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1/32 P-38J Lightning


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#1 Jim Gibbons

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:49 PM

Here's one some of you may have seen before in an old and controversial thread. This is the old 1/32 Revell P-38J I built for a friend of mine. He wanted it gear up, which I thought would have been easier. Wrong. The main gear doors had been designed to be down, and I ended up making sheet plastic ones, as there was no way the kit doors had any semblance of fit or alignment after trimming the mounting tabs. These pics were taken just before I carved balsa "plugs" for the scratchbuilt ones to mount to. Its finish is cheap household aluminum foil applied using Microscale metal foil adhesive. I know about Alclad, etc., but somehow, real aluminum has a look and texture that can't be duplicated by paint. One can alter the grain and finish (polished vs. dull) for each panel, and the effect is very realistic, especially on large scale aircraft. It's mind numbingly tedious to do it this way, but when complete, it can't be beat! For example, the engine cowl facings, (between the prop and the "125" decal) required seven separate pieces of foil to avoid wrinkles. There are two of the bloody things. Another advantage of using foil is that the paint used for anti-glare panels, etc., (Tamiya acrylics in this case,) can be weathered easily. I applied them without primer, the same way the 1:1 would have been. I could then scrape around panel screws, etc., and add prop debris damage with little effort. Every time I've done an aircraft model this way, I swear I will never do another. I think I've done at least seven the same way.

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Edited by Jim Gibbons, 14 October 2010 - 04:01 PM.


#2 davyou5

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:17 PM

That plane is Amazing! and using the house hold Aluminum foil was brilliant! I know how tedious placing the foil must have been in order to get it straight and to get it perfect.

#3 george 53

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:57 AM

Jim, THAT came out BEAUTIFULLY! it really looks good all foiled up! I've heard AND seen this done before, but in this larger scale it REALLY is impressive. Your "Wanda"'s lookin GOOD!!!:lol: :D ;)

#4 Jim Gibbons

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 03:22 AM

Thanks for the comments, folks. The foil really helped the appearance of this model. When it was tooled in the '60s, it was state of the art, but compared to the Trumpeter, it leaves a lot to be desired. Huge rivets, gaps that resembled canyons that had to be filled, and those darned main gear doors! However, at less than $30, it sure beats $175! My friend (a WW2 vet)wanted it as a basic "hang from the ceiling" model, so I could have spent less time detailing the cockpit. I also eliminated the port side engine that the kit came with, and cemented the panel in place. I replaced the kit prop retainers with brass screws and washers, so if he has a fan going, the props spin very freely. I've been working on a 1/144 American Airlines DC-3, but I'm using BMF on that since the scale is small. There's a 1/144 PanAm 707 that'll get the foil treatment on the lower fuselage and wings, too. I like the look of real aluminum on aircraft, even at the expense of my sanity! :rolleyes: