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1/72 Hasegawa P-38 Lightning “Yippee”

Lockheed painted their 5000th P-38 Lightning “Vermillion” red in 1944 and used it as a demonstrator for a short period. Perhaps this one of the first “Commemorative” paint schemes that are so prevalent these days with military aircraft? I enjoy painting glossy special paint schemes on aircraft…sort of like combing auto and aircraft modelling.

This is a very old kit but it was state of the art back in the day. I assembled it with no modifications. Only a little filler was required. I barely added enough lead buckshot to the nose as it just sits on it’s flimsy front nose wheel.

I mixed red and yellow Humbrol enamels to come up with my version of Vermillion. I sprayed the paint thinned with lacquer thinner through my trusty Paasche H airbrush at about 30 lbs air pressure. Yippee was quite glossy according to the photos I found online so I went for a shiny finish. I needed to rub down the paint as I had a little bit of orange peel. I used 2000- 3200 grit sandpaper as well as automotive rubbing and polishing compounds. It is challenging to get a smooth enough glossy finish that the model photographs well. Any “orange peel” will show up in the photos, especially in 1/72 scale. Matt finishes, which are common on military aircraft, can hide a lot of rough paint problems.

Decals were from an ancient Microscale sheet that was badly out of register. I cut out each letter individually to eliminate the extra white that appeared on the outside of the black surrounding lines. I had to fill in missing white on some of the letters with white paint.

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.


12 responses to 1/72 Hasegawa P-38 Lightning “Yippee”

  1. I’ve built a few of this kit in the day. An honest kit that builds well. Always wanted to do Yippee, but didn’t. Splendid build Don.

  2. Nice build. I did one of these years ago with the 1/48 Monogram kit. I had the same problem with the decals. I used a Gunze red which was my first try with acrylic paint. I remember sanding that kit within an inch of its life to make the gloss finish work.

  3. Thanks Haslam. I have 2 of the 1/48th Monogram P-38s in my “stash”. Not sure if I am brave enough to go down that road…Easier to build a newer “super kit” that falls together and makes you look like a Rockstar builder, LOL.

  4. Great job! Nice paint scheme. I’ve got one of these kits in my stash.

  5. Good looking Lightning Don, well done, always liked the look of this aircraft !!

  6. All that elbow grease paid off handsomely! A lovely (and unusual) Lightning.

  7. Thanks Greg. I am still seeking that elusive perfect gloss paint job….

  8. Nice job and really good looking. It’s a good source of inspiration for me!

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