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David D.
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P-38F "The Sad Sack" Tamiya's 1/48 P-38

February 6, 2023 · in Aviation · · 36 · 1.1K

Here's my latest aircraft model. 's in the markings of "The Sad Sack"

The Sad Sack was flown by leading scorers of the U.S. Army Airforce's 82nd FG, including Maj. Robert Kirtley (4/2/2), Maj. Ernest 'Hawk' Osher (5/0/2), Lt. Roland 'Tuffy' Leeland (4/0/4), and leading ace of the MTO, Lt. William 'Dixie' Sloan (12/0/5).
43-2112 was finally taken out of service on 23 May, 1944, after a year and a half of front-line action, when Lt. Leeman suffered a hydraulic system failure from flak over Yugoslavia and was forced to make a belly landing back at base in Foggia, Italy. 'The "Sad Sack"'s final record of 16 victories over 183 sorties serves as a testament to the skill and dedication of its ground crew; TSgt Leroy Lee (crew chief), Sgt Bill Coy (assistant crew chief), and Cpl Sorvando Velarde (armorer). She was the most successful in the MTO in terms of kills and length of service. You will note she has a combination of 1943 National insignia and late war ones. According Fundekals the ground crew never bothered to have the wing insignia re-painted.

Add-ons: Eduard P-38 resin wheels for the Tamiya kit. Eduard Resin Gun Barrels.
The picture references of Sad Sack show she had a blade antenna on the nose which I scratch built. Tamiya didn't include one in the Kit (they did in the P-38J kit). This would indicate she had an SCR-522 Antenna but P-38F's left the Lockheed factory with SCR274N radio's which required an antenna wire to the rear of the ship. P-38's could have both SCR274 and SCR522's (albeit rare) so decided to add the antenna wire since the kit only comes with the SCR274N radio. I must say though this was the most difficult part of the build. I made the spring with fine copper wire wrapped around a fine copper rod then added stretched sprue to create the Y in the Antenna then ship rigging line there back to the tails. Some of the pictures were taken just prior to finishing the model and as you may have noticed the model does not have it's pitot added as yet or the 27N antenna wire.

Reader reactions:
27  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

36 responses

  1. @totalize - Beautiful build David. The wear along the wings looks fantastic. The antenna wire looks perfect! Very impressive!

  2. Excellent build of an excellent kit.

  3. This is one of the best Tamiya P-38 models I have seen done. Beautiful (and realistic!) paintwork and weathering.

  4. Looks Dandy. Sure has the look of a long serving bird.

  5. I have to say that is a beautiful build, your paint work is excellent. I am looking forward to building my Tamiya P-38, I hope it turns out as nice as yours. Thanks for the history on the plane too.

  6. Ecellent Lightning, David @totalize
    Painting and weathering is beautifully done.

  7. Congratulations, David! A superb result in every respect!

  8. Nicely done, David.

  9. Great build! Excellent all around, very inspiring! This will be one of my next builds.

  10. Very good painting!

  11. Excellent build and paint - looks like a hard working Lightning!

  12. Outstanding P-38. Love your paint and weathering work!

  13. an excellent -38, paint and weathering is top-notch.

  14. Great job on this already classic kit.

    • Thanks George. It is a really a great kit. Tamiya after sales support sucks though. Surprisingly, one of the NO STEP Tamiya decals melted under my decal fixing solution they are usually quite thick and the kit ones were no different. I tried to get help with a replacement set but crickets. Borgfeldt Canada who is the distributor for Tamiya in Canada ignored my requests. Funny because they want people to buy from retailers who they sell to but give no support. Tamiya America I think is good. They at least responded to my request saying they can't help me. I got a replacement set from Fundekals. They have a nice set specifically for the kit including all the stencils.

  15. Great looking '38. Paint work and weathering look good.

  16. That is REALLY Nice, Dave. Great looking model.
    When I built mine, I also used a set of aftermarket weapons, I think from Quick Boost. Decals I chose were from Cutting Edge. I hear the Tamiya decals are pretty good to use, but I am still skeptical of them. You did a great job on her, outstanding!

  17. Thanks Frederick. Yeah I was surprised the DO NOT STEP decal from Tamiya melted. They are usually so damn thick. This model was no different. The stencils were god awful so I used the Fundekals ones which were much thinner.

  18. G'day David (@totalize),
    Great build and nice attention to detail.
    I wasn't aware of the illustrious history of this particular aircraft.

  19. Stunning build, David. Beautifully presented too.

    Cheers from NZ.

    • Thanks Ian. Happy to share with you guys.

      How's the weather in NZ? is it getting toward fall there? Days are getting longer here in Canada as we near spring. Had freezing rain yesterday though and was -7 degrees C.

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