The Tamiya 1:48 scale P-38F/G Lightning is among the best kits of any aircraft that has ever been produced (see our review HERE). It also won the Detail & Scale Reader’s Choice Award for 2019. The kit cockpit is excellent for an injection molded kit, but it can be further enhanced with aftermarket detail parts. Here, we take a look at 3D printed cockpit details for both the P-38F and P-38G in their new “SPACE” product line that also comes with photoetched metal parts.
The cockpits of the P-38F and -G were very similar, aside from various changes in the instrument panel’s configuration of several of the instrument dials and some switch positions. Because of this, these two SPACE sets are really quite similar, and it is possible to describe them in the same review.
These two sets (P-38F SPACE, #3DL48009; MSRP: $12.95; P-38G SPACE, #3DL48010; MSRP: $12.95) each contain twenty-four 3D printed parts on a section of decal sheet and forty-three additional photoetched metal parts on a single fret. The 3D printed parts include all the elements for the pilot’s instrument panel, side consoles, control column, throttle quadrant, sidewalls, data placards, and radio stack details. The photoetched metal fret is identical in both sets, and it contains parts for the shoulder harnesses, lap belts, trim wheel, rudder pedals, and various other small cockpit details.
This set is truly excellent. It represents a very extensive cockpit upgrade, indeed. The quality of 3D printing is outstanding. All the buttons and switches are represented as finely raised features, and various instrument dial faces feature very finely printed details. Each glass dial face is treated with Eduard’s “glass effect” to produce just a perfectly smooth and high-gloss surface mimicking the reflectivity of glass. The SPACE line also combines these 3D parts with Eduard’s photoetched metal parts which cover those items or details best represented by that medium. The pre-painting of the shoulder harnesses and lap belts captures the finest of stitching details, and some of the radio face details are really superb here.
Notes on working with 3D parts: these are polymerized vinyl parts that are printed directly onto a piece of traditional decal paper. First, and just like using photoetched parts, one must often remove kit cockpit details and sand panels and consoles smooth. Second, dip these parts in water as a traditional water-slide decal. They will soon slide off the decal paper and be ready to place in position. Since these are thick “decals” made out of vinyl, they are best affixed to the kit parts using a PVC-type glue, a little Future/Pledge floor wax, Tamiya X-22, Microscale’s Metal Foil adhesive, or superglue applied with a thin micro-loop. The smaller 3-D decal parts are more amenable to being affixed using just a little superglue. DO NOT use standard decal setting or solvent solutions, as they will dissolve the part and ruin your day.
For the value and detail that it brings to the 1:48 scale Tamiya P-38F/G, this SPACE set it is also very well priced. We extend our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample. You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany/
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale