AD's F-5E (P-38 Recon) build thread - RC Groups
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Dec 25, 2004, 11:58 PM
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AD's F-5E (P-38 Recon) build thread

Merry Christmas to me! Air Devil's P-38 has arrived!

So, Merry Christmas to you- the first Builder's Kit build thread.

I'll be modeling this aircraft with my kit, honestly chosen, originally simply because I like the paint scheme- but there turns out to be a lot of information available on it, which is cool:

I'm not a radical (or experienced) scale modler, so I'll be doing my best without spending too many hours in the shop before I fly. (-:

Oh, by the way, the kit is available here:, but it's only fair to mention there appears to be a goodly wait list. I'm sure Air Devil is pumping them out as fast as he can!
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Dec 26, 2004, 12:29 AM
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#1 FAQ is this: What's the difference (aside from price) between the builder's kit and the ARF?

Here's you're answer: ARF looks like this out of the box: (you can also read a little about building the ARF pink foam there, and lots of chatter killing time waiting for the first kits to go out. (Some of it useful!)

Builder's kit looks like this out of the box:
Dec 26, 2004, 12:37 AM
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#2 FAQ is "What's the difference between white foam and pink foam?"

Simple answer: White is more work, Pink is more weight.

The pink is stronger foam with a smoother finish, so you can pretty well buils it, sand it smooth, paint it, and go fly. The first production kit was one of these, and came in at 34oz AUW.

The white foam is lighter, but rough and weak- so you'll want to finish it with fiberglass and polycryllic (sp?) to get a strong structure that looks nice. The 1st prototype was built this way and came in at 24oz AUW.

I intend to add retracts, flaps, and some other detail, but still want to keep the wing loading down so I can fly it slowly when I choose- that means I picked the white one, and that I'll be looking for other lightening tricks as I go.

(My lovely wife arranged for two Mamba 3200 motors to arrive with it, so I'll fly slowly *only* when I choose! <grin>)
Dec 26, 2004, 12:50 AM
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Here are some other references I'll find useful along the way, so I thought I'd drop them on page one where I can find them. This post is likely to get edited as I find more stuff I want to keep:

Aeromaster decal/detail sheet:

Painting/finishing thread:

Bazillion P-38 pictures:

More pictures, including pics of most of the P-38 varients that were made (including droop snoot, and I think there's an artist's conception of the sea plane prototype with the swooped up tail):

3-view showing gear location:

Retract unit discussion:
Last edited by rdeis; Jan 03, 2005 at 02:25 PM.
Dec 26, 2004, 01:54 PM
Callsign: CornDog
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ALL RIGHT!!! The first build thread! Great job with pictures and the FAQ's I look forward to watching your progress.
Dec 26, 2004, 04:04 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the build thread rdeis, I will be following closely. Still haven't got my kit yet, I expect it in the following weeks.

Thanks again,
Dec 26, 2004, 11:19 PM
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I've got to confess a delay- I'd been assured that I was NOT getting another airplane this year, but my mom slipped a GWS Corsair under my tree today! I'm going to build them along side one another, but do the tricky stuff I have no experience with (like glassing) on that one first in hopes of improving the work I'll do on this one.

1st step is going to be planning out the retracts and ordering the parts, then I'll jump in to the wing.
Dec 27, 2004, 01:50 PM
Clueless, but trying
Orcoz's Avatar
Thank you... thank you... thank you for sharing! I love living vicariously through other builders!
Dec 29, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Cool. I see you got yours too .. That is great !!! Hope to go along with you on this build thread. I still have not had time to start my yet,tho I I am looking for a good solution for the retracts.Picked up some glassing materials at the local hardware store and a friend of mine is willing to help with that part since I have never glassed a plance before and he had done about a dozen of them ..
Dec 29, 2004, 09:46 PM
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Well, after spending a day thinking about it, 10-15 minutes marking it up, nd nother hlf hour carefully removing material from the half Corsair fuse, I saved a whopping >1< gram out of a 30 gram part. Yeah, we're not doing that on the other side. *sigh*

There are a couple of places in the P-38 that I had planned similar work for, but given the paltry weight savings I think I'll pass.

Robart and Great Planes both have lightweight mechanical retracts that will support 2 lbs. The booms have a flat spot under the wing saddle that's *perfect* for glueing in a gear mount plate- question is going to be how to reinforce the fuse around the hole you have to cut for the gear well. Haven't looked at the nose gear yet, but I think it's going to be a little harder- I'm thinking about putting in a plywood false bottom on the fuse.
Dec 29, 2004, 11:45 PM
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Glassed a bunch of Corsair parts- with all the odd curves that's a pain in the neck. Good news is that the 38 will be much, *much* easier.

Question: Do I order .5 oz glass, or go forward with the .75 oz I have? Added weight, added strength..
Dec 30, 2004, 01:14 AM
Callsign: CornDog
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First off, I'm not expert. With that said, I've heard people suggest going with the .75 oz stuff. I'd look for confirmation on that before you take my word for it.

I agree, the nose will be harder! You are going to have problems with the wing being in the way of a retracted gear. If you glass the entire wing, than you should be safe cutting out some of the center section without fear of reducing the strength.

I look forward to seeing build pictures when you get there!
Dec 30, 2004, 01:16 AM
Registered User
I used .75 on the prototype and it worked great. Don't know how much weight you'll save. This build thred is just too cool.
Dec 31, 2004, 11:13 AM
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I'm going to glass the whole thing and add some carbon tow in strategic places. Based on what I did with the Corsir, I think it will be best to glass the main pieces (wing, booms, fuse, tailplane) individually before final assembly, then clean up the seams with filler and go over it with the final fill coat after assembly.

(BTW, how much baby powder do you mix in the Polycryllic for the fill coat?)

I hadn't thought about wing interfearance on the nose gear- I expected it to be forward enough that I wouldn't have a problem. Hmm.
Dec 31, 2004, 01:56 PM
Clueless, but trying
Orcoz's Avatar
[QUOTE=rdeis](BTW, how much baby powder do you mix in the Polycryllic for the fill coat?)QUOTE]

A lot. I've never actually measured mine out, but it seems like almost a 10-1 ratio. The mix should have the consistency of thick pea soup... or better yet pancake mix. Then you want to sand with 100grit or super fine, and don't press too hard or you may start pulling up fiber.

Good luck!

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