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Airfix English Electric Lightning F.1 in 1/48…

February 23, 2014 in Aviation

This is my 2nd posting of an Airfix 1/48 English Electric Lightning. To put my Lightning model postings in the right order, this should have been the first, but I had the photos already for the F.6, so it became the first. I just took some new photos of the F.1, so here it is.

This model is of XM166, an F.1 (with the “witches hat” fin) of 74 “Tiger” Squadron. 74 Sqn was based at Coltishall, in Norfolk, East Anglia, England at the time, and was the first RAF squadron to equip with the Lightning, in 1960. This is using the kit cockpit, the only aftermarket items are Cutting Edge decals for RAF and 74 Sqn markings. All airframe stencils and warnings are from the kit decals. The kit decal sheets for the Airfix 1/48 Lightnings are pretty impressive.

I dread doing natural metal finishes, as I try to use only water soluble acrylic paints. But it is difficult to do a good natural metal finish on an aircraft, without using a enamel or lacquer, at least for the base coat. On this kit I believe I used some Floquil metallic enamel (lacquer?) as the base, as well as possibly some Polly S metallizer acrylics for certain panels. It’s been a few years since building the model, and my memory is a bit hazy about the paints used! Although this is the first time I tried to start a record of paints used, as I did intend to build quite a few Lightnings. Hasn’t happened yet, but … who knows?

I am still using the Gunze Sangyo acrylics that I still have quite a number of (and they seem to be pretty long lasting), but am trying to slowly change to Tamiya, since I can’t find the Gunze paints anymore. They were the best acrylics in my estimation. Anyway, I was pretty happy with the way the natural metal 74 Sqn Lightning turned out.

Can’t think of anything to add, as I covered some of this in the earlier posting of the Lightning F.6 model.

I really like the way the iModeler site is set up, it is so easy to correct or modify a posting!

15 additional images. Click to enlarge

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22 responses to Airfix English Electric Lightning F.1 in 1/48…

  1. lovely build Bob. The NMF is striking.

  2. Robert, what can I say? Simply beautiful. You certainly don’t need to dread metallic finishes – yours is superb. Nice tonal variations & panel lines too!

  3. Very well done Robert. You seem to be able to handle NMF extremely well.

  4. Bob,
    Another absolutely beautiful build. You have definitely captured the essence of the lightening.

  5. One of the better examples I’ve seen. Nice work!

  6. Robert, yet another of your “Talbots Hanger” Beauties! The NMF on your looks great in the photos but is truly stunning visually in person.

  7. Вeautiful work!

    Best regards, Vlad.

  8. NMF means “not my forte” in my world, but it sure is yours!
    Magnificent Lightnings.

  9. I built this same kit and also found it rewarding.

    There’s a guy in our club who was stationed at Coltishall and flew Lightnings. He had I think flown Venoms before that, so going from them to Lightnings was a big push (mainly vertically!).

    At one time in my working life, I ran a commercial painting company, and my guys did the interior of one of the main hangers. Many aircraft around the place in those days. Coltishall closed down a few years ago.

    • Rob, what a treat, to have a fellow in your club that flew Lightnings! He should be knighted! Must have been an experience to have painted the inside of the hangar with all these icons (though not known at the time) residing in it. I have always been envious of you British folks living so close to the machines I have loved for so many years.

  10. Looking good! I like the way you accentuated the seam between the belly tank and the fuselage. Also, the grime streaks at the aft end of the ailerons look nice.

  11. Sorted Robert, another stunning Lightning, with a great NMF and weathering.
    Well done Robert.

  12. Well its true lightening can strike twice and this model along with the earlier post proves it. The model is striking in its neat,crisp livery. All of which has been done to a high standard.

    Two thumbs up on this build. Its got me looking at my kit held in the stash and doing a little looking over the plastic. This one kit the old Airfix got right along with the Spitfire 21/22 .

  13. Another great Lightning, Robert, really clean build and terrific photographs.

  14. Really a nice job, your build makes me take a second look at the “Lightning”, I never thought it’s appearence was that interesting. Your build seems to bring it to life, the paint and finish is great.

  15. Great job, the use of different shades of silver look very good for a metallic finish. The black wash has worked particularly well here on the silver finish.

  16. A good source for Gunze paints is Lucky Model in Hong Kong, I get mine there.

    Absolutely stunning Lightning!


  17. Hi Robert,
    A well deserved win for a fabulous model. A big congratulations!

  18. Thanks so much to all of you for your positive comments re the 74 Sqn Lightning! These aircraft sure must have been something to see in the airshow demonstrations back in their heyday. And I gather there are more than a couple of iModeler members that may have seen them perform, in person.

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