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1:48 scale Lightning F53 RSAF 53-670 in camouflage


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This is my first post on Britmodeller, but as you'll see, not my first Lightning!

 

So far I have built 12 x 1:48 scale Lightnings, for a short period in the early 1980s I also worked on the real thing at RAF Binbrook.

 

I'm going to describe my latest build. an RSAF F53 in the experimental camouflage of 1977.

 

I'm very much an 'out of the box' modeller with some aftermarket / scratch built detailing. I use brushes to paint my models except when I use a Matt Silver rattle can' from the Pound shop on my silver Lightnings.

 

Can't seem to download photos?? To be continued....  I can now continue my post on building 53-670.

 

20220113_162220

 

Success - I know I have used an F3 to sketch out the camo pattern. Colours used will be Humbrol 29 Matt Dark earth - 83 Matt Ochre - 23 Matt Duck Egg Blue.

 

Camouflage pattern shown was built up from photos for the side views and patterns used by other modellers and a bit of guess work.

 

Red Top Tip:

 

Leave the tailplanes off until last which makes adding the small stencil decals a lot easier to place, including the serial number and the 'dotted lines'.

Edited by LightningBoy
Trying to add photos
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19 hours ago, LightningBoy said:

This is my first post on Britmodeller, but as you'll see, not my first Lightning!

 

So far I have built 12 x 1:48 scale Lightnings, I'm going to describe my latest build. an RSAF F53 in the experimental camouflage of 1977.

 

I'm very much an 'out of the box' modeller with some aftermarket / scratch built detailing.

 

Can't seem to download photos?? To be continued....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I will be detailing areas of the build that I think deserve further explanation avoiding a blow by blow account of the basics...

 

The cockpit tub I built as per the instructions with the exception of smoothing the control panel and side panels off before adding the decals.

 

I consider lots of modelling time spent on adding detail to areas you can barely see to be a bit of a waste - just a personal opinion - each to their own.

 

I added the weight as shown in the photos using nuts and washers from a packet bought in the Pound Shop - use plenty and when superglued in, pad out with BluTack in case they rattle around at a later date!

 

20220110_183429

 

20220111_092427

 

20220111_092427

 

Red Top Tip

 

Use a shoe box as a support for your Lightning build - it supports the model under the wings and not on its undercarriage which can be fragile.

 

20220120_145039

 

Edited by LightningBoy
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20 hours ago, LightningBoy said:

So far I have built 12 x 1:48 scale Lightnings, for a short period in the early 1980s I also worked on the real thing at RAF Binbrook.

That's what we love here at Britmodellers; madness obsession dedication based on knowledge! 😉

My own experience with the Lightning is only based on the Matchbox kits from my youth, when shirts where loud and trousers wide, and this was an epitome of British modern aviation to me.
 

Got my inspiration fired up to do one again, the new Airfix molds look tempting.

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Good start, love Lightnings! Got three built and two more in the stash, all 1/48. Interesting to see that 29 Sqn F.3 in camo, I didn’t know that, I’d assumed they were all silver. Looks good!

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Next instalment on 53-670...

 

I fix the cable ducts along the fuselage before fixing the 2 parts  together as it gives a nice flat surface to push against when ensuring the ducts follow the fuselage contours.

The cable duct lengths are different on various marks of Lightning so do check with references and photos to get it right. For the curious, the cable ducts are full of electrical wiring, if you take off the ducts the wiring all falls out and looks like long strands of spaghetti hanging down..

 

The most challenging parts of the kits are the gun port blanks and airbrakes. They are not a good fit and need lots of fettling. I use bits of pre-used masking tape to shim each part until it becomes flush with the surface. The F53 had no guns in the nose so blank them all off.

 

I find the 2 airbrakes are slightly different, try each one individually in each fuselage recess, choose the best fit and then fettle the other one to fit. Masking tape was again used to shim each airbrake to the correct flush finish. Even following this process requires you to pare down the surface of the airbrake to get a flush-ish finish.

 

When gluing the 2 parts of the fuselage together with liquid cement , use elastic bands to hold the 2 parts together and then work your way along section by section (nose to windscreen - back of cockpit to hole on spine - hole...), allowing drying time and alignment as you go. DO NOT GLUE IN THE AREA AROUND THE ELASTIC BANDS - the glue ill spread under the bands by capillary action and ruin the finish!!! When finished, cut off elastic bands and glue the areas that were underneath.

 

Red Top Tip

 

Leave the undercarriage off until next to last to enable the small stencils on the fuselage to be applied more easily and it's easier to glue on the top, small undercarriage door and the scissor link

 

Hello Lord Riot, the 29 Sqn F3 wasn't in camouflage I just used the page from the Airfix instructions to draw up the camo on the F53. Lightning Boy.

 

Having trouble downloading photos again, hopefully they will follow.

 

I've been copying the URL into the Insert Image box as I did for my earlier photos but now it doesn't woyk!!!!

 

20220111_111536

 

20220110_123416

 

20220112_160123

 

Edited by LightningBoy
...draw up the camo for the F53
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47 minutes ago, LightningBoy said:

Next instalment on 53-670...

 

I fix the cable ducts along the fuselage before fixing the 2 parts  together as it gives a nice flat surface to push against when ensuring the ducts follow the fuselage contours.

The cable duct lengths are different on various marks of Lightning so do check with references and photos to get it right. For the curious, the cable ducts are full of electrical wiring, if you take off the ducts the wiring all falls out and looks like long strands of spaghetti hanging down..

 

The most challenging parts of the kits are the gun port blanks and airbrakes. They are not a good fit and need lots of fettling. I use bits of pre-used masking tape to shim each part until it becomes flush with the surface. The F53 had no guns in the nose so blank them all off.

 

I find the 2 airbrakes are slightly different, try each one individually in each fuselage recess, choose the best fit and then fettle the other one to fit. Masking tape was again used to shim each airbrake to the correct flush finish. Even following this process requires you to pare down the surface of the airbrake to get a flush-ish finish.

 

When gluing the 2 parts of the fuselage together with liquid cement , use elastic bands to hold the 2 parts together and then work your way along section by section (nose to windscreen - back of cockpit to hole on spine - hole...), allowing drying time and alignment as you go. DO NOT GLUE IN THE AREA AROUND THE ELASTIC BANDS - the glue ill spread under the bands by capillary action and ruin the finish!!! When finished, cut off elastic bands and glue the areas that were underneath.

 

Red Top Tip

 

Leave the undercarriage off until next to last to enable the small stencils on the fuselage to be applied more easily and it's easier to glue on the top, small undercarriage door and the scissor link

 

Hello Lord Riot, the 29 Sqn F3 wasn't in camouflage I just used the page from the Airfix instructions to draw up the camo on the F3. Lightning Boy.

 

Having trouble downloading photos again, hopefully they will follow.

 

 

Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm - Winston Churchill

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Having sorted the photos again, I can carry on...

 

Whilst the fuselage sets I worked on the wings. I add my own minor detailing by adding a springy rod and straight rod to each undercarriage bay.

 

20220112_151524

 

20220112_152237

 

20220112_155154

 

It is important when gluing the 2 halves of the wing together dry fit them first to identify where it might be required to add shims to bring the leading edge join and the extreme wing tip to ensure a flush join. Sorry, I forgot to take photos!!

 

Red Top Tip

 

Make up a stand to hold the model in the vertical position as per Cosford. I used a spare sellotape base with a pencil glued vertically and lots of extra weight as shown

 

20220113_163446

 

20220104_132307

 

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Attaching the mainplanes to your lightning needs care to get the correct anhedral.

 

DSC_7977

 

The photo shows the anhedral of the mainplanes and also shows the main u/c door are slightly tilted outwards. The small u/c doors at the top point slightly downward hence my tip of leaving the u/c off until second last as these small doors are extremely difficult to fix in place once the u/c is glued to the wing.

 

20220114_134533

 

Starboard mainplane fixed on and supported while it dries.

 

20220114_181134

 

Port mainplane fixed on and drying using the shoebox to support it in the vertical position.

 

Generally, both mainplanes fit well and require minimal use of filler when dry

 

Red Top Tip

 

Humbrol enamel tins are just about the correct height to support the tailplanes while the glue sets and the u'c has been attached.

 

20220113_091359

 

 

 

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If the belly tank is off, as shown, when the wings are fixed and set, you can reinforce the glue joint on the inside of the fuselage to make certain they will never come off.

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Mainplanes all glued now, time to fill any gaps between the mainplanes and the fuselage joint. As you can see, the fit is quite good and required very little fillin. I use ordinary DIY filler, apply it to the join with a cotton bud then wipe of any surplus with  wet cotton buds.

 

20220115_121158

 

20220115_121216

 

20220115_121252

 

Belly tank now fitted, gun ports drilled out and join line smoothed out with panel join lines carried across areas which have been sanded. I do this by using a curved scalpel blade aligned to the remaining panel lines and using a rocking motion to reinstate the missing line. Easier to do than describe.

 

20220115_140922

 

Some filling will need to be done where the belly tank joins the fuselage and rear tank.

 

Red Top Tip

 

F6 Lightnings could be either fitted with a belly tank with guns or the full belly tank with no guns.

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The intake ring is another area that requires careful fitting and fettling.

 

From experience  I have found it best to align one side completely to the fuselage and then carry out all the filing on the other side.

 

20220115_140948

 

Red Top Tip

 

When fitting very small parts into place I often use a small piece of Blutac on the end of a cocktail stick. I used this for the very small air intakes on the fuselage.

 

20220115_161112

 

20220115_165757

 

20220115_165658

 

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Hello Toby,

 

There are no dates on the pages which were removed from the magazine.

 

I've Googled the article with no luck.

 

All I can tell you it was in Airfix Model World as an advanced build - sorry!

 

It was in the same issue as a Puma HC1 advanced build if that helps.

 

Cheers.

 

Kevin

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Fin and missile mounting stubs are now on.

 

20220117_135023

 

Red Top Tip

 

I have found this tool extremely valuable for stirring Humbrol paint. It fits in the tin and rotates very fast - when cleaning afterwards make sure its fully in the jar otherwaise it has a very wide spreading action of any surplus paint.

 

Its original use is a cocktail stirrer and can normally be found in charity shops and car boot sales. not sure if they  are available new? The base with the motor in it is the same as a lot of hand held mini fans and they are interchangeable.

 

20220117_132844

 

20220117_132856

 

20220117_132855

 

LightningBoy

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On 13/01/2022 at 17:09, LightningBoy said:

This is my first post on Britmodeller, but as you'll see, not my first Lightning!

 

So far I have built 12 x 1:48 scale Lightnings, for a short period in the early 1980s I also worked on the real thing at RAF Binbrook.

 

I'm going to describe my latest build. an RSAF F53 in the experimental camouflage of 1977.

 

I'm very much an 'out of the box' modeller with some aftermarket / scratch built detailing. I use brushes to paint my models except when I use a Matt Silver rattle can' from the Pound shop on my silver Lightnings.

 

Can't seem to download photos?? To be continued....  I can now continue my post on building 53-670.

 

20220113_162220

 

Success - I know I have used an F3 to sketch out the camo pattern. Colours used will be Humbrol 29 Matt Dark earth - 83 Matt Ochre - 23 Matt Duck Egg Blue.

 

Camouflage pattern shown was built up from photos for the side views and patterns used by other modellers and a bit of guess work.

 

Red Top Tip:

 

Leave the tailplanes off until last which makes adding the small stencil decals a lot easier to place, including the serial number and the 'dotted lines'.

Great thread Kevin and thanks for sharing.

Q: if you've built 12 of these, can you see a difference in modelling skill and detail between the first and the last? 

Cheers and stay safe.

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Hello GluDad,

 

Absolutely.

 

Lessons learnt include:

 

     Nose ring and Figure 8 fairing around jet pipes now silver foil tape instead of painted silver on first 3

 

     Gun panels and airbrakes now found how to make them fit better, still a difficult job (see RSAF Lightning build for tips)

 

     Positioning all the small decals on the fuselage is made easier by leaving off the undercarriage and tailplanes to the end of the build

 

     Fixing the cable ducts on the side of the fuselage is easier done when they are still in 2 halves in that you can push down on a flat surface

 

Hope this helps Gluman.

 

LightningBoy

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A few more details added.

 

Hole drilled in intake at base of the fin

 

20220117_171502

 

Small plasticard rain dispersal panel in front of windscreen  - why Airfix missed this out when they did include lots of very small tiangle aerial things that I've never been able to fit I'll never know?

 

20220117_171452

 

Small gap between the belly tanks filled with Polyfilla

 

20220117_171515

 

Red Top Tip

 

A few of the tools I use on a regular basis - scriber - cosmetic brush (don't tell the girlfriend - burnishing brush

 

20220117_171603

 

LightningBoy

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