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David Garcia
33 articles

Classic Kit: Aurora 1/48 P-38 Restoration

February 9, 2022 · in Aviation · · 18 · 1.5K

This is a labor of love. I wanted to see if I could build a broken relic into something presentable. I learned about the when I build this kit as a child and I would fly it around outside shooting down me109s and what have you. The copy I had at that time was molded in glossy OD plastic. I decided to find a copy and I did.

I found some busted up kits for sale on eBay. The P-38 was one of them and is molded in metallic blue. It was missing the tail plane, props and spinners and balance weights. I asked for parts from the club membership and a member sent me a complete Monogram P-38 kit for parts.

So here are photos showing the progress. It is one of 's more accurate 1/48 models and I wanted a simple stand build; but, there was lots and lots of sanding and filling. To my surprise the Monogram replacement parts fit perfectly. I carefully removed the yellowed canopy and polished it. There is no cockpit just a molded on pilot, and rudimentary instrument panel and radio. The canopy is more like a helmet in that it sits atop the cockpit and is oversized. The only thing I could do at this point was adding putty and sanding down the sides so that it fitted properly. I glued the canopy with clear Gorilla Glue and it made a good bond without crazing the plastic. The clear canopy is missing some frame lines so I used decal strips to create those missing frames. None of the intakes are open so I just used a large sharpie to paint them black. I painted the model with Tamiya Green Drab and Mission Models Neutral Gray. The markings are from an Aeromaster sheet on OD P-38s. The props are held in place with blue-tac putty. Thanks for looking.

Reader reactions:
14  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. Amazing job in breathing life to this disintegrating oldie, David! Great (and interesting that Monogram parts fitted well).
    The finished model is, simply, superb: the best the disintegrated Aurora could hope for.
    Well done! Keep them coming!

  2. Well and truly worth the effort.

  3. Great job on bringing this back to life!

    • Hi Bob, thanks for your comment. I could have done more detail to it, like scribing it, adding bits here and there, antennas and aerials and so forth, but I wanted to keep the model the way it was meant to be built, simple and with few additions.

  4. Very impressive workmanship. Counting the 1/32 Lighting you saved from oblivion, this makes two rare old Lockheed birds you’ve brought back to life !

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  5. Wonderful job done, David @thevid
    You saved the life of this iconic aircraft.

  6. I like the way that came out, David. It is an impressive build/restoration.

  7. Keep those Classics coming! Great job! Aurora did a pretty decent job on the shape of this bird and you did a great. job building it!

    • Thanks Rob,
      Yes, this one and few others are good decent kits from the era. On the other hand their candy apple red Me109 and yellow Zero were strange looking models but are now highly collectible in any condition. Their WWI models were also good, some very good. I do have a Me109 glue bomb that needs resurrecting. Thanks!

  8. Quite the restoration project - pulled it off nicely - well done!

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