Wolfpack 1/48 T-38A Talon 'ROKAF'

KIT #: 10003
PRICE: $31.30 direct from Korea. Price includes shipping
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2013 in air forces throughout the world.

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the largest operator of the T-38. In addition to training USAF pilots, the T-38 is used by NASA. The US Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN aggressor aircraft until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II). Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots.

As of 2012, the T-38 has been in service for over 50 years with its original operator (the USAF). Other current and previous operators of the T-38 include Portugal, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Germany. All German T-38s are kept in the US and used to train German pilots.  

South Korea leased 30 low hour T-38As from the USAF to replace its T-37B and F-5Bs. These aircraft served for over ten years from 1999 until 2009 when they were then returned. Many of these aircraft were refurbished and placed back in USAF service. These planes allowed sufficient T-50s to be built to replace them.


This kit is molded in Korea and so is typical of current standard kits such as one gets from Trumpeter, Kinetic and others. Molding is well done, though I did find ejector pin marks on many parts, including most of the tires and the inside of things like gear doors. I also found sink areas on thick parts like the outside of the speed brakes, the lower control sticks and the mechanisms that hold up the canopy. The wheel wells have nice detail in them though the outer main gear wells are devoid of detail (they just may not have any in reality).

The cockpit comes with two nicely done ejection seats, with no belt detail. Instrument panels have raised detailing and they have decals as well. These panels are only for the T-38A. The T-38C has a 'glass' instrument panel. Rudder pedals are included that attach to the instrument panels. Side consoles are also provided. Under the cockpit tub fits the one piece wheel well. There is room in the nose for weight if you feel the kit needs it. None is shown in the instructions.

Intakes are a left and right side with a separate lip piece. There is no backing plate to the intakes, but they may well not be needed. There are two lower fuselage inserts. One is forward and the other is the entire aft rear section that includes lower wing stubs. The kit has a single piece fin, wings, and horizontal stab. The small flat piece atop the fin is separate. Exhaust fit like many F-5 kits with a one-piece exhaust nozzle into which the two tailpipes fit. Landing gear is well done and are the appropriate thin tire version that is typical for a T-38. The kit offers two sets of main and nose wheel, but makes no comment on using the other set.

Gear doors have separate actuators as do the speed brakes. As mentioned, these latter items have some pretty hefty sink areas on them so you'll need to smooth that out with filler. The kit can be built with the canopy open or closed. In the open position there are separate actuators to be used. The only other bit included is a travel pod

Instructions are nicely done with some color images of the actual aircraft to help with placement of parts. Color information is also supplied in either generic or FS 595 references. There are markings for five aircraft, all of them in white with fluorescent red panels. THe only real difference between the options is the insignia and the serial presentation on the fin. You get both earlier and later presentations. A full set of data markings are also provided as well as instrument panel decals. A very nice touch are canopy and wheel masks. The black anti-glare panel on the nose will need to be painted on.

To my count, there have been five boxings of this kit. Each one is identical aside from the decals provided. All are T-38As without the upgraded cockpits and newer seats of the T-38C. I have been informed that a dedicated T-38C kit will soon be in the offing. While I have not built a Wolfpack T-38A, I have been told that they are quite nice. 



June 2015 

Thanks to me for picking this one up. I would like to thank Richard F for not only informing me about the availability of this kit at such a great price, but also for providing the box art image which I unashamedly swiped from his post in the Forum. I'm sure I'll be getting calls from lawyers.

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