Restorations Illustrated Vol 2, P-38 Lightning

Review by David Harvey

Review Type

First Look




US$23 from Buffie’s website www.buffiesbest.com

Contents and Media:

2 x CD/DVD’s. Works for both Windows and Mac’s with only Adobe Acrobat reader required to run.

A large qty of refence images

Highly Recommended



Today I will be reviewing the second in the series of restoration CD’s from Derek Brown of Buffie’s Best. The first in the series is the ME-109 G-10 which I have already reviewed.

These CD sets are the most comprehensive collections of references pertaining to one aircraft type that I have seen. I have had several looks at the CD’s and I have still yet to see all of it as there is so much content. The only software required for this CD set is Adobe Acrobat which is required if you wish to view the aircraft manuals available in Disk one Chapter 5.


When you put this disk in your computer it loads up to the sound of a P-38 starting up followed closely by a computer generated bombing/strafing mission of some ships. Once this clip is over you are presented with a brief blurb on the CD and nine chapters to choose from. The chapters are:

a. Chapter 1: Development of the P-38; covering all of the types of the aircraft as well as Top Pilots, Lockheed, Insignia, war adds, trench art, post war uses and some specifications for the aircraft.
b. Chapter 2: P-38 Survivors; gives details of forty different aircraft that still exist either restored or still at the crash site. This section also includes some photos of the different aircraft.
c. Chapter 3: Heroes and memories; short excerpts from the second CD with interviews of surviving pilots from WWII that were done at the P-38 National Convention 12 – 16 May 2004.
d. Chapter 4: Models, books and decals, a reasonably comprehensive list of kits and accessories that are available as well as some links to various modelling web sites.
e. Chapter 5: WWII manuals and photos, comprising the Allison Engine Service handbook, the F4 and F5 Manual, the P-38 Pilots manual and numerous other manual pages and WWII photos.
f. Chapter 6: Restoration photos; hundreds of photos from aircraft being restored. There is pretty much no area left untouched on this CD so you will have no drama in super detailing any model that you are making. The photos cover all areas from different angles so you are able to get all the detail you require for your kit.
g. Chapter 7: Interview-recovery and restoration, interviews with two different gentleman that have been involved in the recovery and restoration of different aircraft.
h. Chapter 8: Other restoration CD’s available, an impressive list of aircraft to be covered in the future as well as engines etc; and
i. Chapter 9: Acknowledgements. The usual acknowledgements you would expect as well as comprehensive list of Links to P-38 related sites.


This DVD contains interviews with eleven different pilots who flew the P-38. The pilots range from Fighter Pilots to Photo reconnaissance pilots ranging in Area of Operations ranging from Africa to the Pacific. This disk is the only place I have had any dramas with as it has on the odd occasion refused to load. But when it does load it has some interesting interviews with the pilots relating their exploits and thoughts on the P-38 in it’s various guises.


If you are interested in the P-38 then this is the reference for you! I think that apart from all of the very good photos on the CD the best part is the interviews with the pilots. I feel that these interviews make the whole package worth more than the US$23 that it costs. Hopefully these CDs are imported into Australia by a company as they are worth every cent. As you can guess, this CD set is highly recommended and I am eagerly waiting to see the next CD sets released by Buffie’s Best.


P-38 Control coloumn
P-38 left engine
P-38 Main wheel well

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