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P-38F/G/H Lightning Conversion

Cutting Edge 1/32 P-38F/G/H Lightning Conversion First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2006 Manufacturer Cutting Edge
Subject P-38F/G/H Lightning Conversion Scale 1/32
Kit Number CEC32156 Primary Media Resin
Pros Impressive backdate for Trumpeter P-38L Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) OOP

First Look

Cutting Edge has produced an interesting variety of conversions in the past, and here is one that is quite interesting! This latest release from Cutting Edge transforms the Trumpeter 1/32 P-38J/L kit into the earlier P-38F/G/H Lightning.

P-38F/G/H Lightning Conversion

The late-model P-38s, as depicted in the Trumpeter kit, had larger radiators for cooling the oil and the glycol that kept the liquid-cooled Packard engines from melting down. These were large square intakes under the engines as well as larger scoops on the tail booms behind the superchargers.

The earlier P-38s were distinctive with the streamlined nacelles below and behind the propellers which helped to give the Lightning the illusion of speed even when parked on the ramp. The air intakes for the radiators were streamlined into the bottom of the nacelles. One detail that is usually overlooked when backdating a P-38J/L kit are the those radiator scoops on either side of each tail boom. These were also smaller on the earlier Lightnings.

This Cutting Edge conversion is cast in gray resin and of course features nicely scribed details that will blend nicely into the Trumpeter kit. This is not a difficult conversion but it will require care as you will have to remove the area under the tailboom side scoops to replace the molded-on radiators with smaller ones. You'll of course simply remove the nacelles at the indicated panel lines and replace them with these beauties.

The conversion is rounded out with an earlier styled windscreen used on the P-38F/G/H that is a drop-in replacement for the Trumpeter windscreen. This windscreen is cast in clear resin and even appears clearer that the original kit part. Pretty impressive casting!

The set will open up a wide variety of subjects for the Trumpeter 1/32 P-38J/L and will make the model a little less intimidating for paint as the vast majority of these earlier Lightnings were camouflaged, not bare metal.

My sincere thanks to Meteor Productions for this review sample!

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