Pro Modeler 1/48 P-38F/G/H Lightning
Unlike any other fighter in the Second World War, the P-38 was easily
identifiable in the air. This didn’t make things easy for the opposition,
though, as the P-38 was a great all-around aircraft that handled well
and had some heavy firepower, all concentrated in the nose. Powered by
twin Allison engines housed in a pair of booms, the P-38 served in all
theatres of the conflict, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. In fact
the P-38 was the plane that shot down Yamamoto in the Pacific theatre,
a significant blow to the Japanese forces. Many aces used the Lightning
to achieve their scores, including Richard Bong (40 victories) and Thomas
McGuire (38 victories).
you are scratching your head and wondering just what P-38 kit this is,
the answer to your question is Hasegawa. This is a reboxing of the nice
Hasegawa kit, but with new decals and a nice instruction sheet complete
with detail photos courtesy of Detail & Scale. The kit comes molded
in light gray plastic, with recessed panel lines throughout. The moldings
are very crisp as is expected from Hasegawa, with no flash present.
Detail is ample throughout and should be more than adequate out of the
box. Starting with the interior be prepared for plenty of work in putting
this together. Eleven pieces make up the interior, with the majority of
it painted interior green. Raised detailing is present on the sidewalls
and instrument panel, while the seat comes in three pieces. The canopy
of the Lightning is large and right on top, so all this detail will be
the cockpit is done general construction can begin. Due to the unique
shape of the P-38 there is no easy way to mold things in injection plastic,
and this kit is no exception. The twin booms are separate and are split
into right and left halves. Separate main wheel wells are sandwiched inside,
while the radiators on either side of the booms have separate front cowling
and rear doors. The carburetor scoop is also separate and is split into
top and bottom halves. The completed booms then fit onto the one-piece
upper wing, which also incorporates the upper section of the fuselage
pod. Outer lower wing panels and the lower center section make up the
rest of the main assembly. With this many parts making up the major assembly
there is a lot of potential for filler, but with careful dry fitting you
can eliminate or at least reduce the amount needed.
remaining parts make up the small details, such as the superchargers and
nose guns. The nose is separate, revealing Hasegawa’s plans to have more
than one version. The stabilizer is in three pieces, the center section
and two outer sections. The canopy is also split into five pieces, with
another separate piece for the windscreen bulletproof glass. The propellers
have separate blades and two-piece hubs. Final fittings include a pair
of fuel tanks.
The decals are beautifully done and in perfect register. There are a
total of three choices on the sheet, one P-38E, one P-38F and one P-38H.
The P-38E is from the 27th
Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group based in Tunisia in August
of 1943. This plane has a big pile of mission marks on the nose in the
form of P-38 planforms painted in white, with another scoreboard of bomb
marks. Next to the unit emblem is three kill markings as well, making
this P-38 a rather busy one in Tunisia. Lt. Ervin C. Ethell of the 48th
Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group, in North Africa, flew the P-38F
during the winter of 1943. The most striking item for this P-38 is the
nose art, consisting of a dancing girl and the name Tangerine. The final
option is the P-38H flown by Captain Donald McAuley of the 55th
Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group out of Kings Cliffe, England
in November of 1943. This too also has nose art in the form of a woman
and the phrase "Pistol Packin’ Mama". All three planes are finished
in olive drab over neutral gray.
This is one of the best 1/48 P-38 kits out there and combined with the
great decal sheet makes this Pro Modeler release a great one to grab.
Our thanks to Revell-Monogram
for the review sample.