Trumpeter's 1/32 scale
by Mick Evans
English Electric Lightning F.Mk.1
Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Lightning F.Mk.1A / F.3 is available online from Squadron.com
Follow this link for a deatiled in-box review of
Trumpeter's 1/32 scale kit No 02280 English Electric/BAC Lightning F.1A/F.3.
Trumpeter’s 1/32 scale Lightning F.Mk.1 is a delight to build due to the excellent engineering in the fit of the parts.
This kit is not as complex as many of Trumpeter’s earlier 1/32 scale jet aircraft in that it has a very simplified engine fit. The kit provides just the intake trunks, front engine compressor faces and the two jet pipes with the rear turbine and nozzle apertures.
In earlier kits Trumpeter had provided complete engines with full internal detail which were complete models in their own right.
The cockpit has adequate detail but the ejection seat was a major disappointment and really does not represent any ejection seat. The seat pan cushion and life dingy pack are represented a dead flat plastic board with no features whatsoever. The real item has a shaped dingy pack with a slim seat cushion that provides the pilot with some backside comfort. The parachute pack and lumbar support are similar being represented once again by a dead flat plastic board with no features whatsoever. Fortunately I had a Just Planes 1/32 scale Martin Baker Mk.4 seat from their awful Mirage detail set. This seat had fairly good detail but the external seat structure was poorly moulded. I therefore cut off all of the seat structure and sandwiched the parachute pack, lumbar area and dingy pack between the Trumpeter seat structure and viola I had a decent seat to fit to the Lightning that represented the real life item.
The fit of the major components was impressive, requiring just a small amount of filler along the fuselage seams. The wing to fuselage joint was perfect and required absolutely no touch up. Another disappointment, though, was the numerous fuselage cooling vents and drains. The Lightning has a plethora of these and they are quite prominent. Unfortunately these are represented as scribed surface detail when they should have been fully moulded cut outs.
The gun troughs were opened up and muzzle tunnels were added which enhanced the front of the aircraft nicely.
The undercarriage bays and legs are well detailed but if you use the cast metal legs ensure that you apply plenty of super glue.
One major bonus is the canopies are very thin and they are crystal clear.
The model was finished in the natural metal scheme for an F.1A XM174 of No 53 Sqn Firebirds based at RAF Wattisham in 1963.
The model was painted in various shades of Alclad to represent the dissimilar panels and Xtra Colour Insignia Red.
The decals went on well and snuggled down into the detail well. I think my kit was a pre-release sample as it had some early decal sheets which were not complete so I will not comment too much on these but they only had one set of missile markings which created me a minor headache.
Trumpeter’s large scale Lightning looks impressive when it is complete due to its size. The fit is excellent with the only major downfall being the ejection seat and this will be surely corrected by the after market industry.
Thanks to JB Wholesalers for the sample
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2010 by Mick Evans
Images Copyright ©
2010 by Brett Green
Page Created 11 January, 2010
12 January, 2010
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