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

"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!

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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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"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.

"ways to make it look more realistic"
this kit is very tail heavy. but if you go to your local pet store and buy some weights that are used to hold plant life down in aquariums, they are little pieces of lead, if you put them in the nose of the plane as you are building it the will make it so that you can cut off the little plastic piece in the back of the plane and make the plane look more realistic. make sure that you have added enough weight before you cut that piece off though. and also make sure you take a little more time with the landing gear to build it correctly so that parts don't bend or sag in time

"Not for the Beginner"
Once you work out the instructions, as they list 3 different options, which if you're not careful can send you scratching your head, this turns out to be an enjoyable, but some what challenging build, there are quite a lot of details to keep you on your toes, I chose to build this with the gun compartment open so you could see the guns and magazines, and in doing so I had to cut the decal that went on the nose, this took some doing but I think it turned out well. Cutting the rear section out to add room for the bombardier was very nerve wracking and I do not recommend this for the new or the faint of heart, it would be terribly easy to destroy this set at that step if you don't use but the utmost of caution. I recommend this for someone with a few builds under their belt


  • #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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