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Tony Prince
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P-38J Lightning by Academy in 1/48th.

September 26, 2019 · in Aviation · · 30 · 2.8K

Being a very positive person I just knew that somebody would bring out a new kit if I waited long enough & so they have, with the new Tamiya P-38 f/G kit (which I have on order), but I also had an Academy kit in my stash & thought that I'd have a practice run at this, since it had been such a long time since building a Lightning. I was quite pleased with the result, although Academy exhibit some wishful thinking when it comes to attaching some of the parts! She's pretty much out of the box except for brake lines & seat belts & I was pleased with the general fit & surface detail. Not much putty required either. Paints are from Vallejo & Model Master with a home brew matt clear finish. Decals from Tally Ho!

Hope you like it.

Reader reactions:
18  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

30 responses

  1. Great work on this Tony.

  2. Very nice. Anyone who handles an Academy P-38 has my respect.

    • Hi David. Thanks for your comments. This is my second Academy P-38. The other was a -G model, which turned out very well, but over the years the clear parts started fogging although I hadn't used any super glue... Oh well!

  3. Excellent Tony, love the overall finish. I like the Academy P-38's, I have built 2 of them, and the first one which is the P-38M was bit of an experience. The 2nd one I built about 10 yrs later was the "E", and I found much easier to work on the 2nd time around. just ready for most of the work around the nose. I had no issues with the tail booms. i have a Hasegawa Lightning in the stash which I would like to build before the Tam Lightning arrives, I have it on order as well. Can't wait for it to hit the porch. Not saying that the Academy is an easy build, but patience will always prevail as seen in this case. You mentioned you didn't use much putty, I didn't either, most of the clean up was around the nose. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Chuck. I guess I was fortunate I didn't have any problems with the nose or the tail booms. Main problem came from the prop blades, which were all distorted. Fortunately I was able to sand the parts to an acceptable shape.
      Undercarriage doors were a pain, but fixable too. The wheels I tossed out & used a resin set instead. All things considered I think it's a pretty good kit.
      That said, I'm still waiting for the new Tamiya P-38 to hit the shops!

  4. Beautiful presentation, Tony...good work.

  5. Nicely done Tony,you have achieved a really good looking P-38. Built a couple of the Academy kits as well and found them to very very decent kits. No boom problems but those gear doors could use some better attachment points.

    • Thanks Tom. Yes, the gear doors were the only real problem area. After thinking deeply I decided to insert some stretched sprue between the pathetic 'hinges' to give a bit more contact area for gluing; worked a treat!

  6. Lovely work, it sure captures the look of the P-38 in every aspect. I just wished you could add one or two pics from the underside of the model. Will keep an eye for your upcoming Tamiya model Tony

    • Pedro, Thanks for the comments & you're quite right; I've just added a couple of pics of the underneath. You even inspired me to add a pair of actuation arms to the main doors, because it looked a little bare from below.

  7. Very well done.I have also done a couple of these. The nose section required a bit of care and attention and the undercarriage doors definately lacked any sort of positive attachment. But overall I have found them to build into quite presentable models.

  8. I like this P38. I've only built one, and it was the Revell 1/48th, and the quality was BAD.

    • Thanks Jordyn. I remember building three of the (then) Monogram P-38s.
      I still have one I built sometime in the 1970's! Doesn't compare to today's standards, but for the time I regarded it as cutting edge!

  9. That's a beauty of a Lightning! Love the fork-tailed devil.

  10. This is a fantastic looking Lightning... It really looks the part. However I have never seen this nose art before on one.

    I have a few of these Academy, (two Minicraft) and some more of the Hasegawa Lightning kits in the stash. I hope to get one (or more) of them built in the future. After seeing yours, and what you have done with it, it's encouraging...

    Like everyone else, I'll try to get my hands on a new tool P-38 as well...

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Hi Louis. Thanks for liking it. The nose art came from the 'Tally Ho' decal sheet which I was lucky enough to have in my decal bank. The kit decals were so old as to be just about unusable. "My Dad" was a P-38J-10 flown by Capt. James "Slick" Morris, 77th. FS, 20th. FG, Kingscliffe UK, in February 1944. More details are to be found in the Osprey 'Aircraft of the Aces' series No.19. "P-38 Lightning aces of the ETO/MTO" as well as a side view of his 'plane.

  11. Hi Tony

    Nice work on the P-38, I too have a few Academy P-38's at home and plan to build them eventually, especially the recon version. I also have the new Tamiya P-38 underway (check out WIP Aircraft), it is a great kit that surprasses every other P-38 kit available in 1/48 by a country mile...

  12. Great looking P-38! Nicely done.

  13. Well done, (it) shows that you don't always have to buy a "good" model to get a good result.

  14. Kind words, John. Thank you. I guess it's how hard you are prepared to try and what alternatives are available.

  15. Beautiful build and finish! The subtle wear and weathering adds to the realism. Congratulations.

  16. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Nice work on this P-38 Tom. That paint scheme really gives it a classical look.
    I look forward to your outcome on the TAMIYA model.

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