Special Hobby 1/48 SG.38

KIT #: SH 48141
PRICE: $21.00 SRP
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The SG 38 was designed to be a training glider for basic flight training by the Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps (NSFK). The usual launch method was by bungee cord from a sloped hill. Because training was conducted solely by solo flight the aircraft had to be very easy to fly and also easy to repair.

The high-wing design uses a kingpost and cable bracing. The primary structure of the glider is of wood, with the wings, tail surfaces and inverted "V" kingpost all finished in doped aircraft fabric covering. The pilot sits on a simple seat in the open air, without a windshield.

The basic configuration was similar to earlier gliders such as the Stamer Lippisch Zögling and the Grunau IX, but the SG 38 was an entirely new design. Improvements included enlarged tail surfaces for better stability, a separate skid mounted on shock-absorbing springs, and an updated seat for the pilot.


When you first open the box you think to yourself "This is going to be a quick and easy build." Indeed, there is one sprue and a smaller one included. You have a one-piece wing, one-piece horizontal stab, and the fuselage (such as it is) which incorporates the fin, is also one piece. Most of the rest of the smaller injected pieces are to complete the pilot's area with things like seat, stick, instrument panel. There is also an optional enclosed cockpit provided.

The rest of the build, however, consists of small photo etch pieces for the attachment of bracing and control wires. There are well over 30 wires that have to be formed by the builder for this purpose. The instructions have a long list of wire lengths and three of the four construction pages are dedicated to the attachment of these wires along with their photo etch. Even the wire lengths in some cases is listed as approximate.

No specific wire size is provided, but I'd think that something along the lines of .008" or so would be appropriate. Fortunately, the instructions are quite well done and provide a number of detail images to help out in this regard. The decal sheet provides markings for six aircraft from either Germany or Slovakia. All of these are wood and linen in color.


These aircraft were very important in the training of pilots for the Luftwaffe and were generally the first aircraft a pilot trainee would fly. The type was exported to a number of countries and several nations also built them for their student pilots.



May 2020

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