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Lightning T.4/5

Sword, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Description and Catalogue Number: Sword Kit No. 72118 – Lightning T.4/5
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media:

85 parts in grey coloured plastic, 3 grey resin parts, a sheet of coloured photo-etch parts 2 clear polythene parts; markings for four aircraft.

Price:

Available online from these stockists:

and hobby retailers worldwide

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: This is the only up to date Lightning T.4/5 kit in 1/72 scale.  Accurate outline; crisp well detailed moulded plastic parts; nicely printed decal sheet with minimal carrier film and perfect register. Excellent resin seats and exhausts. Optional canopy position.
Disadvantages:

Some minor flash around some parts. Limited release kit so will need some test fitting to ensure a good fit. Paint call outs are generic colours with no brand or FS information. Flimsy end opening box.

Conclusion:

Sword Models has released a much improved kit in 1/72 with four schemes in each of the kits. The model itself, is of a high quality but colour references are poor and make finishing the model so much harder.

Reviewed by David Couche


Airfix's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk. Vb will be available online from Squadron.com

Introduction

 

Background

The English Electric Lightning is a fighter aircraft that served as an interceptor during the 1960s, the 1970s and the late 1980s. It remains the only UK-designed-and-built fighter capable of Mach 2. The Lightning was designed, developed, and manufactured by English Electric, which was subsequently absorbed by the newly-formed British Aircraft Corporation. Later the type was marketed as the BAC Lightning. It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Kuwait Air Force (KAF) and the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).

A unique feature of the Lightning's design is the vertical, staggered configuration of its two Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engines within the fuselage. The Lightning was initially designed and developed as an interceptor to defend the V bomber airfields from attack by anticipated future nuclear-armed supersonic Soviet bombers such as what emerged as the Tupolev Tu-22, but it was subsequently also required to intercept other bomber aircraft such as the Tupolev Tu-16 and the Tupolev Tu-95. The Lightning has exceptional rate of climb, ceiling, and speed; pilots have described flying it as "being saddled to a skyrocket". This performance and the initially limited fuel supply made the Lightning a "fuel-critical" aircraft, meaning that its missions are dictated to a high degree by its limited range. Later developments provided greater range and speed along with aerial reconnaissance and ground-attack capability.

The Lightning T.4 was a two-seat side-by-side training version, based on the F.1A of which 22 were built as trainers for this “hot rod” aircraft. Two aircraft were later converted to T.5 prototypes and two aircraft later converted to T.54.

The Lightning T.5, was based on the F.3.  Again, 22 were built with one former RAF aircraft later converted to T.55 for Saudi Arabia.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Prior to the release of this Lightning T.4/5 from Sword, the only kits in 1/72 were the old and long out of production Matchbox T.55 and the Aeroclub conversion set which is also no long produced, so it’s been a long time then for a main stream 2 seat Lightning version to hit the shelves again.

This kit is a marked improvement over the other prior offerings of this aircraft. Scale drawings I found of the Lightning when compared with this kit seems to show the kit is pretty accurate, so well done Sword.

The kit has two grey sprues of 85 injected parts which are clean with minimal flash and typical of Sword, have a shiny surface.

 

  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
  • Sword Kit No. 72118  Lightning T.4/5 Review by David Couche: Image
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The main parts have recessed details which are even and of a suitable size for the scale.

 

 

As you would expect from a limited release manufacturer, there are no location tabs or point so carefully alignment is a must. Test fitting of the wing sections shows a very neat join, so I wouldn’t expect much in the way of problems for the rest of the model.

 

 

A pair neat resin seats comes with the kit, which, along with using the coloured Eduard produced coloured photo-etch seat belts, will give you an excellent pair of seats in the prominent cockpit.

 

 

The photo-etched fret also provides instrument panels as well as a few panels for the exterior of the airframe.

 

 

The canopy is a clear and fault-free moulding. The thickness is quite appropriate for the scale.

 

 

The multi-part canopy allows you to have the canopy either open or closed.


 

Markings

There are four schemes, of which two are natural metal versions and two camouflaged.

  1. BAC Lightning T.Mk 4, XM992,  111 Squadron RAF , Watisham, UK, 1960’s

  2. BAC Lightning T.Mk 4, XM995,  92 Squadron RAF , Gutersloh, UK, 1960

  3. BAC Lightning T.Mk 5, XS419,  LTF (Lightning Training Flight) RAF , Binbrook, UK, 1987

  4. BAC Lightning T.Mk 5, XS416,  LTF (Lightning Training Flight) RAF , Binbrook, UK, 1988

The decals are printed by Techmod. There is minimal carrier film evident and they seem to be in excellent register. The decal sheet also has a full set of stencils supplied as well as a detailed set of drawings for the fairly numerous amount to be accurately placed.

 

 

Colour call outs are generic colours and some of the details are very vague on what to paint so some good reference photos will certainly help you.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This kit gives modellers of the “Gentleman Scale” a new two-seat training version of the BAC Lightning, enabling both the T.4 and T.5 versions to be made It will make up into a very neat and detailed model with the inclusion of the resin and etch details. To be honest, it will take care and the checking of fit….many times to ensure it all goes together but you will gain an interesting model of a famous British jet fighter for the collection.

Thanks to Sword Models for the review samples.


Text and Images Copyright © 2019 by David Couche
Page Created 12 March, 2019
Last updated 13 March, 2019

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