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David Butler
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1/48 Monogram P-38L "Pacific Prowler"

August 9, 2022 · in Aviation · · 18 · 1.3K

I got this (1966 issue) super cheap online and couldn't resist the desire to rebuild one of the very first models that I built as a kid. It was a fun nostalgic trip down memory lane, but it took some careful test fitting and patience especially with the multiple pieces that make up the nose!

As always, the profile of the old Monogram kits look fabulous even if there is a few missing details, unsightly seams, and raised detail- if you care about that kind of thing (personally, I think the raised rivet detail looks nice on this one).

The plastic was very brittle after sitting in the box all those years, and the decals were no longer viable. I used Areomaster's "Lighting in the Sky pt. 3" sheet, opting for the P-38L-5-LO "Pacific Prowler" markings of 2nd Lt. Clint Ward's 44th fighter squadron aircraft stationed in the Philippines. Of special interest, the left .50 cal machine gun of "Pacific Prowler" was removed and covered with a red marking (decal directions did not elaborate why this was done).

I tried to keep it pretty simple but I did add some Tamiya tape seatbelts, a prominent bracing frame behind the seat, and some EZ line rigging to enhance the detail.

The plane was finished with different shades of Vallejo silvers, and some light weathering with Tamiya weathering powder and thinned acrylics.

It won't win any contests, but I had a blast building it and it looks good in my collection. I love the classic kits and enjoy them as much as many of the modern offerings. Looking forward to putting the Tamiya P-38 that I plan on building this winter next to "Pacific Prowler" on my shelf!
Reader reactions:
20  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. Beautiful results David! I just threw away a bunch of old kits I built as kid (storage/falling apart/helping noone) and this kit was among them. I remember having fun building it, and it being my first "silver" plane. It wasn't bad, but on my build the kit's lack of details and vintage were horribly apparent... but your build looks like a completely different kit... I'm glad you enjoyed it, because you've certainly paid the plastic more than it's due, and built this into a fine looking model.

    Edit: that Monogram blue-box artwork is great, thanks for including in your shots! The guns a'blazen.

  2. Indeed, you took the most out of this vintage kit, David, coming up with a superb looking model!

  3. That really was a good old kit and you did the work very nicely.
    One minor nit: the canopy "lid" opens all the way slightly past vertical. Easy fix and then it's perfect.

  4. A great result on the old kit! I built one of these a few years back and tried sanding all the rivets off. My efforts definitely did NOT make for an improved result!

  5. It turned out very nice. It was worth it’s long wait to be built to such a high standard !

  6. Nice work, David! I butchered one of those at age 9 and haven’t built a P-38 since.

  7. Man, did you ever turn an oldie into a goodie. Well-done, all around.

  8. Great result on this oldie, David @dbutlr
    You really got the best out of this classic kit.
    The memories to your youth build are unforgettable.
    Well done.

  9. Very nice results, David, with this classic.

  10. A fantastic trip down memory lane, David, with one of my favorite Monogram kits, many thanks.

  11. Great job on this really old kit, David (@dbutlr). Even the older Monogram and Revell kits still built into a great model. Well done.

    • Agree with you George, I think many rush to pass over the older kits in favor of newer offerings enhanced by oodles of after market goodies. I like to build that way too sometimes, but I have a soft spot in my heart for older kits and I think with careful construction and a good paint job they can really hold their own!

  12. Beautiful work, I love it! This is a great looking build and for an old kit and I’ll say it again, it looks great!

  13. Way to bring an old kit to life! Looks very nice.

  14. Beautifully done! It was the gold standard for decades!

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