Revell 1:32 P-38 in aluminum foil (image intensive)

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Revell 1:32 P-38 in aluminum foil (image intensive)

  • I haven't actually touched this in a while, but the pictures are new! It still needs some finishing touches: weathering, small parts like the elevator mass balances, superchargers need finishing, props and spinners are loose, etc etc etc.

    Using foil works very well, but it takes a bit of patience. The foil needs to be rubbed down with fine steel wool to get rid of the mirror finish and make it look more realistic.

    Foil is at its worst near seams and edges. This is not a technique to use on small kits because those effects will be more obvious, and it will be too bright with scale effect. The 1/32 P-38 is a great subject for it, though (albeit lots of edges).  I'd like to try the biggest F-104 I can find (are there any larger than 1:48?)

    There are about four distinct shades of aluminum on this model. Most of them are too subtle to come through the camera very well, but look for the radiator inlets, the wing spar panels, around the superchargers and the wing/empennage leading edges.

    Without further ado:

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  • Very nice work!  I've been playing with foiling for a while now, with mixed results.  Your P-38 looks outstanding - did you do it one panel at a time or did you do wider areas?  I'm thinking that my next foil job will be panel by panel, for authenticity and better control around compound curves.

    Here is a link to my latest effort:


    Thanks for sharing!

    Brian  Cowboy [C):-)]

    "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Bernard Books (The Shootist)
  • Thanks!

    I took it panel by panel.  Like you said it gives better control of curves, and it minimizes having a "step" along the edge of a foil piece.  Best part is it gives complete control with multiple colors of foil.  I have the stock color foil, a "dark" boiled foil, then two milder in-between tones.  The dark color I used more or less where the kit's painting guide called for steel paint, then I mixed the subtler tones in an "almost-random" fashion with the light stock color.  That wouldn't have been possible if I used an entire sheet for each wing surface, etc.

    Your B-47 looks great!  The realistic look comes from the steel-wool rub-down so don't be worried.  My wife thought I was crazy before I used the wool because it looked shiny and terrible.  This is my first foil build, and if mine has any quality to it at all its because I became better at it as I worked, and as I gained confidence I tore off old panels that I wasn't happy with.  There's still a few things about the P-38 I'm not completely happy with, but at some point you just have to put on the Future and call the foiling done!  I'm still debating putting a flatcoat or a matte on top.


  • Your P-38 looks great!  I just completed a B-47 in 1/144.  You are correct - foil does not work well for the smaller scales.  And much patience is required (but I just demonstrated massive patience in waiting for Texas A&M's first victory against Texas since 1999!)

    My next foiling attempt will be from among Monogram 1/72 B-36, Monogram 1/48 B-29, Hasegawa 1/48 F-104, or perhaps one of my Tamiya 1/48 Thunderbolts.

  • Another good looking B-47...I didn't realize how popular they are!

    I'm starting to wonder whether there may be a 1:24 P-51D in my future.  Wouldn't that be something covered in foil?

  • WOW That is a great looking lightning. When done well, nothing beats real metal


  •  wing_nut wrote:
    WOW That is a great looking lightning. When done well, nothing beats real metal


    Sign - Ditto [#ditto] I have the 1/48 Monogram P-38 and I'm thinking of foiling it. If I do, I hope it comes out 1/2 as good as this oneTongue [:P]

    If you lose your sense of humor, you've lost everything
  • Sweet Job on the Foil !


    " You've experienced a set back, and without set backs and learning how to fix them you'll never make the leap from kit builder to modeler "
  • I have a Hasegawa 1:32 F-104. Try e-bay, kingkit or something like that if you want one.
  • One of these days I hope to get the courage to do a BMF with foil.  Looks great!  I love silver P-38s! Cool [8D]

    Scott Espin - IPMS Reno High Rollers  Geeked My Reviews 

  • Thanks everybody for showering me in kind words!

    Hippy-Ed:  Good luck with the 1/48 kit.  Even at 1/32 this tried my patience at times, so be ready for the nooks and crannies :)  At that scale it might be easiest to forgo individual panels and just do an entire surface at a time.  You could get a quick and easy two-tone finish by doing that and just adding darker foil on the panels you want after doing, say, a whole wing surface.

    Brews: Thanks for the tip on the F-104.  I found one online but I may have to put it on hold since I just heard the Polar Lights 1/350 starship Enterprise was discontinued and I need to get one while they last!  I doubt my wife will let me get both.  Honestly it'll be tough to get one :)

    Espins: Its not that hard, it just takes a little bit of patience.  It took me about a month to do, but was a lot less tedious than scribing the panel lines, which only took two weeks.  If the foiling was truly tedious I wouldn't have gone back and refoiled areas I wasn't happy with!  If thinking its too difficult is a psychological barrier, look for a nice bomber or big (1/32) fighter to build confidence on.  The bigger the panels the easier (and also, counter-intuitively, quicker) it will go.  A big B-29 is probably going to be a lot quicker than a P-38.


  • I think my first attempt will be on an F-104, but not until sometime next year.  But I will try it.  Big Smile [:D]

    Scott Espin - IPMS Reno High Rollers  Geeked My Reviews 

  • Thanks for the encouragement. I'm sure this would be trying one's patienceSigh [sigh] but  I think I can wing itBig Smile [:D]


    Wha's this about the 1/350 Enterprise being discontinued? Which one? The Refit?? 

    If you lose your sense of humor, you've lost everything
  • The refit is dead.  RC2 has discontinued the entire Polar Lights "brand" so none of their other kits will be available either, but I think the refit is going to be the most mourned.
  • That looks awesome! Very shiny. Wink [;)]

    I've not been brave enough to try that.

    Jon Bius Modeling with a Higher purpose

    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11