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Echelon 1/32 Lightning....time for a change


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Back in the days before the internet , when we had to look at books for refferences , after market was virtually nil , an amazing man produced a quite limited kit of the Lightning in 1/32 scale. OK Yes it was Vacform , but it was superb.

I was a teenager and was looking through scale aircraft modelling magazine and saw an ad for said kit. I had to have one. My Dad drove me from Essex to Maidenhead to get one from the Man himself , Frank Brown. He was a very friendly man. He showed me some built up ones and also the most gobsmackingly good solid resin fuselage with white metal inserts. I believe it was a master for the kit. No idea what resin it was but it was glass smooth and dark blue.Fantastic. The kit was built and displayed in my room before finally getting destroyed years later somehow.

I have built a few over the years , i even started one using the Aires bits for the Trumpeter kit , but sold it on to a friend before finishing it.

I now want to build another one. One came up on the web for a good price and it arrived today. All is good and the kit it as beautiful as the first time i saw it. Unfortunately the canopy is very yellow. Not to worry i will attempt to make a vac form machine and make a new one.

 I will post photos of the kit this evening.

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Front row seat and my pick of comfy chairs!

 

Good luck with this, I believe you’ll have a great time in the build. I wish I’d bought one in the day.......

 

Trecor

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Looking forward to this.  I have never made a Vacform Kit before although I have bought a 1/72 Viscount to do one day !!! I also have a practice Kit which is a Rareplanes Tucano I bought which is incomplete so I thought I will use as a practice kit.  Good luck with your build.

 

All the best
Chris

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Right then , here are some photos. First up the beautifully cast metal parts.

 

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And the vac parts.

 

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My yellow canopy filled with milliput  to make a master for the new one.....hopefully...

 

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For those that are not familiar with the kit. Heres a photo of the surface detail.

 

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Made one of these ....my first vac and first model I ever airbrushed ..still have it ..wonderful kit to build ...

terry

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Really looking forward to seeing this build develop.

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Heres the canopy master. It needs a little cleaning up but the basics are there. I bought the wooden box from Hobbycraft craft shop. It will need a hole cutting for the vacuum cleaner and lots of holes in the top. Then i need to make a frame for the plastic to go on. Will it work?  Dont know but it will be a learning experience.

I have ordered some PETG and watched a few videos on youtube.

Im going to start the kit tomorrow evening.

 

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It really is a thing of beauty. Luckily Frank Brown was a perfectionist and the plastic he used was excellent quality and its still really good even after all these years. Being a stay at home parent means i get chances throughout the day to do research or even a little building. That is until my little William stops having morning and afternoon naps!

I managed to get the basic cockpit tub together this morning. Tamiya extra thin works great on this plastic.

 

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I hadn't appreciated back in the day that this kit looked so good, especially like the way the wheel wells and wing strengthening is done.

Have fun with it!

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Look forward to seeing you progress late 80's style! I had both the Hunters in the stash but sold the two seater regrettably. Still have the single seat Hunter but never had the Lightning. I suspect  it will be less work than getting an accurate Lightning out of the Trumpy one.

 

Colin

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Good god yes. That Trumpeter kit is dire. I tried several times. It can be done but takes so much work. This kit is so much easier to build.

 

Heres the metal parts added to the cockpit. By todays standards they are probably a bit basic. The Aires set for the trumpeter kit is light years ahead of this , but i wanted to keep the "essence" of the kit and the spirit of vacforms , so i will only use whats in the kit and what i can make myself

 

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On the theme of making it myself i decided to buy this 

 

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A nice basic little vacformer. Should be a giggle!

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⬆️⬆️⬆️ Looking forward to your results!

 

I may need tips for later this year (replacement canopies for a Novo Firefly :surprised:)

 

Trevor

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Really looking forward to seeing how you get on with this.

I have 3 of these kits waiting until my skill level gets to the level that these gorgeous kits deserve.

Very interested in how you tackle the yellow canopy issues as at least one on mine has gone this way.

Would therefore also be very interested if you intend to do a few more copies!

Have fun. 

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What a shame kits like this and those by Dynavector are not around anymore - seems they were pretty accurate unlike some of the modern injection moulded kits of today - looking forward to seeing this one completed

CJP

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2 hours ago, CJP said:

What a shame kits like this and those by Dynavector are not around anymore - seems they were pretty accurate unlike some of the modern injection moulded kits of today - looking forward to seeing this one completed

CJP

Yes I was saying that to a friend yesterday. I really used to enjoy vacforms in my youth. Always more interesting subjects 

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Progressing nicely this evening. Intake trunking ready for painting nearly. Radome bullet fairing is now assembled as is the 3 piece engine front. I need to detail the front UC bay before assembling it.

 

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