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Chuck A. Villanueva
121 articles

Tamiya P-38F MTO, USAAF 1/48th Tunisia 1943

March 6, 2022 · in Aviation · · 23 · 1.4K

To say that the was a joy to build is an understatement. Having built the and 's which are good models of the P-38, just that Tamiya had really taken a rather complicated twin boom air frame and made it as simple to build as their other kits to date.

I was intending to build either the Bat out of Hell or Texas Terror schemes, but there are few of these around already so I decided to something a bit more simpler and seldom built scheme of a P-38F, The Tangerine flown by Lt Ervin C. Ethell in the winter time frame in Tunisia, 1943. The 14th Fighter Group, 48th Fighter Squadron, tasked to escort ;s and 's, close support, anti shipping missions through the Med theater of Operations. This is the first Tangerine, however it was lost as his wingman used it on a mission that he did not return from. There is a P-38J in Oregon on display with the Tangerine markings though Ethell was assigned a new P-38, and he had that aircraft decorated as well as Tangerine II.

The kit as stated was a great joy to build, as others have already built it has stated it is so true. Everything just clicks in place from cockpit to the final details. Tamiya provides some extras as well. The cockpit from the kit is excellent but I did use for the first time the Quinta Studios cockpit set and it is so easy to use and apply and really enhances an already well detailed cockpit. The decal sheet also supplies nice stenciling and details to add to the airframe as well. The scheme is Mission Models Olive Drab, Gunze Neutral Grey lower surfaces. Interior is a mix of Interior Green and Yellow Zinc Chromate. Though Dull Dark Green would've been ok to use as well. The Od top surfaces have a mix of different shades of OD to show wear and repaints of panels, a wash to show leaks and fuel stains, Deck Tan was used for the distinctive exhaust stains along the top of the tail booms that extended far into vertical tails. One little note is that somehow the LH side scoop must have fallen off the boom over the main gear. This the first of many P-38's, so far having 4 built, 2 Academy's one Hase and this one Tam P-38, I have the H kit and the soon the Tamiya P-38J/L kit. A recommend this kit for all age groups it is a great kit to build for all skill levels.

Fly Navy

Reader reactions:
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23 responses

  1. A superb build, Chuck!
    A great scheme, as well!

  2. Great build! Where in Oregon is "Tangerine II"? I live near Portland.

    • Hi Joe, thanks for the comment, last it was in the Erickson collection in Madras, Oregon.

      • Another beautiful 38, Chuck @uscusn. That’s a nice foursome you’ve got there. Here’s a photo of “Tangerine II” that I took a few years ago at the Erickson Museum:

  3. Amazing looking P38, Chuck @uscusn
    This Tamiya kit is indeed a true pleasure to build.
    Together with your modelling skills you turned it into a true winner.
    Great paint and weathering results as well.

  4. Looks great, Chuck! The OD looks well done. Can't wait to dig into mine. On the 2022 list to build. Great inspiration.

  5. Great P-38 in MTO scheme. Nice review of the quality of Tamiya manufacturing also. You and Tamiya get a 4.0 grade on this awesome build.

  6. Well done Chuck, that's a fine looking fork tail devil.

  7. AWESOME looking kit and fantastic build Chuck,
    Was it a coincidence that when you took your P-38 outside that the sun began to shine?
    Nice job with all the photos.

  8. A nice P-38 Chuck! Well done.

  9. Great work Chuck, makes me excited to start the one in my stash! Great weathering around the cockpit

  10. An excellent build!

  11. Really nice, Chuck @uscusn. Jeff Ethell's dad's airplane - which was why Jeff just had to fly a P-38 (unfortunately).

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