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  Scale models of NASA's T-38 Talon training jets

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Author Topic:   Scale models of NASA's T-38 Talon training jets
QuiGon Grin
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Posts: 47
From: Rutherford, NJ 07070
Registered: Apr 2010

posted 04-27-2012 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for QuiGon Grin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The models and toys that I collect tend to be on the smaller side, I guess it would be 1/400 scale, say about the size of Corgi's Century of Flight vehicles.

Does anyone know if any company has ever made a T-38 Talon with NASA livery at this scale? I've searched the Internet and never found one.

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 04-27-2012 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A 1/400 T-38 would be downright tiny! Less than 1-1/2" long and only 0.75" wingspan. Still, bigger than I thought until I did the math!

QuiGon Grin
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From: Rutherford, NJ 07070
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posted 04-27-2012 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for QuiGon Grin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I really don't pay attention to scales, so that was a guess on my part. The Corgi Century Flight vehicles averaged 3" in size, so that's the approximate size I'm looking for.

Though the size that you mention might fit as more of a realistic scale to some of the shuttles that I have.

...though that is not a requirement.

GoesTo11
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From: Denver, CO USA
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posted 04-27-2012 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For reference, Hogan Wings' 1:200 T-38s are given as 2.75" x 1.5." They've done them in at least a half-dozen different schemes, but no NASA livery (yet).

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-27-2012 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
A 1/400 T-38 would be downright tiny!
Dragon produced a F-16 at 1/400 which came with their KC-46 tanker model. It's not bad for such a scale — if you're not too picky. For a fighter jet, 1/200 seems to be the minimum. But since I'll have two F-5s at 1/72 from Hobby Master, I'd like to keep the same scale.

A NASA aeronautics line of models would be welcome. Not sure the market is there for those, but my F-5s will come with the Swiss Air Force/acrobatics liveries (how many people are interested in those?), who knows about a NASA livery.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 04-27-2012 06:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At about three inches, that would be close to 1/72 scale. I believe the Corgis are 1/72, given that they are using the same scaling data for the Corgi diecast planes as for Airfix's kits (since both companies are owned by Hornby now). Nope, I have not seen Corgi do a T-38, certainly not in that size.

T-38s are something of a scarce animal, even in plastic models. Companies in the past that have done kits have just slapped T-38 decals into the box of F-5B kits and called them T-38s when they are not. Sword is the only company to date to do a proper T-38 kit in 1/72 and nobody I know has done a pre-built in that size. A 1/48 scale T-38 is planned from one of the Chinese model companies this year, but I don't know when a 1/72 kit might come out or if a pre-built pre-paint might be done. Pre-painted F-5Es have been done by some of the Japanese firms (I have one), but I have yet to see them do a proper T-38, or even an F-5B.

Dragon might be the best hope for seeing one as they tend to do both pre-built pre-paints AND model kits. But if they did one, I would perhaps expect it to be 1/144 scale. Dragon IS doing a 1/144 U-2R and an SR-71, so I would not be at all surprised if we eventually saw a NASA ER-2 and a NASA marked SR-71 in the same scale from them. A 1/144 T-38 would be cool to see so I could have a chase plane fleet for my shuttle models in that scale.

QuiGon Grin
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From: Rutherford, NJ 07070
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posted 04-29-2012 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for QuiGon Grin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
A 1/144 T-38 would be cool to see so I could have a chase plane fleet for my shuttle models in that scale.
That's exactly why I'm looking for one.

history in miniature
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From: Slatington, PA U.S.A.
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 04-29-2012 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for history in miniature   Click Here to Email history in miniature     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are a couple of pictures of the Sword kit.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 05-01-2012 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I did do some further checking. I see that one of the companies in Japan that does the aircraft pre-paints did an F-5A and Dragon did a model kit of an F-5F (the two seater). So, if one had both and some modeling skill, it should be possible to graft the F-5F's canopy onto the F-5A after modifications are made of course to give it two cockpits (the nose length between F-5As and Bs are close with the front cockpit sitting in front of the normal single seat position). Then it would be a matter of carving off additional lumps and bumps to get it the rest of the way to a T-38. It would not be easy, but it is possible.

Many years ago, Arii also did a 1/144 F-5A, but it is NOT a good kit as it is oversized and the detail doesn't match what one might expect these days. Only other T-38 in a size close to that which I can remember was a Bachmann Mini Planes T-38 from the 1970s painted in Thunderbirds colors (I had one when I was a kid). Scale of that was about 1/130 or so and it was a nice little replica.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 05-01-2012 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, I finally found a T-38 at about the size you are looking for. There is a company called Hogan Wings that is doing them in 1/200 scale (length about 2.75" long). They haven't done a NASA T-38 yet, but they have done standard USAF trainers, aggressor versions and a couple others. So I think it is only a matter of time before a NASA one is done.

Only thing is, these little buggers are expensive for their size as checking the prices online, I see them range in price from $30 to $35. But, Flying Mule carries them and I know a lot of cS members use them for their Dragon spacecraft diecasts.

Heck, in 1/200, that would be the perfect size to compliment a Hasegawa 1/200 747 SCA with Shuttle model (provided NASA markings in that scale are done for the T-38). I still want to see a kit done or something in 1/144

David C
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From: Pasadena
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posted 08-29-2013 01:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Falcon Models has announced the production of a diecast 1/72 scale T-38. The first release is an Edwards AFB machine, but at least one NASA bird is sure to be on the cards.

I have a few of their models, and whilst slightly crude (blunt wing leading edges, wrongly shaped windshields etc) they are adequate and a NASA T-38 will be very welcome.

PeterO
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From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-29-2013 04:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For kit builders, Wolfpack Designs has released a new 1/48 scale T-38A. The first version has standard USAF trainer markings, but the next version will have NASA markings.

Fundekals has also announced a sheet of NASA markings for the Wolfpack kit.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 08-29-2013 05:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David C:
Falcon Models has announced the production of a diecast 1/72 scale T-38. The first release is an Edwards AFB machine, but at least one NASA bird is sure to be on the cards.
Let's hope so. But I don't know if we can be sure that a manufacturer of a given model will necessarily produce a NASA version of that model.

Hobby Master produces version of the F-18 but does that mean they will come up with a NASA version as depicted in the picture posted alongside Gordon Fullerton's tribute page from Dryden Flight Center?

Hobby Master (and Falcon Models) have produced Swiss version of military jets (F/A-18 and Mirage III) so we can only hope that someone will come up with aircraft with NASA markings.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 09-02-2013 01:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe in the case of a diecast T-38, NASA markings are about as close to an eventual "sure thing" as there can be. The USAF is the biggest operator and there have been plenty of different marking schemes for those birds (white livery being the most common). But past that, Portugal was the only export customer for the T-38. NASA by comparison is considered a major operator of the T-38 as well.

The F-18 on the otherhand has A LOT of military operators of the type. In addition to the USN and USMC, Spain, Canada, Switzerland and Australia operate it. NASA on the otherhand only got a few "hand me down" jets for testing purposes and so likely consumer demand isn't necessarily as high compared to the military ones.

GoesTo11
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From: Denver, CO USA
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posted 09-02-2013 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Plus, looking at the Falcon Models listings on the Flying Mule site, they seem to specialize in a fairly narrow range of not-very-common aircraft types, each in a good variety of liveries. Fingers crossed, but if you're going to the expense of producing T-38 dies and tooling, a NASA model seems like a no-brainer to me.

albatron
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From: Stuart, Florida, USA
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posted 09-02-2013 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Scale Clueless" I picked this up on eBay for a song, the pitot tube had chipped. It's about 11" long and part of the Executive Series of models by Daron. Nope I've never heard of them.

I took it to the last Spacefest where Ed Mitchell graciously signed it for me.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-02-2013 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al, that would be Toys and Models Corporation's 1:48 scale T-38B NASA Talon. (Daron is a distributor.)

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 10-08-2013 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
...a NASA model seems like a no-brainer to me.
Even more so that now there's a USAF Thunderbird 1974 model due in January from Falcon Models.

I'm sure there are more NASA T-38 than Thunderbirds, so as you say, fingers crossed.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29522
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-01-2013 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PeterO:
For kit builders, Wolfpack Designs has released a new 1/48 scale T-38A.
Via the Yahoo Space Modelers forum, Fündekals has released a 1:48 NASA Talon decal sheet.

sev8n
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From: Dallas TX USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 12-01-2013 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've ordered the fundekals T-38 sheet and now need to acquire a Wolfpack T-38 kit.

The online .pdf instructions for the fundekal sheet are worth downloading just for the excellent documentation of the different NASA schemes over the years.

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1134
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 12-01-2013 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that PDF file is terrific.

I have a couple of 1:48 T-38 kits... now I need to decide whether I want to commission a build or take a run at them with my 30+ years dormant modeling skills.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-18-2014 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wolfpack Design has revealed its 1:48 NASA-livery T-38A Talon.
  • New tooling kit for 1/48 T-38A Talon 'NASA'
  • Total 100 plastic parts, 2 resin parts and decal
  • Detailed cockpit and wheel bay details,
  • Early type main wheels by resin parts,
  • Decal printed by Cartograf, Italy
  • 2 A/C markings for NASA
  • A4 book manual included

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-31-2014 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding the model mentioned above: April release for about $26 from HobbyLink Japan.

AussiePete
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From: Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 03-31-2014 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AussiePete   Click Here to Email AussiePete     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just built the 1/72 twin pack of T-38 jets. Painted both in NASA colours. Found it pretty cheap on eBay.

On edit: I might add that I have a thing for scale atm. So Saturn, shuttle and T-38 are all 1/72.

Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 04-11-2014 03:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Several diecast T-38 exist at scale 1/200. A true NASA version should be "in the works."

cspg
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Posts: 4572
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-11-2014 03:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's one at 1:72 from Falcon Models, USAF Edwards 2009.

As for the Hogan Wings at 1:200 you've mentioned in your post, there's already an existing one: USAF, Sheppard AFB, Texas, 1985.

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1134
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 04-29-2014 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last week I received the Falcon Models 1:72 Thunderbirds and Edwards AFB 445th FLTS Talons, and thought I'd share my impressions as regards a possible NASA release...

Both models are quite handsome and I'm glad I bought them. The finish/detail is, I would say, a notch below Hobby Master but I have no problem displaying the two manufacturers side-by-side. A couple of detail quirks on the T-38s: The canopies are removable, but all one piece, including the windscreen. Not sure of the point, but whatever. Cockpit detail is pretty sparse. On both models, the partial underwing markings are not applied to the gear doors in the "down" position, only to the "wheels up" doors. This would not be an issue with a NASA bird, but another detail might: The Edwards model is painted with black erosion guards on the leading edges of the wings and vertical stab, and these appear a little "thick" on the model... something that could carry over to a NASA version. Not a big deal for me, but worth noting.

I have only these quibbles with the Falcon releases and would definitely purchase a NASA Talon in the same line.

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