SET: Lone Star Models 1/48 P-3 Engine upgrade set

$47.00 with shipping

REVIEW BY: Pat Earing

Resin Engine nacelles and propeller set to upgrade ID Models or Tigger Models vacuformed 1/48 scale P-3 kit

Aftermarket sets to improve vacuformed kits are rare to nonexistent.  As such it comes as a welcome surprise to find Lone Star Models (LSM) offering of a resin engine upgrade set for the out of production ID models, and still available Tigger Models 1/48 scale P-3 kits.

I personally started one of these vacuformed monsters about a year and a half ago.  One of the weakest points of a very sparse kit, and very prominent on the real P-3 airframe are the huge turboprop engines with their multiple air inlets and large paddle bladed propellers.  Due to the limitations of the vacuformed plastic medium, the nacelles in the kit come in two halves with no hint of opening areas and the propellers are flat uniform thickness blobs.  Knowing these areas were weak in kit form, joined in a short discussion with Mike West, owner of LSM about how best to go about making resin masters to recreate these areas with better detail and shape-fully intending to make my own masters and cast them.  Using the on line forum, Mike not only explained about available mediums for making the masters, he created them for my viewing pleasure.  Wow… a dream come true!  With enough initial interest and commitments to purchase the kit, Mike finished up his new masters with proper propellers and hubs and offered them up for sale at a very reasonable price.

What you get with LSM kit are four large resin castings of the engine nacelles, four hubs, and 16 resin propeller blades all packaged in three small individual plastic bags. 

The nacelle castings are fantastic, with no pin holes or casting flaws present.  You get two inner nacelles with landing gear bay bulges, and two outer nacelles.  They come with a nice stepped pour plug at the top that acts as a wonderful alignment and gluing surface to mate with the kit upper wing parts.  The builder will need to trim these plugs back on the inner nacelles if scale wheel bays are created, as they will extend into the upper forward bay areas by about three eighths of an inch.  Panel line detail is present, but sparse.  The lines are very petite, but suffer from being indistinct in spots. The inlet openings are large, but do have some depth that creates the illusion of space as seen on the real aircraft.  Although not perfect, the masters adequately capture the essence of the P-3 engines.  Fit appears to be spot on, but as I was less than perfect with my sanding I will need to shim my wing halves to meet the resin parts for height.  Filling will be necessary no matter how much care is taken to seamlessly integrate the nacelles onto the kit parts, but that should not intimidate anyone attempting to build on of these kits.

The hubs provided by LSM look like P-3 propeller hubs.  The pour stubs on the back will require sanding for a flush fit.  Diameters match the nacelle fronts correctly.

Resin propellers can be tricky.  Fortunately, Mike seems to have system that works as I could not find even one blade that was warped or misshapen.  There is some resin flash to clean up, but the blades are consistent and blemish free; a real time saver.  No locking system is present and care will need to be taken to get the blades at a proper angle/pitch and length.  Again, not a serious construction issue for a builder undertaking a kit of this sort.

The Lone Star Models 1/48 P-3 engine update set is a rare gem that will unfortunately appeal to a very limited few modelers that attempt the ID/Tigger vacuformed kits.  The castings are top notch and really make an improvement over the kit parts.  Additionally, this set is worth every penny in the time and detail it saves for the modeler.  Highly recommended.  Please note-the 1/48 P-3 kit is not listed on the LSM website; just send Mike an email at with your request.

 Pat Earing

September 2012

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