P-38J Lightning

The P-38 Lightning was one of the most feared fighters of World War II.

Revell-Monogram P-38J Lightning Plastic Model Airplane Kit 1/48 Scale #855479
 Revell-Monogram # rmx855479
Retail $19.94  SAVE 11% !
Revell-Monogram Item # rmx855479
Specifications :
  • Scale: 1/48
  • Pieces: 118
  • Wingspan: 13"
  • Length: 9"
  • Revell-Monogram Product Number: 855479
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Spotlight Review

"Painful P-38"
kajoe55 (Oklahoma)
The Revell P-38 is a nicely priced model. If you are new to the hobby or returning, please don't start with this one. Despite my best efforts, I wasn’t able to make it look very good primarily because of fit issues. As the kit offers different versions of the Lightning, that might explain the issues getting the fuselage to come together properly. I modeled Maj Bong’s version and the nose fit of the fuselage left a LOT to be desired. The wheel bays have no detail and the cockpit is somewhat sparse (in other words I wouldn’t leave the pilot out) unless you kit bash. Be prepared for some work painting the canopy (has nothing to do with this particular kit – the P-38 has a complicated and detailed canopy) and if leaving it open, some work to make sure everything lines up correctly. The version you see depicted on the Hobby Linc page doesn’t have the red spinners, red tail markings, or red wing markings either so I would recommend you do some research on the subject before you build. So, if the P-38 is your plane, you want a challenge, and to work on your building skills, at a very reasonable price, this is your kit. If you want less frustration go with one of the other 1/48 Lightning choices.

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  • Structurally detailed surfaces.
  • Rocket launchers.
  • Alternative armament.
  • Auxiliary tanks.
  • Detailed Allison engine.
  • External exhaust gas supercharger.
  • Movable propeller.
  • Detailed cockpit with instrument panel and fold-back canopy.
  • One pilot figure.
  • Detailed landing gear.
  • Detailed decals for 3 versions.


  • Scale: 1/48
  • Pieces: 118
  • Wingspan: 13"
  • Length: 9"
  • Revell-Monogram Product Number: 855479

Requirements & Suggestions

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"Fun but confusing"
This was a fun model to put together, but, because of the fact that there were three options for building (fighter, nightfighter, and radar interceptor), the directions were quite confusing. One option was to add a second cockpit for the radar operator which required that you cut open part of the fuselage, which is a dangerous option for a beginner like myself. Thus, I chose not to take this option in fear that I would cut up the model too much and destroy it. The directions for all three options are included in each step, as opposed to having a full set of directions (in order) for each version. Thus, this caused great confusion for me (for example, step one had directions for Option A, Option B, and Option C, and this continued throughout the directions. It was as if Revell wanted to save paper, but, in doing so, they made this model quite confusing. Nonetheless, if you go the safe route, the final product will b quite pleasing. Enjoy!

"Revelle 1/48 scale P-38 Lighting"
skippykeesler (Edwardsville ILL)
Beautiful model of Lockheed's wonder plane.Good detail, and excellent decal sheet. I did add some detail to the main gear wells as this area is lacking any detail. The gun compartment is nicely detailed.I finally built the fighter version, I have built several of these kits and I always seem to build either the pathfinder or night fighter version,I have a weakness for the night fighter. I would highly recommend this kit to anyone with a little modeling experience.

"A smooth build."
Model did go together well, and parts all seemed to be fitting well and molded well. First model built since a long hiatus from model building, could've turned out a little better but that's no fault of the company, just my own. Fun model to put together and a light challenge but all steps seemed fairly smooth overall with no major areas that were to tough.


  • #1: P-38J, 2103993, "Marge", Maj Richard I Bong, USAAF, Pacific Theatre.
  • #2: P-38J Droop Snoot, 7F Q, "Bomba-Dear, USAAF.
  • #3: P-38M Night Lightning, 426865, USAAF, Pacific Theatre.

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