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

KIT #: 10010
PRICE: $40.00 delivered
DECALS: Three 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.  

The Republic of China leased a number of low hour T-38As from the USAF, returning them in 1998. Many of these aircraft were refurbished and placed back in USAF service.


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 includes the small sprue for the AT-38B so that the modeler can use the wheels on it for one of the options. If one has decals for the AT-38B, then one of those can be built using this kit.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. I did notice that they got the parts of the C and D sprues mixed up in the instructions, but it is easy to decipher once you realize that a canopy part does not fit on the main landing gear.  There are markings for three aircraft, all of them in white The only real difference between the options is the serial and the fact that one has a unit badge in low-viz. 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 at least six boxings of this kit. Each one is identical aside from the decals provided and the aforementioned AT-38B sprue. It seems they are covering all the different options, though I've not seen a Portuguese or Turkish offering yet.  While I have not built a Wolfpack T-38A, I have been told that they are quite nice. 



January 2024

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