1/48 Hasegawa P-38J

by Alan Williamson



Kit Hasegawa 1/48 P-38J JT1 : 3600

Additions Aires 1/48 P-38J Cockpit  4113

                       True Details P-38 Wheel Set 48063


I brought this kit back in 2003 from my local hobby shop, after seeing an article on ARC from Moses on his great looking P-38J with the Verlinden update set.  With that I got in contact with Craig from Aeroworks to order in the Verlinden update set, however at the time the Verlinden set was out of production.  The next best thing was the Aires Cockpit which had to do.  In 2007 I started the build, I think that another modeller said in an article that this kit is plagued with fit problems and he wasn't joking.  I started with the Aries cockpit and the modifications needed to make the Aires cockpit fit into the kit, pictures 03, 04 and 05 show the removal of the kit parts.  I tend to use a lot of Aires parts for my kits to help enhance the kit, however I think that Aires could explain in a little more detail on how to fit their gear and it would help if more information was added in their instructions on how much of the kit needs to be removed  for a better fit.  Anyhow maybe in the future, so with a little trial and error I managed to get the cockpit to fit all though some putty was required to fill in some gaps. Now it was time to glue the fuselage halves together and fill in any gaps that were made from the Aires cockpit.  Next was the booms and they had some major fit problems as well in assembling the two halves together with steps and gaps.  Because of the problem fit with the booms this contributed to the gaps between the wings and the booms, nothing on this kit seem to fit right.

I used my rotary tool and model saw to remove parts of the kit so that the Aires Cockpit would fit, its all guess work and dry fitting.

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Photo 03


Photo 04


Photo 05


Photo 06

Painting and Finish

I painted the kit in Model Master Aluminium and Model Master Titanium with a cote of gloss clear for the decals.  Applying the decals also gave me heart ache with the loss of one of the nacelle decals, I used the wrong decal solution and the decal for the left nacelle shrivelled up and could not be saved. But by the time this had happened, I had already placed some of the main decals on the P-38.  After the problems I was having with the kit I  put it aside for a few weeks while I contemplated what to do? I sent Craig at Aeroworks an E-mail on the of chance that he might be able to get a hold of the same decals, none of the decals companies had ever done this decal scheme.  I then thought of getting out the oven cleaner and stripping the entire kit and starting again with an other decal scheme from the other choices that Hasegawa had included in the kit, but that would have been a lot of work...


After a few weeks I decided to bang up this P-38 with a heavy wear and tear look. As it was most of the remanding decals didn't go onto to the kit with ease and looked crappy.  After the decals were on the kit and dry I went over the kit with some more gloss clear to seal in the decals.  With the gloss clear dry, I got out some course wet rub paper and my hobby knife and started to experiment on making the decals look like chipped paint.  Chipping away with the hobby knife at the decals, I then placed an extra thick layer of the pastel wash over the P-38 to hopefully make the P-38 look like it had been to hell and back.  Once the pastel had been rubbed off.

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It was now time for the Tamiya pastel chalk for exhaust stains and magazine soot to give the P-38 its finished touch, with some matt clear over the entire kit to seal in the pastel chalk.  I then finished off the P-38 with ordnance, drop tanks and cockpit window, not as happy with the finish as I would have like to have been maybe in a few years I will rebuild it like I'm doing with a few old kits.

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  • To Craig from Aeroworks for getting hold of the Aires Cockpit and True Detail Wheels. You can reach Craig at  aeroworks@iprimus.com.au for all your modelling needs.

  • To Steve Bamford for his great job with keeping ARC going.


Photos and text by Alan Williamson