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

"A Very Detailed Build!"
J Bevill (Palm City, FL)
What an awesome build! Took me 3 weeks at about 4 hours every other night working on this one. Very detailed kit from what I'm used to, and with 118 pieces each one receives at least one paint color if not multiple. CONSTRUCTION - The most time I spent I found was cleaning the parts from the sprues and checking everything as I went along for fitment. The rest was spent painting and gluing. I was a little disappointed that the wheel wells lack any detail up inside (and it's visible if you turn the model upside down) but the rest of the kit made up for details. The fuselage can definitely use some putty as there will certainly be small gaps after gluing. The landing gear assembly was not clearly explained in the instructions either, I spent quite some time scratching my head. The glass canopy was a better fit than most Revell models, but still the hinged top is very very delicate and the hinge on mine broke and fell down inside the plane right as I was applying the last decal - ugh! So I opted to use clear parts glue and just glued it in the up position. Will do. My favorite part was the rocket launchers, however they are time consuming to say the least when it comes to painting. PAINTING - I do not own an airbrush but after this kit I will certainly be looking into one only on the basis of the silver body (I did the standard version, not the Pathfinder or Night version) but this is no ones fault but my own. Brushing a nice even coat of silver still did not produce the nice smooth effect I was hoping for but nevertheless the finish still turned out quite nice. Every part in the kit does receive at least one paint color, if not multiple. And if your not building the Pathfinder Bomba Dear version there is no need to buy any blue paint as I found out. DECALS - we're great, my only complaint is there could have been more! I really like decals, the more detailed, the more accurate the build looks and in this case there was only a handful that applied to the standard Marge build. But that's ok. Overall a great kit for anyone but patience is needed for a lot of it. Very detailed!

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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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"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.

"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

"Fun and rewarding build"
Like the Other reviews stated putting lead in the nose of the plane during construction will balance the model so it sits on the gear properly. Probably need about 1/2 ounce of lead. The Canopy construction is pretty tricky. Overall a fun and challenging build with several options for the intermediate modeler.


  • #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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