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P-38J Lightning

by Rian Jones


Lockheed P-38J Lightning


 Revell-Monogram's 1/48 scale P-38J Lightning is available online from Squadron




I’ve been away from modeling for 25 years. Last year I bought a Monogram P-51 kit for my son and the bug bit me. I bought several old Monogram kits that I built in my youth to start. This is the P-38J in 1/48 scale. For a kit that was first introduced in the1960’s the old Monogram kit can hold it’s own with a little extra effort. I made the following additions and modifications to the stock kit:

  • Eduard photo-etch set.

  • True Details tires.

  • Reworked the landing gear struts with hydraulic lines madefrom .030 wire.

  • Built with the left gun bay open.

  • I wired the solenoids on the .50 caliber MG’s and the cannon (although the cannon detail is mostly hidden).

  • Scratch built cockpit details. (Levers and controls from styrene rods and sheet. Harnesses from Tamiya masking tape and .030 wire formed and pounded flat for buckles.)

  • Opened the cockpit.

  • Wired the radio.

The kit was painted with Model Master Steel Metalizer and Model Master enamel paints for the detail colors. Invasion stripes were masked and sprayed on black over white. Future was applied prior to decaling. Decals are from the Aeromaster sheet “Lightnings in the Sky” to depict Major Sabo’s P-38J-25 “Les Vin, Les Femmes,et Les Chansons” (Wine, Women and Song) of the 485th FS based at Florennes in the Fall of 1944. (Ref.“P-38 Lightning in Action,” Squadron/Signal Publications, page 36 and centerfold.) Semi Gloss Lacquer was applied as the finishing coat. Tamiya acrylic “Smoke” and artist acrylicburnt umber were used to weather the aircraft.

Although this kit is not up to the level of the Hasegawa and Academy offerings, with a little work it can be built into an attractive representation of the fabled “Lightning.” It looks good on my shelf! I hope you enjoy the photos.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by Rian Jones
Page Created 31 October, 2002
Last Updated 31 October, 2002

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