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Northrop T-38C Talon II – Trumpeter 1/48

This post will be quick and dirty, just like this build. The kit itself is very simple, as is the airframe. It does have a nice petite coke-bottle shape that most can appreciate, and the model itself scream petite when you pick it up. It is very light for a modern-ish jet.

To start, I bought this kit second hand, and the cockpit was already mostly painted, installed (poorly), and the fuselage halves were already together with the intake scoops on. The fitment of these parts was again somewhat poor, and the seams were sapped with liquified styrene. All this, and set of Caracal decals for $14.99. Not a bad deal, but also not a great deal. I think the kit itself likely has decent fit if time is taken to ensure that seams are flush before slapping them together. The biggest issue I had (primarily due to the PO fitment of the cockpit) was properly fitting the canopies. The sills that the cockpit sit on were pushed too wide, which meant I had gaps to deal with, and in my opinion I did quite poorly, but it won't keep me up at night.

Fast forward through a lot of seam sanding and preparation, I was able get this one tidied up for the display shelf in a hurry. As of yesterday morning, this kit was without primer, but masked and ready to go. Fast forward again through one coat of Mr1500 Black, Tamiya XF-2 White for panel mottling, Vallejo Med Gray, Vallejo Gunship Grey, Tamiya X22, Decals, some panel washing, and then a mix of X-22/X-35 to finish it off... I'm calling this one done.

I kind of enjoy these trainers, and have more in the eventual pipeline (none begun as of yet), including T-2, T-34, T-45, T-50, to name a few. Interesting note about this scheme, it seems that some squadrons at the same AFB would sometimes share planes, thus the "banner" at the top of the vertical stab is different from one side to the other. Pretty neat! Also, I see a lot of these getting Matte coats when completed, but looking at photos of many of the well maintained units, they are very glossy... so fyi.

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.


16 responses

  1. Turned out really nice, Andrew!
    Nice painting and I love the dual banner!

  2. Awesome build of this elegant plane, Andrew @pb_legend
    Didn't know about this plane sharing, thanks for mentioning.

  3. Terrific looking Talon! It does look modernish for a design that goes back to the late 1950's

  4. Fine build on what in 1X1 is the sexiest-looking a/c we've ever designed. All good, Andrew.

  5. Well done, Andrew (@pb_legend). It is really tough picking up and building a partially built kit, but it came out well. I flew the T-38A when I was in pilot training. In training, we went from a T-37 to a T-38, so it didn't seem like a small plane. I guess in the scheme of things, it really is a petite airplane.

  6. Very nice build.

    I personally prefer the late 60s/70s all white scheme. Mostly because of the 6 Million Dollar Man I think which had the Talon in many episodes.

  7. Always loved the curves on the Talon, Andrew.
    Nice save on this kit, the T-38 looks great even in the basic two tone grey.

  8. Great rescue, looks great, definitely liked.

  9. Andrew, @pb_legend
    This kit turned out much better than you think it did... I like it... a lot. It beats my old 1/48 Italeri kit, and I also have an ancient 1/48 Testors version (that I think was the old Hawk kit). For this one to be in primer only a few days ago, and now be here in the headlines section is not an easy feat.

    I definitely pressed the "liked" button. Good to hear from you. Stay safe.

  10. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Nice clean and sharp work on this build Andrew.
    Not many T-38's seen in model shows.
    Very nice design. Very impacting result on the painting of the afterburners.

  11. Very nice Talon - well done.

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