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Mike Esposito

airfix 1/48 ee lightning f.1 kit

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Always was one of my favorite aircraft. Was curious what you guys think of the 1/48 airfix version. I fancy the earlier marks, either the f.1 or f.2.

Was also thinking oob, but would consider buying an aftermarket bang seat if neccessary.

Thanks

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Hey Mike, the 1/48 Airfix Lightning kit you mention covers F1, F1a and F2 which differ only in minor detail, I understand it to be regarded as Airfix's 'finest hour' when it was first produced? It is a great kit, I built mine as a 74(Tiger)sqn F1, the first operational Lightning squadron out of RAF Coltishall at the beginning of the 60's, personally, I don't think it needs aftermarket parts as it stands alone as an impressive kit, you could always scratch a bit of cockpit detail, far more satisfying than spending on expensive resin? Although, that is subjective and others may disagree, there are some amazingly detailed resin sets out there, depends on what you want I suppose?

. . . Kes

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Thanks Kes. Wanna try my hand at some scratch building.

Saw a number of real cool YouTube videos on the early F.1 with the rounded vertical stabilizer. Loved the early British high altitude crash helmets worn by the early Lightning pilots.

Edited by Mike Esposito

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The Airfix kit is great, but the cockpit is very basic in detail compared to the rest of the kit. Would recommend you at least consider a resin ejection seat.

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A resin seat and the Eduard etched details for the wheel wells if you want but stay clear of the Aires resin wheel wells as they are very tricky to fit without ruining the wings.

Duncan B

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Great kit! I have built two in the last year, working on another right now and have an F.2/F.6 in the stash. I've done one with the standard cockpit, one with the Eduard cockpit set and Wheelwell set which were good although the colour of the printed cockpit set is a shade of blue that isn't right although it makes the instruments etc. stand out. The current kit has the Cutting Edge cockpit which looks good but has been a bit of a pain fitting as there is a huge lump of resin under the cockpit tub that has to be cut away or it won't fit and you have to make up your own bang seat screen handles which is a little fiddly.

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I love the OOB Airfix 1/48 Lightning.

IMG_2257_zpsc34a7ef0.jpg

The F.1, F.3, F.6 and T.5 conversion, all 74 Sqn.

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Guys, just managed to pick up one of these kits over here in Hungary,  and have a couple of questions.

 

Firstly, the cockpit interior is black on black, and the instrument panel decals look like they are black...... without actually using them I can't tell if there is any background colour or white details, can someone confirm? I'm not interested in an aftermarket cockpit as it's so small and tight, and am looking at using the kit stuff.

 

Also there is that long thin conduit thing running alongside each of the fuselage sides, I saw somewhere (can't recall where) that they were incorrectly sited on the kit?

 

If anyone has a picture of the finished kit showing the placement of the main gear leg an door actuators I'd like to see that too, it's caused a bit of head scratching.

 

Other than that, looks a nice kit. I managed to get the warping of the wings sorted, or at least make the wings the same shape; I believe that there is supposed to be a slight dihedral kink in the wings, I have that running from the inboard end of the flap forwards perpendicular to the wing trailing edge. Not sure if that's right, but too late now!

 

Lastly,  it made me laugh when I opened the box, and saw the size of the kit parts compared to the massive box! I guess Airfix must try to standardise box sizes, but it did mean that all the pointy bits on the wings that were sticking out were all bent as the parts move around in the box. At least the clear sprue was in a separate smaller bag inside the outer one.

 

Cheers 

 

Les

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Posted (edited)

Les,

 

The cockpits of the Lightning F. Mk. 1, 1A and 2 were black and all had instrument panels with the old “basic six” instruments (ASI, altimeter, turn & slip, VSI, directional giro and artificial horizon).  The more familiar OR. 946 panel (HSI and Navigation Display, with strip ASI) came in with the F. Mk. 3 and F. Mk. 6, being retrofitted to the F. Mk. 2A during conversion.

 

The F. Mk. 1 airframes, XM134 to XM147 and XM163 to XM168 (‘168 was never flown, being used, and ultimately destroyed, as a fatigue test specimen) lacked the external cable ducts.  These were introduced on the F. Mk. 1A (XM169 to XM192, XM213 to XM218 of which XM217 and ‘218 were not completed and used for spares) and extended from the missile pylons to a point roughly in line with the airbrakes.

 

The main gear retraction jacks and radius rods in this kit have always been a “game for a laugh”: your best bet is to have a look at some of the photos on the “Walkaround” pages on this site and “Thunder and Lightnings” for example.  On mine (sorry, no photos) I got the jacks in first running diagonally back and out from the top of the leg and then installed the radius rods following a similar route.  You’ll probably find some good-sized sink marks in the main leg doors.

 

The early Lightnings, up to and including T. Mk. 5, had straight wing leading edges when viewed in plan.  The inboard sections were cambered , producing a noticeable kink in the leading edge at about the point where the AAR probe passes below (port side only, of course,  The Airfix wings are notorious for being somewhat banana-shaped but can, with gentle application of heat and pressure, be coaxed into something more closely resembling the real thing.

 

Damage to the lower wing skins’ extreme trailing edge adjacent to the inboard end of the aileron is not uncommon either; again gentle heat and pressure can remedy this but in one extreme case amputation and use of filler was the only sensible option.

 

HTH,

 

Steve.

Edited by stever219

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Thanks Steve, looks like I'm in for some fun.

 

To follow up on the cockpit, if I use the kit decals for the instruments, as you are told to paint the cockpit black, will the decals be visible? As far as I can tell (without actually using them) they are also black, so black decals on a black background....?

 

Cheers

 

Les

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Early Lightning's cockpits were black up to the T4 The F3.F6 and T5 cockpits are light grey.

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I've just got this kit on eBay for a very reasonable price, under £25 inc p&p! As it was so cheap I couldn't resist. Will probably stay in the stash for a while 'til we've moved house, but hopefully it'll build into a nice kit.

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 Les, I’ve just extracted my rather poorly 92 Squadron F. Mk. 2 from the “display cabinet of death” and the cockpit really is a coal-hole.  I must have been having a Rolling Stones moment when I built it (“Paint It Black!”) and I can’t tell if I used the instrument panel decal or not: it’s buried so deeply under the coaming it’s hard to tell in artificial light if it’s there at all.  In retrospect I would have been better using an “off black” for most of the cockpit, e.g. Humbrol 67 or Tamiya XF69.

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to sit in the cockpit of an early Lightning (a very long time ago) and to fly in a few of Her Majesty’s Chipmunks and the contrast between the instrument faces and the surrounding panels was very low.  The needles and numbers were the things that really stood out.  The lack of contrast is, I suppose, something that we need to compensate for in our models to show that there are, in fact, depictions of instruments in those coal-holes.

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This is a good thread and here's another question if I may? Can you build an F3 from the current Airfix F1 kit? Looks to me like just a different fin but I may be wrong!

Chris 

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Yes you can Chris.  The fin is the most obvious external difference but there are others.  The F. 3 lacked any form of gun armament throughout its career, so the plain upper nose panels are employed.  The lower fuselage cable ducts extend forward past the missile pylons sufficiently to intrude into the lower-aft quadrant of the fuselage roundel: check the location before cementing in place as other builders have had problems here.  AFAICR the Mk. 3 could carry either Firestreak or Red Top AAMs.  

 

For colour schemes you can have a field day, from the bright spines and fins of 23 (white), 56 (red and white), 74 (black) and 111 (black and yellow) with appropriate Squadron bars and emblems against a silver airframe and “Type D” national markings through Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey camouflage with tactical red and blue roundels to any one of the air defence greys schemes, some of which reverted to coloured spines and fins (blue for the LTF).

 

Thanks to Tweeky for expanding on cockpit colours (I forgot to cover the later marks), that for the F. Mk. 3 being Dark Admiralty Grey. 

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3 minutes ago, stever219 said:

Yes you can Chris.  The fin is the most obvious external difference but there are others.  The F. 3 lacked any form of gun armament throughout its career, so the plain upper nose panels are employed.  The lower fuselage cable ducts extend forward past the missile pylons sufficiently to intrude into the lower-aft quadrant of the fuselage roundel: check the location before cementing in place as other builders have had problems here.  AFAICR the Mk. 3 could carry either Firestreak or Red Top AAMs.  

 

For colour schemes you can have a field day, from the bright spines and fins of 23 (white), 56 (red and white), 74 (black) and 111 (black and yellow) with appropriate Squadron bars and emblems against a silver airframe and “Type D” national markings through Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey camouflage with tactical red and blue roundels to any one of the air defence greys schemes, some of which reverted to coloured spines and fins (blue for the LTF).

 

Thanks to Tweeky for expanding on cockpit colours (I forgot to cover the later marks), that for the F. Mk. 3 being Dark Admiralty Grey. 

Ok this is great and many thanks for all the information - gives me plenty to think about!

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If you search the forum, there are quite a few Lightning builds. A lot of them cover questions similar to those you are asking. Plus, the pics are great eye candy too !!

 

Atb, Steve.

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When I was on 5 Sqn at Binbrook the F3 (we had x3 F3's one T5 and 10 F6's) mainly carried the Firestreek weapons pack as did the T5. it was a a complete weapons pack swap to change the type of missile...there was different methods of cooling the seeker head the Firestreek was via liquid Ammonia and the RedTop was pure air from a 3000+psi bottle that was swapped out during the day to day flying.  

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On 3/6/2018 at 7:32 AM, lesthegringo said:

If anyone has a picture of the finished kit showing the placement of the main gear leg an door actuators I'd like to see that too, it's caused a bit of head scratching.

 

Les

These might help, but the main retraction jack in the wheel well is missing

40711131702_7a78d5ea0f_c.jpgLightning F.53 main undercarriage by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

38943645000_2a38388b20_c.jpgLightning F.53 main undercarriage by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39859354085_5b1311c81b_c.jpgLightning F.53 main undercarriage by James Thomas, on Flickr

There doesn't seem to be positive location of that radius rod when you build up the undercarriage, but once in place it is nice and sturdy.

 

 

I've made three of these kits now and haven't used any other parts at all, unless you building for a competition or something to stare into the cockpit of then you won't really notice the cockpit interior when it is all together.  The seat is probably the one thing that I might consider, but even then the kit one doesn't seem too bad to me.

Airfix got this one just right!

 

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The main gear fairings are attached to the U/C leg and are set up during retractions but only if they've been disturbed or replaced. Also the upper real portion of the fairing is hinged slightly and the top portion sits at 90Deg to the leg when down (looks like its missing on the photos. I have a few photos at home I`ll try to dig them out tomorrow and post them.  The D-door that covers the wheel well the retraction jack is buried in the wing you can see it in the photo and the panel at the opposite end of the jack..  

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Thanks for all the responses and pictures! My build now has a suitable coal hole interior, although frankly it's so small and tight you wouldn't be able to see anything anyway!

 

Cheers

 

Les

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