A comparison between Fly Models and Halinski P38-J models

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by Leif Oh, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    I am the lucky owner of two kits of the Lockheed Lightning P-38-J, one from Fly Models (nr 67, 1995) designed by veteran Tadeusz Grzelczak, and one a little bit more recent from Halinski (4-5 1997). The two models make for interesting comparisons.

    The Fly Models P38 is large (roughly A3), while the Halinski model is the standard Kartonowy Arsenal format (slightly larger than A4).


    The Tadeusz Grzelczak Fly Model is obviously hand-designed, and hand-drawn all the way, while the Halinski model is computer-drawn at least, if not computer-designed all the way. That stage wasn't reached until more recently; the first obviously "all-computer" Halinski Model I own is the P-39 Airacobra from 2003 (see review here; there may be earlier, I don't own any other Halinskis at present).

    The similarity between the models is best illustrated by showing a comparison between the instructions. Both are obviously hand-drawn and in fact quite similar in quality and detail:


    The difference between the two models show up most clearly in two print samples. The Fly Models version has better colour separation than the previously reviewed B24-D Liberator, but colours are still monochrome and not quite up to modern expectations, neither externally, nor internally. The olive drab green seems more like an educated guess than a real attempt to get it right, and nor is the interior green quite right.

    The hand-drawn interior details are quite well done, but does not stand up to comparison with modern techniques.


    The Halinski model is clearly computer drawn [I stand corrected here; see posting by Swinger below!]. Interior colours and details are more crisp and elaborated, and the exterior aluminium printing unbeatable (the scan below does not do the exterior any justice at all; it simply won't show up in scanning, you would have to build the model and photograph it to get the right impression).


    This is both a strength - and curiously enough - a weakness, at least from the point of view of this reviewer. It is simply not possible to scan and build this model and do justice to the excellent quality of print. Which forces you to build at the given scale - and purchase another copy if you wish to be on the safe side.

    Since I build in 1/25 (at least) this is a major drawback, although I realize that for all of you who build in 1/33 the alu finish is a very strong argument for Halinski.

    The reason I bought both versions of the P38 goes a long way back (forgive me for digressing). When I was a boy it just so happened that our family came to inherit a set of the first years of Readers' Digest published in Swedish, from 1944 onwards, no less. They were kept as night-time reads at our rented summer house, and I more or less grew up on those few dozens of yellowed magazines.

    Reading them in the 50s, I clearly remember a colour advertisment (in a war-time journal!) for Lockheed, published towards the end of the war, with a pair of P38s beautifully silhoutted against a Pacific sunset in full Kodakchrome splendour. They were olive drab, of course, and ever since then I've wished to create a model of that aircraft.

    Which is why I am genuinely torn between these two models. Both are beautiful, in different ways. Personally, I will not build the aluminium version, but I'm thinking about how to use the superior detail and crispness of detail in the Halinski model, with the olive drab of the Fly Model.

    But on the other hand, the latter model would have to be recoloured for sure. And the very heavy panel lines would have to be toned down. So, some bright day I might just decide to recolour the Halinski model instead. The loss of the beautiful alu gloss does not bother me, since I would never be able to keep that when scaling to 1/25 anyway.

    Another project put on the backburner - but nice to contemplate. And I've not given up completely on the Fly Models version either; however curious this may sound, there is something special about building a model which clearly is just that, one designer's best attempt to create a model, not necessarily a museum-perfect artefact.

    Leif Oh.
  2. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Nice review..., it would be nice for those who are still looking for a style to take notes.

    Best regards, Gil
  3. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

    Hi Leif,

    Thanks for the review, it has tipped the scales toward Halinski, at least for me. Regarding the metal version, you could always recolor the grey areas to transparent and print on metallized paper :)

  4. lgl007

    lgl007 Member

  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Nice build article. Beautiful model. The aluminum look is the next "grail" and thanks to Halinski and demo builds like yours the movement has begun. Now to find a better inkjet coating than alcohol-water and glue sticks....,

    Best regards, Gil
  6. Swinger

    Swinger Member

    I wouldn't say that Halinski's P-38 is computer-drawn. It looks as if it had been hand-drawn and then some computer-drawn details such as warnings and the Marge's photo have been added.

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