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P-38J/L Lightning

AJ Press, Modemania No.8

 

S u m m a r y

Title, Description & Publisher AJ Press Aircraft Modelmania No.8
P-38J/L Lighnting
by by Dariusz Karnas and Franciszek Strzelczyk with artwork by Zbigniew Kolcha
ISBN:  
Media and Contents: Soft cover book, English & Polish text, 136 pages, 1 sheet of decals in 1/32, 1/48, 1/72 scale, 207 color photos, 1/72 and 1/48 scale drawings.
Price: USD$36.99 available online from Air Connection
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Concise coverage of aircraft history, camouflage and technical description; plenty of close-up detail photographs; useful and interesting from the point of view of modellers; includes 1/48 and 1/72 scale plans; bonus decal sheet.
Disadvantages: Some clumsy English language passages
Conclusion: A concise and useful modellers reference for the P-38 Lightning


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

i
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FirstRead

 

The P-38J/L Lightning is the latest addition to the Modelmania series of publications offered by this Poland-based company.

For those not familiar with the company, AJ-Press Publishing House was established in 1991 with their focal point being to provide books for the enthusiasts of military history and weapons.  To facilitate this the company has developed a series of titles which now number eight in all - four of them are in the Polish language, two in English, with the other two being bilingual in both the English and Polish. languages.

This book is from their Modelmania series which is squarely aimed at the modeller.  The text is in both English and Polish.  The book is laid out with two columns per page with the English language text on the left.  Similarly the captions to illustrations are in both English and Polish with the English language on top.

 

  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • AJ Press P-38J/L Lightning Book Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
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The book comprises 136 pages in all and is divided into 12 sections as follows:

  • History.  28 pages in all and illustrated with good quality period photographs.  Although the book is titled P-38J/L the text provides you with a full history of the P-38 series from its development through to its employment.
  • Camouflage.  20 pages in all and comprising 21 colour plates including the inside of the front cover.  These take the form of excellently executed landscape formatted artwork by Zbigniew Kolcha - .  There are side profiles as well as plan views of upper and lower surfaces and enlargements of nose-art/airframe details.  Aircraft illustrated include “Corky IV/Jawaona”, “Elsie”, “Pudgy III, IV and V”, “Putt Putt Maru” versions two through five, “Si Si Senor”, “Itsy Bitsy II”, and five page coverage of “Maloney’s Pony” that doubles as a placement guide for the bonus tri-scale decal sheet that is provided with the book (more of anon!).
  • Fuselage.  Or should that be “pod and booms’?  This section ,as well as the following six,  are a combination of walk-around and “in action” colour images of extant restored airframes and period black and white engineering type drawings.  The walk-around images are excellent!
  • Wing.  Seven pages in all and the images include close-ups of pylons, landing lights, fuel pump booster bulges, extended Fowler flaps and dive flaps.
  • Tail.  Four pages in all.  Images are of inner and outer surfaces of the vertical stabilizers, mass balances and the very agricultural looking multi-screwed junction of the booms and vertical stabilizers.
  • Cockpit.  Six pages in all.  An excellent section indeed as it carries a first-rate colour drawing that is number-keyed to a legend so as you can identify each item.
  • Engine.   10 Pages.  Great images indeed and they include close-up front, rear and side views of turbo-superchargers, views of the engine with the boom maintenance panels removed and views into the radiator intakes and intercoolers.
  • Undercarriage.  Eight pages.  Walk-around shots of the nose and both left and right hand undercarriage legs, wheels and gear bays.  The period technical drawings go a long way into giving you an understanding of how the nose gear pivots.
  • Weapon.  Six pages.  Understandably, this section relies on wartime black and white shots of the P-38’s weapons.  Period colour shots are included as well but external views only.  The period exploded-view drawings are excellent!
  • Model kits.  With a huge 21 pages, this section includes an illustrated build of the 1/32 scale Trumpeter kit by Franciszek Strzelczyk.  The build article is spread throughout the section and it is supplemented with listings of injection moulded P-38 kits in 1/32 scale, available P-38 etched metal and resin detail parts/mask sets in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scale as well as a three page listing of decals in the same scales.
  • Scale Plans.  This final section comprises 12 pages and shows scale drawings in both 1/48 and 1/72 scale.  The drawings are left and right hand side profiles, upper and lower plan views front-on and end-on views.  These are all in 1/72 scale whilst the 1/48 scale ones are of the fuselage pod (upper/lower and left hand side views).  Although the book is on the P-38J and L variant, drawings are also included of the F-5 and M.

As mentioned above, the book includes a decal sheet for a single machine in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scale.  The machine depicted is P-38J-15-LO 43-28746 “Maloney’s Pony” which was flown by Lieutenant Thomas E. Maloney, the highest scoring ace of the 1st Fighter Group’s 27th Fighter Squadron in World War Two. 

 

 

Unless I have got this wrong, my research turned up that the aircraft was actually named “Maloney’s Pony” not “Maloney Pony” as provided on the sheet.  That aside, the decals are truly superb and include very comprehensive stencil data which you can use on any P-38J/L natural metal finish airframe.  The decals have been printed by Techmod and are very thin with an absolute minimum of carrier film which bodes well as they are destined for a natural metal finish airframe that is very unforgiving of excess carrier film!

A small nit-pick - the English language translations to the Polish text area little clumsy in some instances but in my opinion, this does not detract from the overall package.

In summary, an excellent reference book as far as I am concerned.  It provides you with a potted history of the P-38 as well as superb close-up detail photographs – enough to help you add far more detail to your next P-38 kit than the kit manufacturers provide out of the box..

 

Thanks to Air Connection for the review sample.


Review Copyright 2008 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 31 October, 2008
Last updated 31 October, 2008

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