic, (as well as a healthy dose of reference materials).

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Cockpit for the most part, including instrument panel, was scratch built, and/or kit parts heavily embellished using standard methods. Some items had to be faked, as I had very limited access to reference resources.

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No additional detail to speak of except for scratch built boarding ladder, tires painted over a screen to simulate diamond block pattern. Fine mesh screen was added to radiator and oil cooler inlets. Main gear was shortened, nose gear extended to give a nifty tail heavy sit. Lots of weight was crammed into nose and boom fronts to compensate for the natural tail heavy sit. One boom had to be "liberated" from a spare kit, as I severely mangled the original somehow. Entire airframe was painted with MM Metalizers of various shades using wet newspaper as masks. Kit was not re-scribed, although I did consider it; rather, entire airframe was heavily sanded to reduce rivet and panel line contrast. All in all, it all worked out OK I guess.

Kit now resides in the collection of a friend that conned me out of it somehow. I guess I'll have to whip out another in the form of the Trumpeter kit one of these days. If there's a plus side to this, I believe my abilities and knowledge base have improved dramatically over the last fifteen years or so, at least I keep telling myself they have, therefore I'll end up with a much nicer Lightning when I'm finished!

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© Kevin Williams

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This article was published on Wednesday, July 20 2011; Last modified on Tuesday, April 26 2022