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Hi! This is continued from my first post over in the new members section:

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235040128-hi-from-the-south-of-england-lightning-f3-build/

 

This is my first build after taking a break from the hobby for a few years. I chose the old airfix Lightning because it's one of my fave planes, but the kit is one I won't mind too much if I mess up, due to it's age and innacuracies.

 

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That cockpit is certainly an improvment over what's offered by the kit  :thumbsup:

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Very nice work so far.

When you've finished that F3, you might be interested in the current Airfix F2A/AlleyCat F3 conversion to see what difference a few decades progress makes!

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Nice work so far! :)

 

Håkan

 

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Nice - looking great. Lots of good work on that making a poor kit into something great - looks like it will be a cracking good build. 

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Thank you, all, for your kind words and encouragement!

 

This week on Chris Makes A Lightning...

Lots of sanding and scribing. I've cut my finger a few times engraving the panel lines - especially on the rounded ones - and my old, disposable stanley knife is starting to get a bit dull... maybe time for a new one soon methinks.

 

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I fear in my enthusiasm I made the panel lines rather heavy. I've tried to sand down the deepest ones to make them a bit shallower, but I don't want to sand so much I start to lose the shape of the Lightning. Since I don't really want to fill all the lines in and do them again, I think the best course of action would be an extra coat or two of primer when it comes to painting. In the future, I'll make sure to use a sharper knife, and to be less heavy-handed when scribing.

 

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I've also started to add extra details to the fuselage - various lumps and bumps, and of course the fin underneath the belly tank. It looks a bit large and rough now, but it'll all get filed down to size soon enough!

 

 

In other news, in the spirit of putting far too much work into this kit... Airbrakes!

Since one of the few details the kit came with was separate airbrakes, I thought I might as well use them!

 

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I've glued little strips of styrene to the insides of the airbrakes, and filled in the ends to represent the slot which the pistons fit into. The pistons themselves are cut up paperclips which have been dipped in white paint. Turning them upside-down to poke into a square of scrap cardboard to dry was very fiddly!

 

You may have also noticed in the second image some filler has appeared in the airbrake cutouts that wasn't there before... This is because when I was engraving the corresponding piston slots in the fuselage... I may have overestimated the thickness of the plastic. Still! I have plenty of filler, so it's not a big deal!

 

Filler is like the undo button of scale modelling... only it's an undo button that takes 24 hours to set, and requires plenty of careful sanding!

 

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Sorry for being so late with an update - real life has a habit of getting in the way of these things 😕

 

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This is the ejector seat I've painted up for my Lightning (With penny for scale!) The one that came with the kit is a really horrible old lump of plastic, so I decided to use a replacement resin one from Pavla. It was marketed as being for an Alpha Jet, because it came with two in a bag, but the Martin Baker Mk.4 was used in a whole bunch of different aircraft, including the Lightning. I figured it would be a good idea to have a spare, and it was cheaper to buy the pair than two individually.

 

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Here we see the unpainted spare, the finished seat, and the original one that came with the kit (which teenage-me had optimistically painted...)

 

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I accidentally ruined the B-shaped handle whilst trying to remove the flash from inside it, and figuring I'd only end up doing the same to the spare, I decided to make a new handle out of a bent staple. It went pretty well, as the staple's rectangular cross-section means it only likes to bend in one direction. I painted the stripes on it and I had it in the tweezers ready to glue onto the seat... when I dropped it. Cue four hours spent on the floor with a magnet trying to rescue it from the jaws of the carpet monster hahaha :wall:

 

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In other news, I've given the Lightning a nose job.

 

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The intake that came with the kit was decidedly egg-shaped, so I fashioned my own out of styrene, and filled in the gaps. It's probably not perfect, but it's an awful lot more circular than the original.

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Excellent,are you going to extend the cable rails on the side of the fuselage.One can get half round plastic rod that's the right size on a well known auction site.

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On 28/08/2018 at 17:31, fatalbert said:

Excellent,are you going to extend the cable rails on the side of the fuselage.One can get half round plastic rod that's the right size on a well known auction site.

I intend to, yes. There's a lot of extra fuselage detail I'd like to add, which wasn't included in the original kit. I'll have to look into that half-round rod - it sounds much easier than trying to cut down sprue. I don't want to spend too much extra money on this kit, otherwise I might as well just give up and buy a new and better one. But half-round rod sounds like it could be a useful thing to have for other projects as well

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I use evergreen ·080"(2·0mm) half round item number 242.

If you have trouble getting any I can send you enough to do your F3.

Neil (ana fatalbert)

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It's one step forwards, two steps back with the Lightning at the moment...

 

The good news is, I found an empty pen that was the perfect diameter to create new tailpipes from!

 

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They're just dry-fitted at the moment - I figure it'll be easier to paint them first, then glue them in place, rather than faffing about trying to mask them.

 

The not-so-good news is the ancient blue-tack I'd used to secure the nose weight in had expired, and so it was rattling around inside the front of the plane. Normally that wouldn't be more than a minor annoyance when picking up the model... however teenage-me, having yet to discover sheet styrene is a Thing You Can Buy, had made the cockpit floor out of paper-card. Which the steel nut I'd used for weight promptly battered to bits.

 

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Because the remains wouldn't fit out the top of the cockpit, I had to cut a hole underneath to extract them.

 

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I know. It pains me too.

 

Additional annoyance is caused by the bottom of the fuselage splitting whenever I try to do anything to it. In future models, I shall definitely add some structure inside to prevent the fuselage halves from doing that!

 

As for right now, the plan of action is to make a new cockpit floor (from proper plastic this time), affix a better nose weight in a more secure way (lead shot and putty filler?), and since I've cut out the hole, I may as well make a nose wheel well to go in it!

 

I'm probably making this a lot harder for myself than it needs to be, but I'm learning a lot from this kit, so I'll keep going!

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I admire your perseverance,a lot of people would have chucked it by now.☺

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Life has a nasty habit of throwing a lot of difficult things at you all at once when you least expect it. I've been through a lot since I last updated this thread, but after many trials and tribulations I'm finally able to work on the Lightning again!

 

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To start, I fixed some lead shot weights in the nose with putty filler, however I was a bit over-enthusiastic and did too much at once. The melting effect of the filler combined with the weight of the lead caused the nose to sag and buckle on top. Now, as everyone knows, two wrongs make a right, and you should always fight fire with fire! 😜 So, I applied more filler over the buckles, sanded it down, and now it looks acceptable again. In the future, I shall have to be more patient and apply the filler in layers, waiting for each to set before applying the next.

 

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After several failed attempts to close the gap in the belly, including inserting a plastic shim, I came to the conclusion that the mating surfaces were just too thin to hold a secure join. To solve this once and for all, I glued a thin strip of plastic over the join, and put filler around the edges to get a smooth transition. At the same time, I closed the hole in the nose with yet more plasticard and filler. All the discoloration looks awful, but after sanding with increasingly fine grades of sandpaper, and a final polish with a low-cost microfibre cloth (kitchen roll 😜) it feels as smooth as the proverbial infant’s posterior! So once it’s got a coat of primer on it, it should look quite smart.

 

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Finally, I decided to attack the starboard aileron. I’m not sure if it was past-me’s over-aggressive sanding, or whether it was like that to begin with, but the inside edge of the aileron was noticeably too rounded compared to the port wing (at least, to my eye, anyway). So, I cut the offending corner off, replaced it with plasticard, then filled and sanded to my satisfaction.

 

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Don’t worry, I’m not in danger of finishing it any time soon, but by Jove, with the wings dry-fitted it really is starting to look like a Lightning!

 

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Very nice (and persistent!) work on this one. It looks much better with the recessed panel lines. You have made a few very good recoveries with this old model.

 

Looking forward to seeing more progress.

 

All the best, Ray

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Very dedicated effort on this model!   I've got one of the newer (?) Airfix Lightning F.2A models sitting on my work table waiting for me, so I hope it won't be as hard to put together as your's!  

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Great to see this back on track ☺👍

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