Revell 1/72 X-35B JSF

KIT #: 04626
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2000 release


The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Lockheed Martin is the prime F-35 contractor, with principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. The aircraft has three main variants: the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A (CTOL), the short take-off and vertical-landing F-35B (STOVL), and the carrier-based F-35C (CV/CATOBAR).

The aircraft descends from the Lockheed Martin X-35, which in 2001 beat the Boeing X-32 to win the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Its development is principally funded by the United States, with additional funding from program partner countries from NATO and close U.S. allies, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and formerly Turkey. Several other countries have ordered, or are considering ordering, the aircraft. The program has drawn much scrutiny and criticism for its unprecedented size, complexity, ballooning costs, and much-delayed deliveries. The acquisition strategy of concurrent production of the aircraft while it was still in development and testing led to expensive design changes and retrofits.

The F-35B entered service with the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2015, followed by the U.S. Air Force F-35A in August 2016 and the U.S. Navy F-35C in February 2019. The F-35 was first used in combat in 2018 by the Israeli Air Force. The U.S. plans to buy 2,456 F-35s through 2044, which will represent the bulk of the crewed tactical airpower of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps for several decades. The aircraft is projected to operate until 2070.

Even though this kit is the prototype, it is very close to the actual production F-35B. The kit was produced in 2001 while the JSF competition was going on and is a fairly basic kit. There is a cockpit tub with a three piece seat, controls and an instrument panel. Instrument detailing is raised with no decal provided.

The kit is designed to have the rear nozzle pointed down and the lift engine doors open to show the fans. I guess you could do some cutting to have it with the doors closed and the nozzle level, but it is not designed with that option. Main gear wells are installed in the lower fuselage half along with the exhaust section. I doubt that nose weight is needed. Intakes are quite shallow, but sufficient.

You can build the kit gear up, though you'll have to supply the stand. Gear doors need to be cut for gear down display. Gear is nicely done and sturdy looking. The canopy is a single piece and does not allow it to be displayed open.

Instructions are typical Revell with Revell only paint numbersThere is a single option for the X-35B. Apparently no stealth paint was used as the colors shown are 36118 over 36270, similar to F-16s. As such, no need for all the special tape over panels.


I'm sure the kit will be easy to build and it will make for a nice addition to any prototype/x-plane collection.


September 2020

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