All text and pictures by Twinman (George Lumpkin)

While I will admit that I own a VQ P-38, I decided to compare the only two ARF. P-38 kits on the market. This was made easier, when a buddy of mine, called me to tell me that he had taken delivery of the new KMP P-38 ARF. Due to job duties, I have been unable to fully complete my P-38, but loaded it up and off to the buddy's location for a look see for both of us. Below is the comparison of the two vastly differing kits.

What I found, or believe in my opinion, is that the two kits are aimed at different modelers.

The VQ kit is directed toward the scale modeler crowd. In that it includes the only working fowler flaps, which I am aware of, on any ARF kits on the market, and there are a scale four of them. It also has actual weathering of the finish. (Though some do not like this touch)  Much attention is paid to scale details on the model and extra features are included as detailed below. The main structures are completely hand built of balsa and plywood.

The KMP is, in my opinion, aimed at the flier crowd, who are less concerned about scale appearance and details. From the ground, it also appears to be the unmistakable P-38 in the air. It is also less expensive and of mostly composite construction.

Delivered price     $649.00    $535.00
Drop Tanks  Yes  No
Retracts Optional   Standard   
Tire sizes  Two large, one small   Three, same size
Engine Air Scoops  Std  Not Included
Panel Lines    Std    Not Included
Flaps     Four Fowler   Two conventional on Inner  Wing 
Number of wing joints     Two Five
Construction of booms Balsa and Ply Composite 
Hinges Nylon Piano Style-   Installed CA- not installed
Landing gear doors   Standard   Not Included
Machine Guns Five, not installed  Not Included
Pilot Figure Standard   Not Included
Scale Prop Spinner Std.- For Three Blades Not Included
Landing Gear    3/16" Wire two coils of wire 3/16" Wire One coil of wire
Gear Finish   Bare Wire    Plated Wire
Spring Loaded Oleo Struts Two for main, one for nose   Not Included.
Elevator Counterbalances  Std. Not Included
Colors available White, silver, Army, Bare  Silver
Covering material Sticky Plastic Plastic, molded color 
Boom Construction Built up wood Composite 
Firewall thickness  10mm or 13/32"   3/16" or 4.76 mm

VQ Center Wing section Center.Pilot pod  bolts around the center of the wing section.Note the two of four flowler flaps.
KMP Center Pod and Center Wing section. This part contains part of the wing structure.

VQ Fowler Flaps
KMP Center wing section and conventional flaps. Note, the CA hinges are not secured

VQ Radiator inlets are recessed and colored.
KMP Radiator Inlets are not colored and flat


VQ from landing gear doors and included spring loaded oleo strut for smaller front tire.
Bottom of KMP Center pod. This is a taped on plastic cover. There are no landing gear doors included, even though retractable landing gear is. This cover must be cut out for the landing gear operation and bolted to the pod. Note parting line.

VQ complete set of reinforced landing gear doors. Not installed.
KMP Landing gear opening on main booms. Note, this is only a taped on plastic covering. No landing gear doors are included. The plastic cover is cut out for landing gear and bolted on to the boom.


VQ main landing gear, doors, and included spring loaded oleo struts.

VQ engine cowls. Scale cutouts for cooling air and recessed. No parting lines
KMP Engine cowls. Note that there are no scale inlets for the air and must be cut out. Note the parting lines on the cowl.

Installed canopy decals for frame and included pilot figure. Note Fake "weathering" on the wings. I really do not think the frames on the real P-38 were that thick for either model.
KMP Pilot canopy comes pre-painted for the frame area. Hope the pilot does not want to see out!

VQ outer wing section. Note fowler flaps and installed nylon piano style hinges on the ailerons. Note, I would always check a manufactures hinge installation via pulling, I found none loose. At least some attempt was made to ad  panels lines.
KMP outer wing section and ailerons with none installed CA hinges. The plane has no scale "Panel Lines".

KMP view down the composite boom structure toward the tail area. There appears to be no internal reinforcement in this area. Maybe not needed. Due to composite construction.
KMP boom construction. Servo and landing gear wood structure is glued to composite boom structure.

VQ built up boom construction including the frame for holding the fuel tank.


VQ view down the boom toward the tail of built up construction.

VQ wing attachment area. Uses three aluminum rods with wood inserts. Rods must be bolted from under wing at each installation using wood screws. The extra push rod shown is for the wing fowler flaps. This is a snap on affair inside the wing in a removable cover that must be connected and removed at each wing service.
KMP side view of boom assembly. The boom contains part of the seven piece wing assembly. A long single large diameter aluminum rod is used to hold all this in alignment. The wing sections are glued to the center sections using wooden dowels for alignment. The outer wing panels are held on via a internal mounted rubber band.

The VQ supercharger area. Not painted, but a SMALL bit more detail, but the fit must be adjusted via a heat gun. The lips are for bolting the cover over the wing to boom connection.
 KMP Close up of the turbo charger details. This is a separate piece on both kits. I personally would like more details, but it is a complicated area. This is a good close fit to the boom.

VQ Wheels. Not only are they scale with a smaller nose wheel, but scale in appearance.
KMP Wheels. Note that they are all the same size, which is not scale.

KMP Horizontal stabilizer. This is a built up one piece assembly that you cut off a V shaped opening in the covering, slide into an opening in the rear of the booms and epoxy in place. Make sure of alignment before epoxy is applied. Note instructions in this area for proper alignment. Operation of the elevator is via a single servo mounted in the center pod and a pull pull wire arrangement to the center of the elevator.

VQ horizontal stabilizer is attached to the rear of the booms using aluminum rod with wood insert, and two dowel. I epoxy'd mine in place. The instructions allow for this area to be bolt on, for disassembly, but I did not go that route. Operation of the elevator is via two servos, one in each boom, to control each end of the solid elevator.

VQ "Machine Guns" included


VQ wing fowler flaps


VQ Included three blade spinners. Props and engines are not included.


Thank you Twinman for this very informative comparison

VQ home page here

KMP home page here

Twinman's detailed picture preview of the VQ kit here

Flying pictures of the VQ here

Notice: Questions or statements regarding product quality and/or usage are solely the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the opinion or recommendation of rcwarbirds.com or rcwarbirds.com owner/webmaster.


Join Our Email List

Become an RCWarbrids site supporter by making a donation.


The Web