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JMChladek

Trumpeter 1/48 T-38A 9th SRW SAC bird

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Technically this is not 100% done given I still need to add the photoetched seatbelts, the mirrors and the navigation lights. But I won't be able to get back to it for a couple weeks (deep into finishing up an Eagle Transporter right now for a convention), so I felt it was decent enough to post it as is.

I took on this project as a quickie build to get my modeling mojo back. Lately I didn't feel like working on much of anything as the long projects just seemed to get longer with not much reward to show for it. I also recently picked up Trumpeter's NASA T-38C kit and while it is a good kit, it still needed some modifications and I didn't feel comfortable with doing the work just yet. What I needed was an out of the box build. So, I ended up with this to help my creativity and help me get a handle on what was needed for when I tackle the NASA T-38N I want to build later.

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I know, the Wolfpack kit is better. But this one fit together very well and looks good. The canopies are the biggest issue, but their shape problems aren't as noticeable with the canopies open all things considered. The rest of the model captures the classic T-38 lines rather nicely and I am more than happy with the results.

Tamiya Fine White primer was used and over that I sprayed on Gunze Mr Base White 1000 as a base coat. Before adding the gloss coat of Tamiya Pure White spray TS-26, I used a mechanical pencil to draw on the panel lines and a Sakura Pigma Micron black pen with a .005 tip to accent the control surface splits as a form of pre-shading. It worked reasonably well as you can see it far away, but it is visible up close.

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The markings I used came from SuperScale sheet 48-905 and I selected this scheme because my local club was having a SAC contest at the next meeting. I finished it for the meeting and it took first place. T-38s were used by the 9th SRW as both proficiency trainers and chase planes and they looked good in the yellow striped livery they wore in the late 1980s. But, the decal sheet I used had some problems as the colors weren't quite right for the yellow, the stripe shape was off and even the USAF titles and national insignias weren't right. So I ended up having to use some proper lettering from other sheets. The national insignias came from a Testors F-5A kit. The decal instructions also had some errors, meaning I had to really scramble for references (which are surprisingly few for these specific planes). But I think I pulled it off. All the markings went down just fine with Microsol.

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Even the candy stripe decal on the pitot tube isn't quite right as it is too skinny. But, live and learn for next time. One thing I am very happy with though is the off-white coloring of the windscreen border. I know, it should be inside, not outside. But, application of a little 0.7 mm Aizu tape (same as Tamiya, just cut into finer widths) represented it nicely. I brushed on a little thin white glue to keep it from curling up with age. I was going to paint it in a pale tan coloring, but the yellow coloring of the tape looked close enough and I kept it as is.

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Now I'm on a T-38/ F-5 kick, so expect a few more builds of Northrop's nimble birds in the not too distant future, starting with a NASA T-38 or two.

Edited by JMChladek

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Beautiful, certainly looks the part and nicely presented.

Rgds,

Eng

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