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F-35A Lightning II Kit

Academy 1/72 F-35A Lightning II Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2013 Manufacturer Academy
Subject F-35A Lightning II Scale 1/72
Kit Number 12507 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy construction, nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.00

First Look

F-35A Lightning II Kit
F-35A Lightning II Kit
F-35A Lightning II Kit
F-35A Lightning II Kit

The Joint Strike Fighter program started with a set of requirements for a tactical fighter that would meet the operational needs of the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marine Corps using an airframe that maximized the number of common parts and thereby reduce development and maintenance costs. As with any ambitious program like this, the devil is in the details and as the program evolved, challenges arose. The first step in the program was to determine the best overall design and Boeing developed the X-32 that had, shall we say, a rather unique appearance. Lockheed Martin countered with the X-35 and this design would ultimately prevail. This victory made Lockheed Martin the only US company to produce the only two Generation Five fighters in US service - the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

Academy has released the F-35A in 1/72 scale and this looks to be a nice kit. Molded in their multi-color plastic scheme, the kit is presented on two parts trees molded in dark gray styrene, two trees molded in light gray styrene, one tree molded in white styrene, one tree in black styrene, and one tree of clear parts (seven trees total). Among the features and options:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Optional seated pilot with new virtual display helmet
  • Positionable canopy
  • Positionable weapons bay doors
  • Nice details in the weapons bays
  • Positionable landing gear

This is the first F-35 kit in this scale to offer a full set of external pylons (all six stations) and offers the following stores:

  • 2 x AIM-9X Sidewinder
  • 2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM
  • 2 x GBU-31 JDAM
  • 4 x GBU-38 JDAM

The kit provides a nice array of maintenance and weapons stencils as well as markings for the following aircraft:

  • F-35A, 07-0744, 461 FTS/412 TW, Edwards AFB, 2012
  • F-35A, 10-5009, 422 TES, 53 W, Nellis AFB, 2012
  • F-35A, 09-5001, 58 FS/33 FW, Eglin AFB, 2012

This is another nice kit from Academy and will make a nice addition to your scale flightline!

My sincere thanks to MRC for this sample!

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