P-38E Lightning 41-2252

Aircraft: Lockheed P-38E 41-2252 'yellow 77' 'Lorna D', Lt. John K. Geddes, 54th Fighter Squadron, United States Army Air Force, battle of Attu, May 23, 1943. n.b. Lieutenant Geddes is shown posed next to his replacement aircraft, P-38G 42-13544 (also displaying the 'Lorna D' nose art), in the period photo above.

"As Lieutenant Geddes pressed his attack, the entire right side of his canopy blew up, apparently struck by a 20 mm shell. Geddes... nursed his barely controllable fighter back to Attu, where he ditched off the coast. Navy Lieutenant Ferguson landed his [OS2U] Kingfisher and pulled the grateful fighter pilot from the water."

Reference: Cloe, J.H. 1992. The Aleutian Warriors: A History of the 11th Air Force & Fleet Air Wing 4. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co. and Anchorage Chapter, Air Force Association.

Kit: Trumpeter #2227, 1/32.

Accessories/modifications: a conversion from Trumpeter's 1/32 P-38L-1-LO kit to a P-38E. Added semicircular intercooler vents in upper wing tips and round intakes at the wing leading edges near the engines (drilled out). Cut, modified (sheet styrene and Milliput), and drilled out kit turbosupercharger to fit P-38 EFG style turbosupercharger shroud. Modified kit turbocharger air supply scoop to P-38 EFG style (shorter, non-laminar flow shape). Added armour shields inboard to turbosupercharger turbines (styrene sheet). Drilled out and placed small tubular air ducts on forward sides of Jerry Rutman resin engine cowlings (drilled out Evergreen rod styrene). Deleted and filled in P-38L leading edge wing lights. Deleted, filled and smoothed over upper wing tip fuel ports. Removed underwing power assist bulges, filled and smoothed out, rescribed all underwing panel lines. Removed gun camera from port drop tank boom, filled and smoothed out, added gun camera opening to nose. Replaced kit (late-type) guns with Quickboost resin guns (#32011). Added scratchbuilt cartridge case chute openings (styrene sheet). Scratch-built long under nose pitot tube (not visible in images). Removed longitudinal frame from rear canopy, sanded and buffed out, Futured, then added two latitudinal scratches. Windscreen frames sanded off, shape sanded to smoother appearance to resemble the curved early-type windscreen, new frames added. Bulletproof glass (from CD case clear styrene), buffed and Futured, inserted under kit windscreen, added fabric instrument pane shroud and modified early type gunsight that is between the windscreen and the armour glass. Six aluminum spars for wing stiffness. Jerry Rutman P-38 EFG 'mk 1' conversion resin (boom radiators and engine cowlings). The John Geddes figure is Master Details U.S. Army Air Force fighter pilot mid-Late WW2 (#32011).

Paint: Tamiya acrylic, Alclad Aluminum II ('Aluminum' and 'Chrome'), weathering by oil wash and silver Prismacolor pencil, Testor's Dullcoat from spray can.

Decals: custom inkjet Lorna "D" decal, custom inkjet boom radiator 54th Fighter Group decals, 77s on nose with paint and masks, national marks with Yellow-wings decals (YW48048) - U.S. National Insignia PT-3 May 1942-June 1943, 'U.S. ARMY' from Barracudacal's P-40 sheet BC32006, Techmod yellow decal serial numbers on tail.

Issues: With the exception of the propellors, Trumperet's P-38L #2227 is a very accurate, easy to build kit. The Jerry Rutman 'mk 1' resin lower cowlings and boom radiators are not accurately shaped - JR's new resin looks perfect but wasn't available for this build. The modified Revell props are not accurately shaped although they are better than the kit props. The modified kit windscreen only approximates the early type P-38E windscreen (JR also apparently has a complete vacuform P-38EFG canopy, not available for this build).

John Geddes standing by P-38E '81' at Adak, autumn 1942.


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