Tuesday, June 28

Preview: New F-35B - Italeri rides the Lightning again - this time in 48th scale

Italeri has not been shy in making kits of the F-35 Lightning for modellers to consume. The 32nd scale, then 72nd scale kits were popular with the public. Now they are offering the STOVL version of the Lighting to modellers in 48th scale. See what this kit includes and some photos of a test shot, colours & markings in our preview....

Italeri rides the Lightning again - this time in 48th scale

F-35B Lightning II
From Italeri
1/48th scale
100% new moulds
Kit no# 2810
Four marking choices included
Photo-etch included.
News today of Italeri's new-tooled 1/48th scale kit dedicated to the 5th generation all-weather multirole combat aircraft of the F-35B Lightning II kit are with us. Today we will look at the  box art, final assembly test kit put together, the decal sheets and the photo-etched fret that come with the kit.
First, a run down of the real thing...

The Subject: F-35B Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, is the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft. It is designed to operate from austere bases and a range of air-capable ships near front-line combat zones. It can also take off and land conventionally from longer runways on major bases. The JSF Joint Strike Fighter program was set up to develop a new fifth generation “all-weather” multi-role fighter capable of being a valid replacement for the current ground attack aircraft of the United States and NATO countries.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II single-seat aircraft was born from the project. Equipped with extraordinary technology, it is characterised by the adoption of an aerodynamic layout, with stealth characteristics, with a trapezoidal wing. Designed to carry out air superiority missions, close air support and ground attack, its airframe is available in various configurations. 
Thanks to its STOVL capabilities, the F-35B was designed for vertical landing and take-off and to operate from aircraft carriers such as the Queen Elizabeth of the Royal Navy or the Cavour of the Italian Navy. Also used by the Marine Corps, it is characterised by the adoption of the Pratt & Whitney engine with afterburner and downward swiveling exhaust nozzle. The extreme operational flexibility, the offensive load that it is capable of transporting, the on-board technology and the strong innovation of the project, will make the F-35 Lightning II a sure protagonist of the 21st century air force. The U.S. Marine Corps' F-35B aircraft reached initial operational capability (IOC) on July 31, 2015, and as of January 2017, a squadron of F-35Bs is permanently based at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.
The F-35B STOVL operation is made possible through the Rolls-Royce patented shaft-driven LiftFan propulsion system and an engine that can swivel 90 degrees when in short takeoff/vertical landing mode. Because of the LiftFan, the STOVL variant has a smaller internal weapon bay and less internal fuel capacity than the F-35A. It uses the probe-and-drogue method of aerial refuelling.
F-35B aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. Marines and the UK. U.S. STOVL aircraft are stationed at the first operational F-35B base, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, where F-35B training is taking place. The first UK F-35Bs are located at RAF 17 Squadron, Edwards AFB, California, where operational testing is being conducted. The Italian Air Force will also operate the F-35B.
KIT OVERVIEW - F-35B Lightning II STOVL in 48th scale from Italeri
Italeri's new-tooled kit of the F-35B Lightning II is due in August. The 1/48th scale kit is completely newly tooled and includes plastic parts and photo-etch for some of the smaller details in the kit.
The kit is already in the final test phase, with the final test show shown to modellers today, built up and unpainted...
This version of the kit will have full access to the lift fans and an opening cockpit to fully display the internals of the aircraft.
A look from underneath shows you the option to have this kit in "Beast Mode" as it is called, with a full weapons load of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons externally, including missiles held int he internal bays for a stealth operation load out.
The underside of the lift fan showing the vented exhaust on the bottom of the aircraft and the detailed nose gear bay are shown here. Not the faceting on the aircraft underside near the nose.
The option to show the nozzle displayed straight and downwards for static, flying and landing are offered in this kit.
A view of the unique to F-35B top air intake of the Lightning II will always be a great point of difference to this kit over other aircraft. The cockpit itself looks fairly well detailed from this angle.
Smart and Iron (dumb) bombs are included, with GBU-12, GBU-31 JDAM, AIM-9X, AIM-120 AMRAAM are in the box.
A large decal sheet is provided that covers not only the common parts of the kit, weapons and  stencils, but fve different choices of colours and markings for the F-35B Lighting II.
The five marking choices in this kit.
So far there is no price for this kit, and the release date is set for August 2022

We will present more news on this kit as it comes to hand. From more on Italeri's kits check out their website...