Lockheed P-38L-1-LO Lightning 96th FS – 82th FG – Italy – European Theater – 1945
P-38L-1-LO, s/n 44-23852, ‘Beautiful B***h (let’s see if the profanity filter snags this one)’, coded ‘B7’, flown by Lt. John J. Kane of 96th FS / 82nd FG, Vincenzo, Italy, March 1945.
Decals from Kagero’s P-38 Lightning at War Part II, which is a tremendous value because you get 8 different aircraft in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scale.
Trumpeter kit is a known commodity, with all of its warts pretty well documented. If you build it “buttoned up” none of the panels will fit perfectly, so you’ll have to “massage” them with putty. The propellers don’t sit right if you build the kit as the instructions intend, so I took the easier route and cemented the prop assemblies directly onto the nacelles. They don’t spin, but they look better. There is a funky “droop” to the outer wings which can be remedied with a spar; I used chopsticks. That induces gaps on the underside joins with the nacelles, which again is a job for filler.
I saw this kit as a testbed for Vallejo metallic acrylics, and I used a LOT of their aluminum paint for this bird. it brushes nicely enough and it produces a tough natural metal finish. What’s not to like? Non-metallic paint was also Vallejo. Weathering was with thinned black paint, tamiya black panel line wash and some pastels.