1/32 Trumpeter E.E. BAC Lightning F. 1 A / F.3

Gallery Article by Peter Doll, Germany on July 9 2009

 

One of my dreams came true when Trumpeter announced a 1:32 scale Lightning and gave me the chance to expand my model collection of Cold War Jets with this famous British fighter.

The kit contains all the parts to build either of these early Lightnings, including alternate fins, weapons and cannon panels. I've chosen the F.3 version for my project and I was surprised by the very straightforward engineering and the simple parts breakdown. The somewhat "pinched" exhaust area of the 1:72 scale kit of the same type produced a little earlier has been partly corrected by the Chinese engineers.

I've built my Lightning straight out of the box correcting some shortcomings usually found on this manufacturer's kits and I must say that the fixing was fairly easy. "Mr. Riveter" seems to have worked on this model too, therefore I've coated my Lightning with Gunze's Mr. Surfacer 500 to slightly reduce the size of the rivets and panel lines prior to plating the model with simple kitchen foil as already described in my previous contributions to ARC.

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The cockpit detail is generally good, but the ejection seat could be better detailed for a model of this size; there has been no attempt to depict the tangle of harness  and straps that adorned the real thing. I can imagine that it won't be long before we see a resin after market replacement though. For my model this stuff comes too late, but I've tried to update the seat by scratching the details a little bit.

The exhaust area is nicely detailed using only 11 parts. No effort was made to produce the engines, only the exhaust pipes are reproduced. There is a big difference compared with the engine of Trumpeter's F-100 D Super Sabre, which is indeed a model in the model. I think that the Chinese have to save money too on there future products. 

The decals are nicely printed and easy to work with. The wrong color of the fin flash is meanwhile corrected.

For my Lightning I've chose the colourful markings of No. 111 Squadron Royal Air Force, but unfortunately the black and yellow lightning besides the roundel on the forward fuselage is undersized and I hope, that the after market can help to correct this point in the future and in this case l am sure to update my model.

By the end of this year Trumpeter announces the release of a late version of the Lightning, an F.2A/F.6 and this type is already on my "to do" list.

Peter Doll, Germany

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Photos and text by Peter Doll, Germany