P-38J/L Lightning Decals

Published on
February 10, 2020
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
any 1/72 P-38J/L Lightning
Company: Iliad Design - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Iliad Design - Website: Visit Site
Decal Package

While the P-38 gained its notoriety over the waters of the Pacific, I have always preferred it in D-Day stripes. This sheet by Iliad Design caters to both theaters of operations.

There are 3 natural metal finish birds from the Pacific:

  1. P-38J flown by Lt. Ken Ladd, 80th FS, 8th FG
  2. P-38J flown by Lt. J.C. McHenry, 7th FS, 49th FG
  3. P-38L flown by Maj. J.A. Watkins, also of the 7th FS, 49th FG

These are balanced by 4 birds flown over the European continent:

  1. P-38J flown by James Morris, 7th FS, 20th FG, in OD over grey.
  2. P-38J flown by Col. Howard Rau, 79th FS, 20th FG, also in OD over grey with Distinctive Markings (Invasion stripes)
  3. P-38J listed as belonging to the 7th Fighter Group in an experimental night intruder scheme ofOD over black. This may be from the 7th Photographic Group and based on a profile in a publication but my research shows they flew F-5 versions of the Lightning. Would love to see what this was based on.
  4. The last bird is in NMF and unusual markings representing a P-38L that landed in Yugoslavia after suffering flak damage. The white stars were overpainted in red and it was flown about a year before being retired. There is information about this plane on the web and it will make a very interesting variation in your Lightning collection.

One nice thing with this sheet is that all 7 schemes come with the stars and bars, so you can build all seven planes and not have to resort to other sheets. The directions are in full color and show the left side of each plane with a separate nose section to display the detail unblocked by the engines, and an upper view of the wings showing color and decal placement.

Since I have never used this company’s markings before, I wanted to see how they worked. My P-38s are still in the unbuilt stage (as are most of my kits), but I was working on a 48th scale Buzz Bomb in US markings and the stars and bars were almost perfect for that kit. I applied Future over the OD and put the decals on. I did use some Micro Sol on the fuselage markings to get them to conform and it worked perfectly. However, the decal on the top of the wing silvered around the edge. None of the others had this issue, so not sure what I did there. The white in the stars is opaque and covers the OD well.

I am looking forward to doing Gentile Anne in the D-Day stripes. Thanks to Iliad Design for the review sample and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.


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