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Trumpeter 1/48 scale T-38A Talon

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
Kit:02852 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$34.95
Manufacturer:
Trumpeter
Pros:
Good fit throughout; great decals; easy build
Cons:
A wider choice of markings would have been nice
Comments:
Injection-molded, 107 parts (19 photoetched metal), decals
FSM-NP0714_01
FSM-WB1014_Trumpeter_T38_02
FSM-WB1014_Trumpeter_T38_03
FSM-WB1014_Trumpeter_T38_04
FSM-WB1014_Trumpeter_T38_05
FSM-WB1014_Trumpeter_T38_06
FSM-WB1014_Trumpeter_T38_07

With its easy-to-follow instructions and well-engineered, precise fits, Trumpeter’s T-38A was a piece of cake.

Step 1 deals with the cockpit. First off, decide if you want the canopies open or closed to pick the correct actuators. I suggest leaving them off, however, until after painting.

The cockpit has kind of an odd breakdown in the way the side walls attach to the sides of the cockpit tub. But, amazingly, everything fits when it all comes together.

The instrument and side-console decals are just the right size and settle down perfectly. The photoetched-metal harnesses are kind of weird, though — they don’t look like any harnesses I’ve ever seen. But at least they’re there.

In Step 2, the fuselage, cockpit tub, and gear bays come together — and everything did, nice and snug.

Step 3 brings in the intakes, landing gear, gear doors, and speed brakes. You also get an optional travel pod. I suggest you leave all the landing gear and doors off until after painting. The intakes need a little blending with a sanding stick, but no filler. Also, if you decide to use the travel pod, it must be installed first. Then you can attach the speed brakes. If you want the speed brakes deployed, you’ll have to trim the retraction pistons accordingly — or you can just glue them closed. 

Steps 4 and 5 concern the wings, main landing gear, and doors. Again, leave the gear off until after painting.

In Step 6, leave the canopy center frame and the instrument shroud off for painting. In this step, the wings, vertical tail, stabilators, and exhaust cans all came together well.

Painting was easy: Either all-white or black with white gear bays.

The decals were great! You get a choice of a black bird from Holloman Air Force Base or a Portuguese plane. 

The canopy pieces have a faint mold seam that needs to be polished out. A final dip in Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface finish (PFM) does the trick. 

All in all, this is one of the nicest kits I’ve built in a long time. You’ll need to have a little experience for this one, but, if you do, it’s a relatively easy build.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2014 FineScale Modeler.

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