P-38J Lightning “Yippee”

Published on
November 17, 2012
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/144
MSRP
$11.99
Product / Stock #
14668

Every once in a while a kit comes along that you feel you must do, only to be disappointed. This is one of those kits.

I happen to love P-38 Lightnings and “Yippee” in particular. “Yippee” was the 5000th P-38 built, and Lockheed decided to make it special. They painted it bright orange (not red, as many thought). On the bottom of the wing they painted “Yippee” in large white letters. I thought I would love to make a model of this aircraft and when Minicraft released it in Sept. 2012, I just jumped at the chance to review it.

To begin with, it’s tiny. The kit is molded in soft, light grey plastic. Not many parts in this one. I noted that there was almost no detail scribing. Particularly disappointing was the canopy, which had no canopy framing indicated. As anyone can tell you, the P-38 had a distinct canopy with sides that rolled up and down like a car window, and the top flipped up to let the pilot out. None of this was on the kit canopy, which also was the wrong shape and didn’t fit. I had to resort to hand-painting the canopy frame, which was a real pain in 1/144.

The landing gear was very primitive, at best. There was no cockpit at all, just a slab which I painted black. The fit of most of the parts required filler. The scoops on the sides of the booms were just blobs.

The P-38 had eight guns in the nose and these were absent on this kit. Not even holes where they were supposed to fit.

After assembly, which took about an hour, I primed it with Duplicolor white automotive primer. I then sprayed the entire aircraft with Testors Competition Orange enamel. This matched the photos of the real “Yippee” exactly. The smaller parts were painted and attached last.

The decals were very nice. You get decals for two aircraft, but I choose the ones for “Yippee.”

The finished kit looks nice, but the sit is too high and the canopy really detracts from the overall look.

Would I recommend this kit? No. I feel that for $11.99 you should get a kit with more detail and with a more accurate shape.

I do wish to thank Mincraft for providing the kit to review, and IPMS/USA for allowing me the opportunity to review it.

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