1/48 P-38F-15-LO – Mediterranean Theatre of Operations

Discussion in '#24 Mediterranean Theater of Operations' started by Crimea_River, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #1 Crimea_River, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2015
    Username: Crimea River
    First name: Andy
    Category: Judge – Non competing
    Scale: 1/48
    Manufacturer: Academy
    Model Type: P-38E
    Aftermarket addons: Sky Decals, probably resin wheels

    This model will depict P-38F-15-LO, s/n 43-2166 flown by the 1st FG, 27th FS, Tunisia, 1943. Profile courtesy of Eduard.

    HV-C.JPG
     
  2. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #2 Crimea_River, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    I bought this kit for a low price at a model show last summer and had been looking for a scheme to come along so I would not be forced to use the kit decals which were decidedly drab. After I got the kit, it started to dawn on me that the kit, which represented a P-38E was a bit of a limitation in that I read that the E model was largely limited to use in the Aleutians though it seems some did turn up elsewhere. I therefore began looking into what differentiated the various early models of the P-38 and found out that Academy's P-38E kit actually makes it easy to represent a P-38F, if not other types. The main differences were that the F model introduced a rear hinged canopy lid as opposed to the E's side hinge (the kit has the lid as separate so no issues here), the pitot tube was moved from under the nose to the wing (the kit has the right parts for this already), aileron trim tabs were introduced on the F (already molded on the kit, incorrectly for an E) and wing pylons showed up on the F (again, the kit includes the pylons). This opened up new scheme possibilities and, since the Lightning was used in the MTO, I began searching for decals that would fit this GB. I found this set by Sky Models to have one so I snapped it up on E-Bay.

    15010101.jpg

    The scheme chosen is for a P-38F-15-LO, s/n 43-2166 flown in Tunisia by the 1st FG, 27th FS. This scheme was also included in an Eduard release and the profile used above is snipped from their web site. As I always do, I searched the net for pics of the actual aircraft and found these shown below, along with a discussion about a possible misrepresentation of the scheme by both Eduard and Sky, owing to similarities in nose art between this plane and others for which photos are available.

    P-3843-2166-side-small_zps5e7f8df7.jpg
    zzP-38G27thFS.jpg

    So, as always, I'll welcome any info you guys might have on this rig. I've already been here: Identity of P-38F/G 27th FS | ArmyAirForces

    As for the model itself, here are a few shots of the trees with some comments on my build plan, starting with the box art.

    15010102.jpg

    The clear parts are OK but not perfect and they will allow me to use them for my F. The rubber tires will be relegated to the bin if I can find some replacements.

    15010103.jpg

    As I said above, Academy was kind enough to mold in the aileron trim tabs which should have not been there for an E so this saves me a step, albeit what would have been a simple one.

    15010104.jpg

    Along with the tires, no covered wheel hubs are provided, just spoked ones, so it seems I'll need to look for a replacement resin set with covered hubs as I have read that it is more likely that the covered hubs were carried on these early Lightnings.

    15010105.jpg

    Other than the above mods, I'll limit my detailing to just some of the more visible areas so I can get this one done before the end of February. Should launch this one in the next day or so.
     
  3. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    That's a weird name for an aircraft.
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    :evil4:

    <I can't believe I laughed at that.>
     
  5. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised anyone did! :lol:
     
  6. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    Good choice :thumbright:
     
  7. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  8. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    Nice reference pics Andy. The particular P-38 you chose looks fairly worn especially the faded serial number on the nose.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice one Andy. This looks like an earlier kit from the original 'Minicraft' part of Academy/Minicraft - the later Academy P-38J kit is much more 'refined', for want of a better word, with injection-moulded wheels and tyres, plus lots of optional parts. If you need anything such as the large wing tanks etc, let me know, as I still have most of the optional bits left over from my kit.
    It should look the biz when built, as the P-38 is an impressive size in 1/48th scale.
     
  10. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #10 Crimea_River, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
    EDIT: Terry, I crossed posts with yours. Your comments are consistent with what I read and I thank you for your offer of parts. I won't be installing wing tanks, though pylons, bombs, and tanks have been provided with the kit anyway. For the wheels, I have a lock on a set of Ultracast wheels and may pull the trigger on that order today, unless someone here has a spare set of covered wheels laying around.

    Dave, yes, and therein lies some of the question whether the two pics denote the same aircraft. Those more knowledgeable that me point out that the faded number you refer to, which is the construction number, does not mach the serial number 432166. A discussion in the forum at the above link also notes that that the 3 kill marks are not present in the group photo - closeup below taken from that web site:

    P-3843-2166-nose2_zps8d51ebc0.jpg
     
  11. tigerdriver

    tigerdriver Member

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    Cool love the P38 though i havent built once since I was a kid
     
  12. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    I would tend to agree that the plane in the group photo is not the same as the closeup. Besides the lack of kill marks and construction number/ser.no the nose of the plane in the group photo seems to have a different wavy grey underside pattern than the the closeup shot. ie more straight than wavy.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    No problem Andy. I don't think they're the same aircraft either. In the enlargement from the group shot, there's no sign of the mission tally symbols, which, in the shot of the close-up of the nose, can be seen to be very close to the unit badge, with the bomb symbols painted on a 'panel' which appears to be an extension of the Olive Drab upper-surface colour.
    Of course, the close-up nose shot might have been taken at a much later date.
    If the construction number can be matched to a serial number, it might be possible, if there's a detailed unit reference source around, to establish the individual code letter of the aircraft carrying all the mission tally symbols.
    Otherwise, I think the group shot might just have used the most convenient aircraft as a backdrop.
     
  14. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Nice choice and pics Andy!
     
  15. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Great choice Andy!
     
  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #16 Crimea_River, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
    Thanks guys. Just to keep the pot stirring, here is a close up of the serial stencil from the picture with the complete nose art:

    P-387163detail_zpsc5afa2b4.jpg

    The serial number on the stencil is arguably 43-2166 but could be something else. Unfortunately, none of the possibilities (2166, 2136, 2168 ) show up in Joe Baugher's s/n listing.

    EDIT: More digging on the net revealed these shots:

    P-38F "Dear John" with very similar nose art:

    P-38F_Lightning_Capt_Newbury_and_Crew_1st_FG_Nose_Art.jpg

    And this one, picked up at a wedding blog of all places. If I were a betting man, I'd say that this one has the same plane in the background as the one in the group shot above.

    27th_p-38_nose_art-630x467.jpg
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good detective work there Andy, and I agree, the aircraft in the last shot is very probably the same one as used for the group photo - note that light-coloured vertical 'weathering' line alongside the vertical panel joint, immediately aft of the unit badge, also visible on the group shot aircraft.
    As for the serial number on the nose art aircraft, my immediate reaction was that it looks like '2185'. A second inspection suggests maybe '2165', with the last digit definitely looking more like '5'.
    But then, when it's viewed for some time, the brain tries to tell me it's a '6', even though the top stroke looks 'flatter', and certainly more like a '5' !
     
  18. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Having recently put one of these together Andy, I look forward to you magic this one.
     
  19. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Vic and Terry. The detective work continued and I now consider this case closed. Verdict: The pics of the nose with a mission tally and 3 kills, the "group photo showing the 2166 on the tail, and the last photo I posted with the small group of guys in front of a P-38 with 1 kill on the nose, are ALL THE SAME AIRCRAFT. Take a look at this blow-up of the latter photo. The clincher is that the c/n 7165, or whatever it is, links the last pic with the first. The conclusion is that the latter shot is an earlier picture of the same aircraft. If you look closely at the first pic, it can be seen that new camo paint was brushed on to add the swastikas and mission tallies. I will therefore proceed based on the profile being accurate.

    27th_p-38_nose_art closeup.jpg
     
  20. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #20 Wurger, Jan 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
    :thumbright:

    I think you are right Andy. The number at the nose is 7163(1). Undoubtedly the first two shots are of the same P-38. I'm not sure about the third one though . However the image shows clearly the nose was repainted a little bit by the maintenance crew. So I would say yes, it was the same kite.


    P-38_1.jpg

    P-38_2.jpg

    P-38_3.jpg
     
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