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Mom’s 1/48 Academy P-38

This build is a tribute to my late mother and is not representative of any P-38 that actually flew. However, I did steal the nose work idea from Richard Bongs’ P-38. Years ago when I started building models again mom asked me if I would build her a model. She obviously remembered those days in my youth and my enjoyment of model building. Of course I said sure, what would you like to have? During the war mom worked at the White Oak Rubber factory in Ravenna, Ohio, sewing ponchos together while dad was overseas with the 101st Airborne. I didn’t believe she would know one plane from another let alone anything with tracks on it. Without any hesitation she stated “I would like a P-38.” I was rather stunned and after some questioning I discovered she knew exactly what was a P-38.

Consequently I built her the 1/72 Academy P-38J that is pictured below. Not one of my best builds and after her death it was given back to me. I decided for her 96th birthday I would build a tribute P-38 in her honor. The markings are from the spares box, 24 representing her birth year, the 210 represents the month and day of her birth. The 7 little kill stars represent the 7 children she along with dad raised.

Five boys none the less, not sure how we didn’t drive her crazy. The Eagle talon on the tail is how she mothered us kids like a any mother Eagle would do.. Nurturing us along until the day comes when we can fly from the nest on our own.

A special shout out to Dave Kopielski from Dave’s Scale Models who did the decals from the photo I supplied. Thanks a lot Dave for an excellent job as well as quick turn around. The build is pretty much OOB, but I did add an Ultracast seat and wheels. Paint was Tamiya TS-17 Gloss Aluminum, and Model Master acrylics for the cockpit. Nylon thread was used for the antenna and a Pitt Pen to highlight the panel lines. The kit represents a P-38E but I optioned to position the canopy open as a P-38F.

So here’s my tribute to a great woman and wonderful mother Annabelle Stacy Bebout. Happy Birthday mom, here’s the P-38 you deserve.

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses to Mom’s 1/48 Academy P-38

  1. It came out GREAT! Glad I was able to assist with the decals!

  2. That was amazing. It turned out so well. I like the meaning behind every number and letter. Well done, and “liked”

  3. Great job Tom @tom-bebout, and a great tribute. Well done!

  4. Tom, @tom-bebout
    Your mom would be very proud to have this one as a birthday gift. It’s the builds like this that have so much sentimental value to us all. This is a wonderful project, and a tribute to your family.

    Well done buddy…………………. I hit the “liked” button too.

  5. Great way to remember your mom Tom. Nicely done (loved the last picture of your parents).

  6. Awesome build and a fitting tribute to tour Mom and family. My Mom always liked P-38 too, she was in the Civil Air Patrol during WW 2, I guess she saw them there.

  7. Well done! That’s a special build and gives honor where honor is due.

  8. Wonderful, my mom’s name as also Annabelle!

  9. Great build for a great reason.

  10. Sharp build and outstanding nose art. I’m sure your Mother would love it!

  11. Wonderful tribute and great build. Great way to make a iconic war bird mean something special.

  12. Nice tribute! Well done!

  13. Gentlemen, thanks for all the nice comments they are truly appreciated. I’ll use the old saying it was a labor of love.

  14. Well done, Tom. A great post. And love that decal.


  15. Well done! Wonderful tribute, congratulations

  16. Nicely done, and a fine tribute!

  17. Tom,
    This is a great tribute to the Mom who raised & nurtured you. As others said, I’m sure she was VERY proud!
    I think the first P-38 you built was excellent, and the second is better! VERY nicely done NMF!
    (the silver, for the few who don’t know NMF = Natural Metal Finish)


    @tom-bebout … PS – I’m sure looking forward to the coming show!

  18. Tom: What a cool tribute to your Mom. Well done.

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