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E.E. Lightning F.2A / F.6

Trumpeter, 1/32 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Trumpeter Kit Number 02281 - English Electric Lightning F.2A / F.6
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 177 parts in grey plastic; 9 parts in clear; three vinyl tyres; two cast metal parts; acetate film for instruments; markings for two aircraft
Price: Around AUD$155.00 (equivalent to around USD$144.00), distributed in Australia by J.B. Wholesalers
Available through specialist hobby shops worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality mouldings; very straightforward engineering and simple parts breakdown; optional position flaperons, elevators and speed brakes; surface features include finely recessed panel lines and fastener detail; thin, clear transparent parts; options include weapons, alternate fins and gun panels; does not suffer from the same "pinched" exhaust area as 1/72 scale kit; now includes refuelling probe.
Disadvantages: Basic ejection seat; slightly wonky roundel decals.
Conclusion: Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 should be easy to build even for relatively inexperienced modellers, and it will be big and impressive when finished.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Trumpeter's 1/32 scale E.E. Lightning F.2A / F.6 is available online from Squadron
 

FirstLook

 

Trumpeter expands its 1/32 scale BAC / English Electric Lightning family with a new F.2A/F.6.

For such a big model - the fuselage is more than 20 inches long - the parts count is surprisingly modest. Trumpeter's 1/32 scale BAE Lightning comprises just 177 parts in grey plastic, 9 parts in clear, three vinyl tyres, two cast metal parts, acetate film for instruments and markings for two aircraft.

 

  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale Lightning F.2A/F.6 Review by Brett Green: Image
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In common with several recent release, Trumpeter's box art this time around is very attractive.

This model contains the parts to build either of these later Lightning variants, including alternate "pregnant guppy" ventral bulges, weapons and cannon panels (one with the Aden 30mm cannon for the F.2A, and one without for the F.6). Two each of Firestreak and Red Top missiles are included. The characteristic wings of the later versions with their kinked leading edge look good.

The large overwing tanks are also supplied as an option for the F.6.

Surface detail is really very nice with crisp and finely recessed panel lines and subtle rivet and fastener detail. You won't need to coat the surface of this model with Mr Surfacer before painting - it will do just fine as it is, even if you are planning a bare metal finish.

Cockpit detail is generally good with busy side consoles and a clear instrument panel with acetate film providing the printed dials. The seat is a bit basic though, and there has been no attempt to depict the tangle of harnesses and straps that adorned the real thing. Luckily, Eduard has already released a range of colour photo-etched sets to help dress up the front office, including harness straps and a cockpit interior with side consoles and a new printed instrument panel; and even a separate set with a boarding ladder.

The intake bullet assembly incorporates the front landing gear bay. I would suggest that you pack as much lead weight as you can manage into the bullet itself and the two halves of the rear bullet assembly (parts G-16 and G32) before joining the parts. This will go towards keeing the nose wheel on the ground, but you may need to add more weight to the forward fuselage too.

The exhaust area is nicely detailed using only 11 parts, and the rear of the fusleage does not display the exaggerated "pinched" appearance of Trumpeter's 1/72 scale kit in this same area.

The wings are remarkably simple - upper and lower halves on each side trapping a single-piece main wheel well, plus flaperons. The modeller is offered the option of main landing gear legs in plastic or in cast metal. All tyres are vinyl - not my favourite medium, I must admit, but once again I'll bet the after-market will ride to our rescue pronto.

 

 

Speed brakes are supplied separately and may be posed open if desired. The missiles are nicely done. Both styles feature clear plastic seeker heads.

The earlier F.1A /F.3 kit did not include the under wing refuelling probe, but this new release has redressed this omission.

The canopy parts are thin and free from distortion.

 

 

The overall engineering of this kit is simple, sensible and conventional. The only potential problem that I can see is that the large wings and tailplanes are secured with a minimum of reinforcement - shallow tabs for the wings and not even that luxury for the horizontal tailplanes. A little extra effort adding some brass pins would not go astray.

 

 

Two marking options are offered on separate decal sheets:

  1. Lightning F.2A, XN781/B of 19 Sqn. RAF, 1978. Finished in Dark Green upper surfaces over bare metal.

  2. Lightning F.6, XR726/K, 5 Sqn. RAF 1979. Finished in Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey over bare metal lower surfaces.

A supplementary sheet is also supplied with stencils and additional national markings.

 

 

All the decals are well printed but the centre of some of the roundels seemed a bit lop-sided, and the red has a bright pinkish hue about it.

 

 

Please note that Hannants have several decal sheets for Trumpeter's Lightnings, including options for the F.2A and F.6.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Trumpeter's 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.2A / F.6 is clearly a very nice kit.

It features restrained surface features and appears to be generally accurate. Except for the pilot's seat, detail is good too.

It is also one of Trumpeter's simpler to assemble kits, which will be welcomed by less experienced modellers or anyone else who craves a quick result.

The after-market has already come to the rescue of those who would like to add more detail. Eduard has photo-etched sets, AMS Resin offers a nicely detailed replacement seat, while Mastercasters provides resin wheels and new exhaust nozzles.

Mick Evans built the earlier F.1A/F.3 kit and reported that it was a fast and enjoyable project. I have no doubt that the F.2A / F.6 will share those qualities.

Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the sample

Text and Images Copyright 2009 by Brett Green
Page Created 29 March, 2009
Last updated 9 April, 2010

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