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Academy's 1/72 scale
P-38J Lightning

by Chris Wauchop


Lockheed P-38J Lightning

images by Brett Green

Academy's 1/72 scale P-38J Lightning is available online from Squadron.com


Audio Interview


Chris Wauchop again takes the plunge into the world of 1/72 scale aircraft models with his latest commission build.

Click here to listen to an audio interview with Chris Wauchop about building and painting Academy's 1/72 scale P-38J Lightning.

The file is in Windows Media format, is 6:13 minutes in length with a file size of 772 KB.





Construction of the basic kit was very straightforward. The kit generally looks accurate. The only issue is the shape of the propeller blades, which look too tapered at the base.

The fuselage "pod" is moulded as upper and lower halves with the wing halves. This leaves a join line along the side of the fuselage, but fit is very good so it is not a problem.

Additional detail and modifications included the following:

  • harness straps from lead foil

  • hydraulic lines were added using fine solder.



  • a small piece of plastic was glued inside the upper canopy blister representing the pilot's rear-view mirror.

  • hinges were added



Painting and Markings



The model was painted using the new metal body Testor Aztek airbrush. Chris was impressed with the solid feel of this new airbrush.

The narrow bands on the spinners and the tail surfaces were masked and sprayed.

Paints used included the following:

  • Upper Surface

    • Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab and Gunze Sangyo H52 Olive Drab



  • Lower Surfaces

    • Tamiya XF-53 Neutral Grey

  • Cockpit Interior

    • Gunze acrylic H58 Interior Green

  • Fuselage Interior

    • Tamiya XF-4 Yellow Green


Academy's kit decals were used. Markings represent a Lightning of Lt. Paul Murphey of the 80th FS, 8th FG, in the Pacific theatre in 1944.

The detail on the face of the nose art, "Sweet Sue", was missing, so Chris carefully painted some facial features once the decals were settled on the model.





Academy's 1/72 scale P-38J Lightning is an inexpensive and impressive little replica of Lockheed's fork-tail devil.



Chris was impressed with the speed and ease of the build.


The photos were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera and optimized in Photoshop CS.

The model was photographed on a base of artificial grass and dirt against a large photo of trees and skyline. A second set of photos was taken against a plain white background.


Finally, the images were cropped, resized to 700 pixels in width, and saved as a .jpg file for posting on HyperScale.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model  by Chris Wauchop
Text Copyright 2005 by Chris Wauchop & Brett Green
Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 18 September, 2005
Last Updated 18 September, 2005

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