I met a former Lightning night fighter pilot when I worked at the IWM. He described the tactic which I'd read of in a Martha Gelhorn article, that of climbing to a great height, then diving to see what they encountered on the way down.
Started with the chipping today , I wanted to give a lightly weathered appearance as these aircraft weren’t in service for long and wouldn’t have worn too badly . I thoroughly wet the area to be chipped with a flat brush and clean water then leave for five minutes before scrubbing with an old brush with the bristles cut off to about 2mm long. Ive also used a very worn piece of 1200 wet and dry to rub over the whole airframe ,in particular areas that would receive the most attention like engine acces panels and the gun covers. This removes the black from the raised rivets and lines and gives a nice worn effect. I was a bit too keen with the chipping on the side of the cockpit and removed too much so will have to touch up this area and re do it - DOH! heres the before and after
Touch up round the cockpit completed and chipping all done now . The unpainted areas behind the superchargers were masked off before the black went on and have now been unmasked and ready for a quick tidy up then the suoerchargers can be fitted after painting. The decals ( few that there are) have been put on although a few of the red stencils all but disappeared on the black. Next up adding all the knocky off bits and sorting the multi part canopy .
The superchargers have been fettled , the upward sweep of the exhaust sanded down and the tiny intake pipe at the front added from brass pipe. Ive also made a start on the excellent Eduard Brassin wheel set , removing them from the pouring blocks and cleaning up , opening holes etc.
Just been through the build thread. To be honest this kit doesn't look half bad comapred to some of the kits I've seen you turn around! The P-38 is looking great and the additions you've made really raise the level high. I'm surprised though, you normally go for the hairiest of hair shirt kits! This at least seems to fit (no wrestling this one into submission) and have a reasonable amount of detail without you having to add averything!
Quality work as ever!
Thanks paul , its not a bad kit but far from a modern tooling so just needs a lot of test fitting and fettling and a bit of extra detail adding . The other thing i like about it us the raised rivets and panel lines , great for exposing on a black paint job to give it a lovely gentle weathered finish. Cheers tony
Props chipped and decalled , and I’ve painted the turbo superchargers . These had a base coat of silver then a misting with highly thinned Vallejo smoke, followed by a few highlights with transparent blue for the heat stained effect and a sky grey wash . These will be fitted after I have given the area behind them on the booms a bit of exhaust staining with some mucky grey brown .
Superchargers fitted and exhaust stains added , ive also been modifying the nosewheel leg so I can pose the wheel to one side. To do this i had to cut off and re attach the retraction linkage to one side and ive added a couple of hydraulic pipes to the steering linkage from fuse wire. It might seem a bit fiddly for such a small thing but the resin wheels look superb and will draw attention to this area so its got to look good .
The canopy assembly on this one is a bit of a bugger. I want to pose the top section folded back and one of the side windows slid fully down. Easy enough you say , but this being a very old tooling (1964) the moulds for the transparencies have suffered a fair bit of wear so the canopy sections have barely discernible frame lines. Add to this the fact that I’ve also got to paint the inside ( again non existent ) frames and you can see why it’s driving me mad. I’ve started doing the interior green frames one at a time. The wheels have had a coat of very dark grey black and the interiors and separate rims painted silver ,once assembled they’ll be having a couple of washes and dry brushing to bring out the tread pattern.Ive also been assembling the ‘christmas tree ‘ rocket racks. These were fitted to all P38Ls which is what the P38Ms were converted from. The kit supplies the horizontal crosspieces ,moulded as one with the rockets . I didn’t want the rockets fitted as I wanted it to be a pure night fighter ( they did use the rockets in ground attack missions later on ) so I had to cut off the rockets and assemble the trees without them.
Hi Tony, great stuff you're doing and I know what you're going through with the canopy. I had my fair share of problems. Here's what I did and hope it will help you. Link
I normally don't paint the interior frame but simulate it from the outside after masking by painting the interior green first then black then primer and then the frame color. Only the edged of the frame is later hand painted in or touched up.
Thanks richard , thats the method I usually use but with the top section being open right back i wanted to do the frames on the inside of this part and the side window. I’m going to do the same as you with the sliding window on the port side but im going to depict it fully down so ive just got to make a top section from plastic strip, cheers tony
Got the side panel of the canoy fixed and after a lot of messing ,got the flash guards on the machine guns and cannon. These tiny conical pieces had to be seperated from the sprue , cleaned up and the ends opened out and deepened a bit. During this process I must have dropped them on the floor about 30 times so its a miracle i havent lost any!! Ive given the recognition lights under the fuselage a drop of tamiya clear red / green / amber and the wingtip nav lights have been cut off and replaced with nail art gems , these will have the clear green and red painted on later. The nose wheel and leg have been glued , the modifications i did earlier meaning the wheel is posed to one side .
Cheers Pete , it’s amazing how often I use them and the holographic confetti ! It’s now standing on its own three feet as the main wheels have been fitted . I’ve added brake lines to the U/C legs with black beading wire and some fine guitar string ( high E I think !) The tyres have yet to get their dirt wash to highlight the treads. The No Step decals have been added to the top rail of the sliding canopy section, the one on the open side being cut in half to represent the slid down window just poking up a fraction . I also got some clear red and green on the nail art nav lights . Next up attaching the undercarriage doors . Cheers tony
Yes it’s not the clearest is it ! Its possibly cause I took the pics quickly with my phone and a not very good light source ,plus the transparencies weren’t brilliant on this kit , mainly a result of the moulds being so old , the frame lines were very soft or non existent and the clarity was a bit misty. I’m going to try and give them a coat of Klear last off to see if that improves them a bit. Cheers tony