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1/32 Trumpeter P-38L Lightning- "Kicked Up A Notch"

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Thank you all very much guys. I must say, I am VERY glad this PITA is now behind me and I can move on with the rest of the build. As you might have guessed, the application of CA glue, sanding, re-riveting, sanding, re-scribing panel lines, sanding, etc., took me a very long time- maybe 5-6 hours of extra work. The plastic is quite hard now, so I'm not too worried about any more cave-ins. :pray:

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Remarkable save, Chuck... sometimes you just gotta go back to the basic techniques, in this case filling with CA. Must say you did an exceptionally smooth job with that, very very hard to get such a flawless result over a curved surface, esp. without introducing a flat section.



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Thanks for the "attaboys" guys! Some of us shallow folk still enjoy a pat on the back once in awhile. :P

I received my latest issue of Fine Scale Modeler today and saw the spread of your A-10 in there. Congrats on getting your hard work and article published, that's awesome !!


Thanks Steve. As I mentioned earlier, it's nice to see one of your models in print. It's pretty tough to squeeze 14 months of work into 8 pages, but it came out not too bad.

Very impressive save there. You probably mentioned this in your earlier posts but what CA brand and type are you using? I use Loctite, both ultra thin as well as gel type so I was wondering what you use.

Thanks. I use Mercury CA glue and Great Planes Debonder. I only buy the thin version, because in 6 months, it will be "medium" and in a year, "thick". I usually have 4 bottles at various states of viscosity and when it gets too old and thick, I toss it. I mix the glues as well if I want a specific viscosity, as I did with filling these depressions. You want the glue thin enough to flow a bit, but not too much. Again, you also need to lay down the glue in thin layers so that it will dry clear and bubble free.




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Hi Chuck - I can't offer any praise that hasn't been said before, your work is fantastic and inspiring!

Question for you about your organization of your builds - how do you do it? Do you have a detailed plan at the beginning of which parts from which aftermarket go where and when, or do you just decide to complete certain sections like the cockpit, then booms, etc. in order and go with the flow until they are satisfactory?

I struggle with "paralysis by analysis" and spend too much time thinking and not enough time building...

Thanks and keep up the amazing work!

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Thanks guys for the kind words!

Just read your article in FSM, congrats on the A-10! Also, what kind of paint scheme are you thinking of doing for the P-38L?



I'm doing "Marge", which is a restored bird in Wisconsin. There are some good pics of it here:


Question for you about your organization of your builds - how do you do it? Do you have a detailed plan at the beginning of which parts from which aftermarket go where and when, or do you just decide to complete certain sections like the cockpit, then booms, etc. in order and go with the flow until they are satisfactory?

I struggle with "paralysis by analysis" and spend too much time thinking and not enough time building...

Thanks Nate. I don't have a specific routine or anything, but I do try to plan my models months in advance, which is easy to do when I only build 1 model per year! My last A-10C model took me 14 months to build and with the challenges of this kit and some user errors, this model will likely take me a similar length of time. When I can see the end of the tunnel, like I can now see with this build, I will decide on my next project and try to accumulate as many after-market items for it that I can find. I tend to "over-buy" using this method, because I often find that I don't need certain things later, but I'd rather have too much than miss out on something critical later that may be OOP. For example, I have WAY too many P-38 decals that I will never use, but I did manage to snag a Cutting Edge resin cockpit on ebay that is very hard to find (and expensive).

As far as my assembly procedure is concerned, I try to find other builds of the kit and see what others have done to save me time and problems later. Reinforcing the wings on this kit is a good example of that, which I found was common. Without reinforcement, the wings would sag and the joins around the booms would likely crack due to flex. The rest of the build sequence is mostly trial and a bit of error once in awhile, since I rarely follow the instructions in sequence. I strive to keep as many small or fragile parts off the build until the very end to avoid breakage, which usually does not follow the kit instructions very well. The small control handles and gun sight in the cockpit, which should be installed by now, won't be glued into place until I get the windscreen installed to protect them. I also like to install the landing gear last, but in this kit the gear needs to be painted and glued into place fairly early, which has been a real pain to keep them from getting scratched or damaged as I have worked on the rest of the model. Sometimes, however, I outsmart myself and wind up regretting not following the instructions. It must be a man thing!

Also, before anyone asks, I'm not really sure of what my next model will be, because I have 4 candidates with loads of after-market in the stash, ready to go. I have a 1/32 F-15I "Ra'am", 1/32 Spitfire Mk IX, 1/32 F-16 Aggressor and a 1/48 "Dambusters" Lancaster that are pulling at me right now. I think the Israeli Eagle will win since I like to flip back and forth between props and jets and that cool looking camo pattern is a thing of beauty.

Edited by chuck540z3
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Chuck what if the HK 1/32 Lancaster will be out by then? :rolleyes:/>/> Or will you wait until aftermarket items are available for it?


In thought of that already Jari, but:

1) The HK Lanc has been delayed more than once, so there's no certainty it will be out within the next year or so. As a matter of fact, I'd bet against it.

2) I don't know how to build a model OOB, so some aftermarket stuff has to be available, especially decals.

3) I have built the 1/48 Tamiya kit already and the model is huge- just as big as my 1/32 F-4, F-14 and A-10C. A 1/32 Lanc would be crazy big.

4) I have 2 of the Tamiya kits in the stash already, along with aftermarket stuff. I really should build at least one of them.

5) I think my "Dambuster" Lanc will be in flight on a stick over water, with lights and all. 1/48 scale is pushing that already.

6) I think it's time for another jet

7) THIS. Now how cool is that!


Edited by chuck540z3
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  • 2 weeks later...


Your work is, as the general consensus States, simply amazing !

The fix you've done on your current build shows your skill, where I'd say, maybe not all, but diffidently me, would have tossed it in the back of the wardrobe so it never seen sees the light of day again. But you've completed a perfect fix, bravo! Maybe one day I'll look at some half finished projects and see that they are fixable.

Also, I'd love to see what you could do with the F-15I, GT resin are coming out with some after market sets that would really look fantastic on a build with your attention to detail.

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October 26, 2015

Thanks Guys. A small update.

I have been taking this build very slowly lately, partly because I’m busy with other things outdoors before the snow finally flies and partly because the depressions in the nose area continue to cause me some grief. Every once in awhile I’ll check the filled depressions and find tiny little dents on the filled margins, much like aftershocks after a major earthquake! This would normally seem catastrophic, but I’ve been to this movie before with the thick liquid sprue I used on my last A-10C build. It too would continually sink month after month, but things eventually settled down and I have not had any issues since. This build is no different, so I’ll just take my time- and win! I’m almost a year into this build, so there’s no chance it will hit the shelf of doom any time soon.

The next step is to add the windscreen and rear canopy, so that I can add the tiny control levers and gun sight before I seal everything up before painting. These clear parts are cast on a very difficult sprue where getting them off cleanly is a real challenge, since there is no real break point. You have to cut your own, which can create a chip or crack the plastic.


Further, the plastic is not smooth, with a bit of an orange peel surface when you look close.


Taking my time, I managed to get the plastic parts off their respective sprues without any damage to the parts, then I used Tamiya polishing compounds to smooth out the rough plastic. This procedure was not as successful as I anticipated, because the clear plastic is MUCH softer than other kits, so it resists erosion from the grit in the Tamiya paste. This was also the case with the Squadron vacu-formed canopy on the A-10C, so after I removed as much of the orange peel as I could, I gave the canopy parts a traditional dip in Future to level out the bumps. You will note that the side windows have been cut down to just reveal the tops, since I plan on having the canopy area as open as possible.


A close-up shows how clear and smooth the window glass is now.


Masking canopies with thin strips of Tamiya tape can be a real chore and getting a perfect fit with sharp edges a challenge. Randy Taillon (“Sluggo2u” at ARC and “Sluggo” at LSP) approached me several months ago, wanting to know if I might be interested in him making some masks for this kit. YES!, I told him, so what you see here is his work in super easy to use vinyl for the outside AND the inside of the Trumpeter canopy parts.


Randy’s website is here if you want a set of these masks, which I strongly recommend as you will see:

StencilPal Stencils

Masks installed. Note that even that tiny triangular lock mechanism for the canopy top has a cut out. Amazing precision! I have no idea how Randy does it.


And some post painting results, which are outstanding with nice clean sharp edges. I used Tamiya Gloss Black Lacquer (TS-14) as a base for both the outside, painted in Alclad Aluminum. I’m using a “Regular” Alclad like Aluminum because it is a real lacquer and can be masked after drying. The “High Shine” Alclad finishes like Polished Aluminum and Chrome, which I will be using later on much of this model, are alcohol based and are not recommended to be masked or have decal solutions placed upon them. To protect the high shine finishes, I will be using the Alclad ALC-600 Aqua Gloss to seal the paint before decals, much like using Future.


And the inside, painted with MM Interior Green enamel.


Now a few future problems I will need to deal with. The Cutting Edge resin canopy leaves some gaps on the sides after installation into the central fuselage. Even though the rear canopy will hide some of this, it needs to be filled.


Further, the rear canopy itself is too wide for the fuselage, so it will need to be slightly squeezed and carefully glued to eliminate the overhang.


I already have a plan of action to fix these problems, so hopefully I will have an update soon- and no more fuselage aftershocks! Thanks again for checking in.



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Chuck hi

Could you show us the dipping in future part of the canopy?

Every time I try I am always left who tiny bubbles especially on Large canopies


Hi Periklis. I'm afraid I don't have any magic way of doing it. It's pretty straight forward and simple, so I'll just let you know how I do it.

1) Pour some Future/Pledge into a shallow cup of other container where the plastic part can be submerged. Make sure the Future is relatively fresh and pour it slowly so that you don't have any bubbles.

2) Make sure the plastic part is clean of all dust and other crap. I always use compressed air in a spray can to make sure it's all off.

3) Using your fingers, dip the part in the Future bath, then hold it over the container to let the heavy stuff drip off. Here you might notice that there is still some debris in the solution attaching itself to the part, so re-dip it again to make sure it doesn't stick.

4) Place the part on a paper towel or napkin to let the part dry and collect the remaining Future. You may notice the odd small bubble still on the plastic, but 90% of those will just burst and disappear over time.

5) Just before the part has dried to the touch (~15 minutes), move the part to another location on the paper towel so that it doesn't stick permanently. This can be tricky to avoid finger marks, so just grab the edges of the part.

6) If you don't like what you see within 10 minutes, re-dip the part and try again. Sometimes you need to do this 2-3 times before you get a smooth clean finish.

7) Let the part dry and cure for at least 24 hours before handling it, although 48 hours is better.

8) If you don't like how the part turned out, re-dip the part in Windex or other ammonia cleaner to remove the Future, then try again.

Of course you need to try and do all of this in a dust free environment, which is almost impossible, especially on your work bench where you have sanding dust all over the place, so you might want to try this somewhere else. Some guys cover the parts with a box to keep dust off the parts as they dry, but the reality is that after 10 minutes, nothing will stick to the finish any more, so I prefer to keep my parts out in the open where no dust can be directed at them. Some others will swear by brushing on Future rather than dipping it, which is OK for small parts, but nothing beats the dipping method for a nice and clean blemish-free finish.

Hope this helps.

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