Author Topic: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning  (Read 7405 times)

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Offline Alvis 3.14159

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Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« on: January 09, 2011, 04:09:38 pm »
After WWII, the USAAF began reducing its' inventory of aircraft rapidly. Many were bulldozed or pushed off the decks of aircraft carriers. In the midst of this carnage, Lockheed had the foresight to purchase back every P-38 they could lay their hands on. In the end, they saved over 300 of this powerful fighter. Soon, they began a private venture to re-engine them with the R-2800 radial engine, and eventually the R-3350. The airframes were beefed up to allow the carriage of bombs and other external weapons, with the aim of foreign Air Forces buying what amounted to a new ground attack aircraft for a fraction of what the new jets would cost.  The Korean War intervened, and the sudden need for ground attack aircraft led the USAF to buy the Lightning again, this time in the guise of the F-38 SuperLightning . The rugged design and twin engine capability made the F-38 a popular aircraft, and 7 MiG-15s fell to their 20mm cannon. No foreign user was able to purchase one, as the entire run was earmarked for the USAF.

In the early 1960s, it was realised that jet aircraft made a poor choice to attack insurgent forces, and once again, the Lightning was re-engined. This time, it gained the turboprop power of two Lycoming T-55L-9 engines, a second seat and an enhanced radio communication system to allow for better contact with ground forces. Tiptanks allowed for long loiter times, and the inner hardpoints were plumbed to accept drop tanks as well. This allowed a Turbo Lightning to remain on station far longer than any jet could, yet the turboprops allowed a dash speed in excess of Douglas' Skyraider. Both planes were procured by the USAF, but the Turbo Lightning became the preferred plane to fly helicopter escort missions and interdiction strikes deep into North Vietnam. Once again, it also claimed enemy fighters, 3 to its' cannons, 1 to unguided rockets and 6 to the Sidewinder missiles carried for self defence.  MiG pilots became wary to tangle with the Fork Tailed Demon.

Here we see a A-38C based out of Da Nang in 1970, piloted by Captain Bob Sanchez, and carrying the nose art of "Speedy Gonzales". While the A-1 was known as "Sandy", "Speedy" was a common name for the Turbo Lightning, revealing the pride the crew had in their fast, nimble, powerful aircraft.











Offline Maverick

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 04:12:45 pm »
Holy Jesus Alvis,

That thing looks loaded for bear!

Sweet build to be sure.

Regards,

Mav

Offline Alvis 3.14159

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 04:13:16 pm »
Well, this took a few years to complete. I've had this idea for ages, but what to use for the engine nacelles? Well, I was in a bead store and saw little plastic vials that were perfect, so home I went and began sawing and puttying and sanding.  The rounded fronts came from a 1/32 scale 32 Ford, the tires to be specific. They were hard styrene halves, and fit perfectly.

The kit didn't utilise one single piece of aftermarket parts, but 11 kits did supply parts. The base kit is the Monogram/Revell P-38, and the cockpit section and canopy is from the Academy/Hobbycraft Canada T-33. 2 Esci/Italeri Skyraiders donated their propellers, as well as weapons pylons and pilots. The Hasegawa Weapons Set A provided most of the ordnance, except for the gun pod and the rocket pods, which also came from the Esci Spads. An Italeri Phantom F-4E provided the sharkmouth markings (copied rather than buying two kits) and a Revell Germany F-86 was the source of the early mark Sidewinders and their launch rails. An Italeri C-119 Boxcar was the source for the tail surfaces, and the old Monogram A-37 provided the sway braces. The Esci pylons were nice, but had no swat braces, so they were modified to take the braces from the A-37. The pitot tube was salvaged from a Monogram AD-6, and Lindberg provided the nice tires to make the nacelle fronts. Decals came predominantly from the Italeri Skyraider kit, with some from the P-38 and an aftermarket P-38 set for the propellor markings and stencils. The Italeri kit provided some of the airframe stencils, as did the Revell Germany F-86. A Mongram P-51 contributed its' spinner to make the two spinners for this plane, one is the original, the other is a heat formed copy. In retrospect, i had a pair of perfectly good P-61 spinners somewhere, and didn't think to use them. Oh well.

Another downer was the realisation that after all this, the Turbo Lightning only has a couple more weapon stations on it than a stock Skyraider, but uses twice the number of engines. Again...oh well...

I'm beginning to rethink what i build. They aren't "What-Ifs", they are more like "Oh wells". :)

Alvis Pi


Offline John Howling Mouse

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 04:27:20 pm »
This is outstanding in every way.  Can you take a shot of this on your model shelf among the others?  Wow, looks like an expensive, rare resin kit from the likes of Aconcagua the way you finish them!   :bow:
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Offline Ed S

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 04:50:09 pm »
Excellent.  Another outstanding model.

Ed
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Offline Stargazer2006

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 04:59:46 pm »
Goodness gracious me!!!  :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

This could very well be my favorite kitbuilt of the year!!!  :wub: :wub: :wub:

Congratulations, this one has got everything: looks, idea, quality... inspiration!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline chrisonord

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2011, 05:12:14 pm »
Erm................. :o
Totally marvellous flying carnage there  :wacko: :wacko:
That is so my kind of plane  :thumbsup: :bow: :bow:
Looks like I will have to take my Italeri P-38 off my stash reduction list now and stick a pair of C-130 engines on it  :wacko:
This is one of the best builds I have seen in a long long time.
Cheers,
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Offline brisbane syndrome

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2011, 05:26:56 pm »
That is just so bad-donkey in every way!

Offline Devilfish

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 12:01:06 am »
Amazing build and so believeable!! :thumbsup:

Offline Nils

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 12:13:08 am »
this is pure brilliance, simply amazing build  :wub:
you always seem to surprise me, Alvis  :thumbsup:
on the bench:

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Offline flappydaffy

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 12:13:29 am »
this is just freakishly awsome ^^ :bow: :bow: :bow:

Offline rickshaw

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 01:07:23 am »
Nice, even better than nice, excellent.  Beautifully done.  I assume that its 1/48?

My only point would be that downward vision for the pilot, let alone the observer is pretty well non-existent.  :(
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Offline Gondor

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 02:17:13 am »
Very nice finish to a very nice build. Looks every inch as if it should have been.

Gondor
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Offline Army of One

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2011, 02:17:27 am »
Great build there.......love it......load out is great n paint is very well done.....H
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 02:24:48 am by Army of One »
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Offline anthonyp

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Re: Lockheed A-38C Turbo Lightning
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2011, 07:00:34 pm »
 :cheers: :drink: :cheers: :drink: :cheers:

Congrats on finally finishing this WINNER after all these years.  Perfectly mad and brilliant all at once.  I love it.
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