P-38 Lightning Egg Plane

Published: January 31st, 2016     
Product Image
Boxtop, instructions, decals
Reviewed by: 
Mark Costello, IPMS# 31795
Scale: None
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $19.99
Product / Stock #: 60136

From the Hasegawa web page:

Set to strike

During the Pacific War, Charles MacDonald shot down 27 enemy fighters with his P-38, nicknamed "Putt-Putt Maru." These victories and his exceptional abilities as commander of the 475th Fighter Group made him one of the top Allied aces of World War II. P-38 Lightnings were the ideal aircraft for the Pacific; their long range, high speed and heavy armament let U.S. forces successfully engage Japanese planes at every turn.

Kit

This kit is a re-release of an older kit that comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with 1 bag of sprues, a single sheet of decals, and an instruction manual.

The sprue bag contains 4 gray sprues (36 parts) and 1 clear (1 part) sprue (in a small bag to prevent scratches).

The decal sheet is for 1 P-38 in the markings of Lt. Col. Charles Henry “Mac” MacDonald’s P-38 “Putt-Putt Maru”.

The instructions are on a single, foldout sheet with 3 steps for assembling the aircraft on one side of the sheet. The other side shows the decal placement and painting guide.

The parts are cleanly molded and there was only a little flash that was easily cleaned up on my example. There were a few sink marks on my copy of the kit on the sides of the fuselage and on the tops of the wings.

There were a few ejector pin marks in the wheel wells and back of the armor plate in the cockpit that would show after construction if not taken care of.

Construction

I started the construction by adding a styrene rod post in the nose and CA glued a nut over the post to provide nose weight before joining the top and bottom pieces, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a tail sitter. I found that the lower front boom pieces (parts 21 and 22) fit better if I swapped them around from where the instructions show them.

The guns in the nose are molded as elongated bumps that do not look like guns to me. I tried to clean them up and make them more rounded using a knife and chisel, but I made a mistake and accidentally cut one all the way off. I ended up drilling holes through the existing gun barrels and then sanded them all off. After final paint, I added some small electrical pins that I had in my stash to replace the barrels.

I did need a little filler on the joints between the booms and the wings as well as the filler over the sink marks. I didn’t notice the sink marks on the upper wings until after I painted the aircraft, so that caused me more work. Another issue I found is that the backs of the propellers/spinners (parts 6) have openings behind the prop blades (see picture). I filled these openings in with Magic Sculpt 2-part epoxy putty to complete the spinner.

Be careful with the nose gear (part 25), it is easily broken off (don’t ask how I know that), but it needs some filler around the base so it needs to be installed before painting. The rest of the assembly went quickly without any major issues. I left off the wheels, main gear, nose gear door, drop tanks, superchargers, scoops (parts 17) and horizontal stabilizer balancers (parts 23) until after painting and decaling. I also added masking tape seat belts to the seat. There is no control yoke in the kit.

Paint

I primed the aircraft using Tamiya gray rattle can primer. After that I applied Tamiya X-1 Gloss Black to prepare for the metal finish. I used Alclad Aluminum “ALC 101 for the exterior of the aircraft. For the interior and wheel wells, I used Vallejo Flames of War Medium Olive 850. I also used Vallejo Model Color Black 70.950 for the instrument panel and coaming. I found that Vallejo Model Color Dark Prusia Blue 70.899 is a good match for the blue in the decals. I used this to cover the area on the prop spinners that I filled in with putty, as the decals do not cover this area.

Decals

The decals went on easily using Microscale Micro Set and Micro Sol. I had some issues with the large, black decal that goes on the nose. The decal is one piece and has to go on a surface that is round. My decal broke into about 6 pieces while I was trying to position it, I am sure it is my fault in the way I was handling it. I did have to add some cuts to it to get it to conform to the curved surface. I also had to make a couple of cuts on the decals that go on the prop spinners to get them to settle around the propellers. The rest of the decals went on with no issues.

Base

I made the base out of a piece of 0.080” thick sheet styrene. I drew an egg shape big enough to go under the landing gear on a piece of paper, cut that out and transferred it to the styrene. The PSP came from an image I found online that I resized and printed onto cardstock. I used spray adhesive to glue the cardstock to the styrene.

Conclusion

This was a very fun build with very few issues. These egg plane kits are great slump busters. I would recommend this kit to anyone.

I would like to thank Hasegawa, Hobbico and IPMS for giving me the opportunity to build and review this kit.

  • Parts
    Parts
  • Nose weight
    Nose weight
  • Nose guns
    Nose guns
  • Putty
    Putty
  • Props
    Props
  • Nose art
    Nose art
  • Cockpit
    Cockpit
  • Left rear
    Left rear
  • Right front
    Right front
  • Bottom
    Bottom
  • Base
    Base
  • Model on base
    Model on base