You may perhaps recall, from several years ago now, some amazingly coincidental appearances in my Victory at Sea series DVDs, of the next-numbered sister ships of an LST I was building at the time. But what happened just now is truly
Recall that - first
, and for no particular reason - I decided to build a "what-if" Lightning, incorporating all the Photo-Recon-, PathFinder and Night Fighter parts of my Revell 1/48 P38J kit. Well - after picking up a second
P38 kit, dedicated to a Bismarck Sea Slick Lightning - now the just other day I happened
to stop in to the local Thrift Store - something I never
do - with the random thought they might have a decently-entertaining DVD or two, for cheap. And found instead, Vol.II of "Crusade in The Pacific" - the 1951 series from Time (a sort of "How We Fought" sequel to the wartime "Why We Fight"), and direct contemporary of Vicotry at Sea - took it home, and promptly discovered a sequence, in Episode 10: "Up the Solomons Ladder: Bougainville", starting at minute 04:04, showing - you guessed it - Slick Lightings:
Click on Image for FULL-RESPhoto-recon
Lightnings, to be precise. From exactly the New Guinea/Guadalcanal/Bismarck Sea
theater of interest! Confirming the dull-finish (undoubtedly Olive Drab) camo on these planes' upper surfaces (at least, starting out that way - at some much-earlier time), though these planes (different in each clip) also showed extensive bare-metal - perhaps from brute wear and tear - especially on the lower/under -sides. This would be consistent with the greater longevity of PR airframes, in general - the more critical need for replacement being, of course, for the combat ships, swapped-out with the latest, factory-new and/or improved-versions, upon arrival. Thus, these pictured Slick Lightning PR planes from 1943 were no doubt of earlier, 1942-vintage: "F"-version - and perhaps even earlier - P38s.
Although currently building a standard, gun-nosed P-38, still details relevant to any of the Slick Lightnings are included in these clips:
Click on Image to Enlarge
At left and center, the smooth/conical windshield can be seen to rise directly from the nose, with no hump fairing in the base, forward. A nearly full-width rectangular plate of bulletproof glass - framed, and more heavily so, along the top - is mounted all the way back over the lip of the instrument panel hood. And atop the wing root, the horizontal stringers are outlined by a pattern of "oil-canning" and/or extreme wear of the camo paint. Inside the nose door, at center, the rib pattern appears (as much as can be seen) to confirm that of the Revell mold (the corresponding MiniCraft parts being utterly featureless).
Many other details of this PR Lightning (nose art apparently spelling "Pumping" something) are of course more relevant to my PR/Pathfinder "what-if": a second, smaller side-window on the nose (only the larger one included by Revell), and especially the (at least 3x) large banks of cameras in the nose (right).
So, that's some great inspiration - for both
these Slick Lightning builds - amazingly
making an appearance, unsought and effortless in its coincidence, right at this moment!