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F-35A Lightning II

Italeri 1/72 F-35A Lightning II Quick Build

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2013 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject F-35A Lightning II Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1331 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Excellent fit in most areas Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.00

Quick Build

For some background of this subject and a look at this kit out of the box, look here.

First let me remind you that this is a test shot and not the production kit. What arrived in our labs was a set of sprues in a blank box with no instructions nor decals. Fortunately I'd recently build the Kitty Hawk Models' 1/48 F-35 kit, so I knew what the various parts represented. Considering this was a test shot, the kit went together very nicely. The only problems were the fuselage inserts inside the intake - they fit fine but they left a slight gap between each insert and the upper fuselage half. I imagine Italeri will fix this but if not, a sliver of strip styrene will.

On a whim I decided to build this kit gear-up and with the weapons bay doors closed. I've run into a number of kits which claim that you can build the models with the gear up but the doors don't always fit. With the unique shapes of these doors, Italeri would have to be precise to get these to fit. Take a look at the bottom (underside) photo and you'll see that all the doors fit nicely. Bravo Italeri!

F-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning II

You can see here that the model went together quite nicely even without instructions. Total time spent was just a about an hour and part of that time was spent ensuring I wasn't about to do something stupid.

This is going to be another great kit from Italeri and so far every new tooling coming from this company has demonstrated that they've really improved their design and production capabilities. We'll let you know when the kit is about to arrive on store shelves.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!