Lightning White 33
Here’s my take on Tamiya’s 1/48 scale P-38 Lightning model. The kit gives you the choice of building either Miss Virginia (P-38 G) or White 33 (P-38F). Despite the historical significance of Miss Virginia and the mission to shoot-down Admiral Yamamoto, I chose White 33 because there’s something about a well executed shark mouth on a fighter that appeals to me.
I can’t say enough about the Tamiya kit that hasn’t been said before. The only advice I have is to put some tape around the steel balls used to balance the model on its nose wheel, otherwise they’ll rattle around a bit when handling the model.
There’s a lot of detail in the wheel wells and in the cockpit, complete with radio sets on a shelf behind the pilot. I took my time (nearly two months) to complete the model, and I still need to add the radio wires.
Beyond the model, the P-38 itself is quite a bird. I learned a lot about the technology behind the ship while doing my research. It’s kind of fun to think that the Lightning and my VW are both turbocharged, except Lockheed managed to do it without computers. One fun fact about the P-38 that I read many times was how quiet it was. I experienced that myself during a flyby on the National Mall, a video of which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TQY36EPjM0.
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.