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Dan DeSilva
70 articles

1/48 Minicraft P-38L Putt Putt Maru

January 21, 2018 · in Aviation · · 26 · 2.7K

I had the P-38J kit- but it sat for a while because I was not sure how I would deal with all the stripes on the tail and spinners.

The decals from the kit sheet and the Hasegawa kit sheet for the coloured stripes were not suitable, so i realized I needed to hand paint them. All but the boom stripes are hand painted. The decals are Minicraft (one issue has a different blue from another, I used the lighter of the two), and Hasegawa for the nose kill markings and antiglare black areas. I painted the yellow pinstripes as the edges of the kit decal shattered- I touched up any cracks in the black by hand as well. The blue I used to match the decals was a ford or chevy engine blue- Testors enamel.

With some research I found that Putt Putt Maru was really a P-38L, and that the Minicraft kit is actually a P-38L out of the box. I just added True Details replacement wheels, with the enormous bulges pared down a bit.

I did my best to get a good finish with a gloss white base coat, then Testors Metalizer, overcoated with Future clear finish. I airbrushed the exhaust stains.

Thanks for looking.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

26 responses

  1. Great job hand painting those stripes. Looks beautiful to my eyes.

  2. Great finish! Love that Lightning!

  3. Beautiful for sure! and a colorful scheme.

  4. Col. McDonald would be proud of this one, Dan.

    Well done!

  5. Outstanding job, Dan...I've seen a restoration of this bird and you've nailed it!

  6. Dan, Very nice, I think everybody enjoys a nice P-38,, especially when they are done well, like this one !

  7. Good result, Dan. The metal finish sound but not overstated.

  8. Very neat work, Dan, especially on those stripes, and the metal finish looks convincing.

  9. Nicely done Dan, did one Minicraft P-38 and it gave me fits. You seemed to have conquered this beast. Nice job with the stripes, well done.

    • I know that alignment of the booms is a bit of a problem-near exhausts and the join with the front engine nacelle. I never saw pictures to show the extent that some have probems or where the problems are- although people always say they are hard to deal with! I hear that Hasegawas is easier? I hope to do a European theater J soon- will be using the Hasegawa for that.

  10. Nice work, Dan. Is that the Academy/Minicraft, or Minicraft’s own kit they released after the split? It looks nice. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t built a P-38 since I got the Monogram kit for Christmas in 1972. I have a couple in the stash, you’re inspiring me to dig them out!

    • Thanks John. Not sure which one I got as the box got thrown away as soon as the decals were done- I might have the instructions still, I will check for you. I think they are both the same molding- whether boxed as J or L- the details on the kit are an L for sure.

  11. Hi Dan. You did an amazing job on this P 38. I have this kit in the stash and seeing your offering is inspiring me to get mine on the to do list. Well done!

    • Thanks very much for the kind comment! I am glad i finally bit the bullet and got it done! I definitely wanted it in pure fighter mode with the drop tanks and in NMF. Looking forward to doing a camouflaged J from the ETO.

  12. Very nice - those tri-color stripes really set it off. Well done!

    • Thanks Greg- I have to say those markings and the number of victories really made it appealing to me to model Col. McDonald's mount. Finding the right photographs went a long way to getting the tail striping right- a lot of incorrect profiles out there- the kit decals for the tails was a bit off too.

  13. Beautiful finish Dan. An impressive kit of an aircraft which has apparently been ignored for some time. Nice to see one so well done.

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