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P-38 nose

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  • Member since
    September 2012
  • From: Indianapolis
P-38 nose
Posted by Squatch88 on Thursday, January 16, 2014 2:55 PM

Hi all, I need to make/procure a nose for a 1/32 Revell P-38 lightning. I've never scratch built anything before, so any ideas or tips would be extremely helpful!

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Central Ohio
Posted by Ashley on Thursday, January 16, 2014 6:23 PM

A couple of ways you can proceed here. Probably the cheapest and least work is to get another copy of the kit and cob the part you need from it. Barring that, you could build up the fuselage minus the nose, then graft in a piece of balsa or basswood that you carve to the final contour of the piece you need. This can become a master to either cast a new nose in resin, or vacuum form a replacement. If you go the vac-form route, you need to reduce the size of your master by the thickness of the plastic you are forming with. Both of those options require a substantial investment in equipment and time, so the kit cannibalizing is probably the way to go. One other option would be to build up the kit fuselage and glue in styrene blocks, then carve out the new nose in place. This is going to require you to be VERY confident in your ability to shape plastic! In any case, you are going to learn some new, and very useful skills. Dive right in there, and the best of luck! In any event, keep us all in the loop with your progress!

Have you flown a Ford lately?

  • Member since
    September 2012
  • From: Indianapolis
Posted by Squatch88 on Thursday, January 16, 2014 7:10 PM

I used to work with wood a little bit a couple years ago with my dad. I think I'll try the balsa wood method first.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, January 17, 2014 8:56 AM

Use basswood rather than balsa.  I assume this is a shelf scale, not a flying model.  The real utility of balsa is its light weight, so it allows good flying.  However, balsa has a large grain and it takes lots of work to fill it before you can proceed with painting.  Basswood, on the other hand, has a very fine, tight grain which fills very easily with a couple of coats of primer.  Basswood is very homogenous, and carves easily.  Most hobby shops carry basswood in addition to balsa.  You may not find blocks of it in all hobby shops, laminate a block out of sheet stock, say 1/4 inch.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Sunday, January 19, 2014 4:33 PM

or do the bread & butter routine with sheet plastic. glue a piece of .040" plastic to the frontend of cockpit to were the nose section would have been attached to as a base. glue another piece in the shape & length of missing nose perpendicular to the new nose base. fill up either side of that center piece with plastic til comes to the edge or just outside of the skin of the cockpit fuselage. wait til the glue hardens then start carving to shape. i use this method when making or modifing smoke stacks or hulls of ships.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, January 20, 2014 9:21 AM

Laminated sheet styrene can be pretty difficult to carve. If for some reason you object to wood, then a tight celled foam may be easier to work than sheet styrene.  Filling/sealing foam is a hard task but not impossible.  The reason I suggest basswood is that it primes very easily and can then be painted just like styrene.

If you do laminate from sheet styrene you will likely need power tools for the carving.  A good adjustable speed dremel and sanding drum will work.  Unless you are an experienced power carver go at it slowly at slow speed.  When you are done rough carving a good file will do fine work.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Lyons Colorado, USA
Posted by Ray Marotta on Monday, March 10, 2014 7:06 PM

If the kit is still in Revell's catalog, they will replace lost/missing/broken parts usually for no more than the cost of postage.  If it isn't, any of the above methods will work just fine...

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  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by Matt-Joachim on Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:22 PM

I have started dry fitting my revell p-38 in 1:48 scale and cannot decide which nose to use (none of the 3 nose options fit well) I will be watching this thread closely. Maybe i can use some putty to mend the gap, but the fitment is terrible! -SUBSCRIBED

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