P-38 Lighting – Part 1: XP-38 to P-38H Variants

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Haagen Klaus & Bert Kinzey
Other Publication Information
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 102 pages
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.5 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.5 x 0.24 x 11 inches
Company: Detail & Scale, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Detail & Scale, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Book Cover

Detail & Scale has already published two books on the P-38, back in the 1990’s. These books have been long out of print but this is not just a re-issue but rather a revision and update to the original books, including pictures never seen before of the restored P-38F “Glacier Girl” and the scale model section includes details and recommendations for the more modern P-38 kits that became available since the publication of the original edition.

The P-38 traces its lineage to Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and it was a revolutionary aircraft from its time, given its size, speed, and climb rate.

For each mark indicated below, there is a brief chapter explaining the details from previous marks, period pictures (some in color, most in B&W) and excellent line drawings.

This book covers the XP-38 and YP-38 prototypes and the very early production models, -LO, -A, -D, -E, -F, -G and -H. You might wonder what ever happened to the P-38B and P-38C. Those were planned versions that never were ordered into production and considering that the P-38A only had one prototype built, the history of the P-38 basically starts with the P-38D (several of which didn’t even have weapons and none had any armor, making them not really combat ready) with the -E being the first combat-ready mark.

There are chapters devoted to the photographic reconnaissance version of the above-listed marks and the book covers the British order of P-38s -which didn’t have superchargers therefore having a suboptimal performance. I want to point out that the book includes some of the best pictures of the British Lighting I have ever seen.

In addition to the chapters dedicated to each mark of the series, there is a very detailed walk-around (some pictures in B&W others in full color from the “Glacier Girl” P-38F) covering the Cockpit, Canopy and Windscreen, Fuselage, Engine, Wings, Booms, Tail, Landing Gear, and External Stores.

As the “Cherry on the Top”, the book has a chapter dedicated to the modelers, with pictures of built models in 1/72 and 1/48 and tips about how to build the different models. Given that the book was published in 2024, it includes details on the currently state-of-the-art, Tamiya 1/48 Lightening.

This book is highly recommended, both from the amount of detail for modelers, as well as for the historical value of the lesser-known versions of the P-38.

I would like to thank Detail & Scale and IPMS/USA for the review sample.


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