Monday, February 28, 2011


The P-38J Lightning is the Ultimate Fighter Champion of WWII. The historical significance of this stunning-looking plane cannot be understated. It was one of the few planes to see action on both fronts of the war. In the Pacific theater, Major Richard Bong not only scored the best last name ever, but also shot down the most enemy aircraft of any other fighter pilot of the war. He shot down 40 Japanese aircraft in his P-38, which he named "Marge" as a tribute to his wife.

The Revell 1/48 model of the p-38J has proven itself every bit the tough customer as the plane herself. Not only does it come with 3 build options (Bong's fighter bomber, the "night fighter" version, and the "Pathfinder" photo recon version.) I've opted to build Major Bong's fighter bomber. And my problems have been numerous.

But first, the joys.

This is the first cockpit I'm actually kind of proud of. While not spectacular, I think my dry-brushing technique has come a long way. No one would ever mistake it for the real thing, but hopefully, the skilled eye could tell it wasn't painted by an 8-year old.

The wings and fuselage came together with few problems, but I noticed a few gaps that I filled with putty. The real problems began when I decided I wanted to hang her from the ceiling, like she was flying. This model was definitely built to have the landing gear down. While it is a plus to not have to paint the landing gear, closing the landing gear bay doors proved problematic.

I shoved some paper towels up inside for support and hope to be able to pull them out with tweezers after the glue dries. We'll see.

Assembling and masking the canopy was a bit of a hassle as it is 5 pieces which don't seem to fit together all that well. I'll have to shove more paper towels into the cockpit so as not to ruin my awesome paint job. In this picture, you can see the putty I used to fill in the cracks. I still need to file it down.

Stay tuned for painting and decals.

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