Wednesday, December 12

Zotz 1/32 P-38 Lightnings Preview...

Zotz’ have sent us pictures of the profiles of the six new decal choices in their latest 1/32nd decal sheet for the P-38 lightning kit from Trumpeter – remember that from your stash? – now it seems we have six good reasons to dig it out.
Zots new P-38 decals in 32nd preview

P-38H-1-LO "Screamin' Kid" Unit: 432nd FS, 475th FG, 5th AF, USAAF
Number 161 (s/n42-66682)
From the 432nd fighter group – this lightning was flown by Capt.John S.Loisel and based also at the airbase in Dobodura, New Guinea in January 1944. Many may be familiar with this plane from its depiction in the Roy Grinnell painting “First Victory of Screamin’ Kid”
Captain John S Loisel flew over 300 missions in World War II’s Pacific Theatre, spending more than 3 consecutive years in combat - longer than any other US pilot. Loisel became the 475th’s fourth leading ace while flying in the company of top scoring aces Charles MacDonald, Dick Bong, and Thomas McGuire. He completed the war with 11 victories and retired as a Colonel.
 His Olive Drab P-38 features a cartoon of a young knight with a jousting stick on his shoulder and the large “161” serial code on the nose and tail again. We have some good detail pictures of this kite including shots before the cartoon nose art was added and one of his ground crewman who identified a lot of the people in these pictures.

P-38H-1-LO Lightning (s/n 42-66532) "White 10"
This lightning was flown by Maj. Thomas J. Lynch, 39th FS, 35th FG at Port Moresby, New Guinea in Southwest Pacific, March 1943. This aircraft features a shark mouth on either engine nacelle which adorned most of the 39th fighter squadron’s Lightnings at the time.

This colourful lighting of the 39th fighter squadron has stylized blue fin flashes and bars in it’s twin booms as well as a band around the propeller. Extensive Japanese kill marks and the “10” on the tail and nose finish off the markings.
Not many pictures of this actual kite remain  though there are some of other birds in this fighter squadron with shark mouths – and one I found getting stripped back to NMF in Port Moresby – now that would be a good diorama!

P-38H-5-LO, 431 FS/475 FG, 120, 'Thoughts of Midnite' (s/n 42-66825)
Not the version of this aircraft flying around today which is another aircraft entirely – So don't get them confused - this aircraft served with the 475th Fighter Group "Satan's Angels", 431st Fighter Squadron in December 1943 at Dobodura New Guinea whilst piloted by Captain Verl Erwin Jett.
Whilst the red flashes mirroring the others on this sheet are interesting, they are not half as interesting as the lovely lady on the nose art – with a thought cloud containing the pilot’s name and kill marks and a large “120” number on the nose as well as the tail.
These colours were featured on a Cutting edge sheet in 48th but never before in this scale – we are glad we will have them now!

P-38G-13 “Miss Virginia" 339th FS 347th FG (s/n 43-2264)

The pilot and his inspiration for the name of this kite
This Lightning was assigned to Capt. Bob Petit and flown by Lt Rex Barber when he shot down Admiral Yamamoto's Betty bomber and therefore became quite a famous aircraft. This plane crashed with battle damage on Fighter 2 Airstrip in Guadalcanal as the picture shows.
The P-38 was Olive drab all over with the “147” along with the “Miss Virginia” on the nose and the longer S/N on the tail of 43-2264. You can see in some of the pictures here the kill marks on the nose and the interesting paint wear on the nose gun covers.

P-38H-5-LO from the 431st F/S in the 475th FG. 5th AF, USAAF (s/n 42-66817)
Numbered 131 - "PUDGY" (or Pudgy II as this is more accurately known by name) was flown by the famous Captain Tom Maguire from – yes you guessed it, from the "Satan's Angels" again and again in Olive Drab. This aircraft like some of the others here are good to see in the earlier schemes and not all natural metal like are often depicted by decal makers.
With a red band on both tail booms and blue spinner tips number “131” on the nose and the aircraft’s name “Pudgy” written in yellow this aircraft also had the 17 victory marks of the rising sun on the nose. There were many more “Pudgys” to come but its nice to see this, an early and less well known but just as interesting example here.

P-38H-5-LO "Blood & Guts III" 432nd FS, 475th FG, 5th AF, USAAF
Flown by 1st.Lt.Elliott Summer and based at Dobodura in New Guinea   December 1944 this kite was Olive drab all over with the yellow fin and propeller flashes of the 432nd fighter squadron.
“143” was the large serial number shown on the nose and the two outside vertical tails with some very gruesome looking “Blood & Guts III” written in cursive blood red on the nose. Although we don't have any pictures of this we will find them! (we have a particular set of skills)

This sheet will be available soon through these sites – well review it when it comes...
Available from:  Zotz Site where you can buy directly - SquadronSprue BrothersMid-Ten Hobbies , Stevens International , Hannants   Scott’s Model Workshop also carry this set if they are closer to you.