Detail & Scale P-38 Lightning Part 2

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Bert Kinzey, Haagen Klaus
ISBN 979-8320373362
Other Publication Information
102 pages
270 photos (189 color)
17 illusttrations
Product / Stock #
Series No. 19
Company: Detail & Scale, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Detail & Scale, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Detail & Scale P-38 Lightning Part 2

Detail & Scale produced some incredible references back in the 1980s/90s, and I recall the research within several of them helping to advance my building skills as a young modeler. Recently, the company revitalized itself and has been issuing new (or fully updated) publications with even more comprehensive coverage of aviation subjects. These are now available in digital format as well as traditional printed volumes. As before, there is a brief but detailed history of the subject aircraft, followed by loads of photos of both museum and contemporary aircraft, and a modelers’ section.

The P-38 Lightning Part 2: P-38J through P-38M Variants (also covers the F-5B, F-5E, F-5F & F-5G Photo Reconnaissance Variants) is the first of this newer round of publications I have had the pleasure to read and review.

This volume consists of just over 100 pages of text and photos, printed on nice quality paper stock in between stiff glossy covers. The introduction covers a very brief general history of the aircraft and mentions the original and long out-of-print original Detail and Scale Publications on the P-38. The research methodology as well as sources of the photos (museums and wartime shots) are described, showing the reader just how much care has gone into this work.

The history and service of the late-model Lightnings is then explored in brief, yet detailed, depth, with a discussion of the reasoning behind the upgraded models and the main physical changes compared to earlier P-38s. Differences between the late models, and the photo-recon/droop-snoot/pathfinder/night fighter versions are further explained. Clarifying photos and line drawings highlighting these differences are sprinkled throughout these sections.

What follows is the heart of all the Detail & Scale publications, namely the chapters with clear, large photos of virtually every aspect of the aircraft. Cockpit, canopy, gun bays, wings, fuselage, engine & nacelles, booms, tailplanes and landing gear each have their own sections. Wartime photos are present, augmented with photos of museum aircraft. Besides what one might expect, there are details presented above and beyond the ’normal.’ One that caught my eye was a photo of the exposed underside of an external stores pylon (without its cover). All highly useful for the modeler. I would say the modeler would need no further reference to add as much detail as needed to his or her build.

The final pages of the book are dedicated to a Modeler’s Section. All scales and kits (other than the extremely old and outdated) are reviewed and photos of some built up examples are shown. Brief but concise text explains issues with most kits and what can be done to correct them. The ‘definitive’ kit in each scale is mentioned, and of course the new Tamiya 1/48 P-38 kits are lauded as the best in class.

The very last page has biographies and photos of the authors, Haagen Klaus and Bert Kinzey. Their dedication and extreme interest in aviation shines through and shows just why these publications are so well-done.

In case it is not evident, I am very impressed with this work and plan to go get a few more volumes in the updated series (including Volume 1 of the P-38!). Aimed specifically at the modeler, this will prove an invaluable resource to anyone looking to detail their P-38 in any scale.

Thank you to Detail & Scale for offering this up, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it!


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