RED ROO MODELS


RRR48145 RAAF P-38 Lightning (PR) Conversion


by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/48

Price:

$19.95 AUD from Red Roo

Contents and Media:

Resin nose halves x 2 and resin nose cone, 4 x double sided A4 colour instruction sheets, one small decal sheet

Advantages:

Saves fiddly scratch building

Disadvantages:

Small amount of cleaning up to do

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

During WWII the RAAF needed aircraft to carry out the Photo Reconnaissance as the Brewster Buffalo was not up to the task. The aircraft supplied by the USA were P-38E's that were converted to the Photo Recon role by the RAAF to approximately F-4A standard. As such the aircraft were not exactly the same as the F-4 and there are considerable differences between the different aircraft. The RAAF received five different aircraft of which three were given a RAAF 'A' number. Of the five loaned to the RAAF, all were destroyed or damaged beyond repair by 75 SQN.

The conversion

This is a simple conversion with the replacement of the two kit nose halves and nose cone with the supplied resin parts. The resin parts require a small amount of cleaning up and fitting to the kit parts. The panel lines along the top of the nose halves will require particular cleaning up as there seems to be a fair number of extra lines on the review sample. If the silver aircraft is to be done the extra marks will definitely stand out unless cleaned up. The conversion requires the use of the Academy P-38F 'Glacier Girl' kit but the earlier P-38E kit may be used if a conversion for the engines is sourced. I can't work out the differences between the two kits but will be getting the P-38F kit to compare them in the near future.

 

The instructions

The instructions comprise four double sided colour A4 pages. Page one and two gives you a short history of the aircraft and the build steps required. It also gives you the cutting template for the glass camera apertures. The building steps are very detailed for such a 'simple' conversion. Page three relates to the use of the decals and the remaining pages are the different schemes that the set covers.

 

The decals

The decal sheet provided is very small as it just comprises enough roundels and tail markings for one aircraft, 'A' numbers in black and grey and mission markings for one aircraft but in three colours due to uncertainty of the actual colour. You are also provided the 'L' and 'R' for the engine cowlings.

On the instructions, Red Roo brings up the quality problems with some colours due to using an ALPS printer. This quality problem is evident in the grey numerals as they don't print out very well. Replacing them with the generic 'A' numbers available from a number of manufacturers is a better option.

 

Recommendation

As usual with the products from Red Roo this is a useful conversion that makes life a bit easier for the average modeller. This set is highly recommended for those that want to make the RAAF P-38.

Review sample courtesy of my wallet. It is available direct from Red Roo Models or other good model shops.