The following is one of over 5,000 great modeling articles created through iModeler.

Another Lightning Strike! (92 Sq F.1A)

March 21, 2014 in Aviation

Seems like a lot of lightnings have been showing up lately, so I thought I’d show my 92 Sq. F.1A as well. (I like the early Lightnings before they added chord to the fin and squared it off!) I built it when the kit was new, so it’s about 15 years old. It is also my fourth or fifth NMF subject, so I was still on a learning curve. (Does that ever stop?) You can actually see on the top of the wings where the aluminum is weathering naturally over time. I don’t clear coat, so humidity has an effect on the finish just like in real life! The decals have held up well over the years with just the fin flash starting to peel. The plastic took the metalizer very well, unlike their B-57 kit and overall I’m pleased with it. I would like to do another pair with resin cockpits in 92 Sq colors and an F.1 from 74 Sq. as they were the first to operate the Lightning. I’m also looking for another kit as I have NeoMega’s T.4/5 conversion set and want to do XS422 from the ETPS which will be flying here soon! (Engine runs done last November!)

My biggest regret on the kit and the main reason I want to do another is that the cockpit as it is only decals. I built this before I knew about the wonderful world of resin. I have Grand Phoenix’s version of Airfix’s F.6 and the cockpit is going to be fun (and puts this to shame.) Those who’ve read my post in the past know I’m not a resin junkie provided the cockpit has some level of detail in it, (Airfix’s F.2A/F.6 has an improved cockpit) but I absolutely hate instrument panel decals in this scale! Why can’t modern manufacturers reach the level of detail Monogram did in the late 70’s early 80’s, especially for the price of some of the kits? (As an aside, I’m thoroughly enjoying building Trumpeter’s 1/32 F.1A! One of my few 1/32 scale birds.)

10 additional images. Click to enlarge

People who liked this article:
Profile photo of George WilliamsGeorge WilliamsProfile photo of Frank CroninFrank CroninProfile photo of Jack  CrumblissJack CrumblissProfile photo of Merrill AndersonMerrill AndersonProfile photo of Korolev VladKorolev Vlad

29 responses to Another Lightning Strike! (92 Sq F.1A)

  1. Can’t have too many Lightnings. Yours is very sharp. Doesn’t show it’s age at all.

  2. Thanks! I think it looks good in these markings, but maybe that’s just because I like blue! (A happy accident because it was going to have black trim.)

  3. That looks nice Josh, the Lightning in what ever scheme looks good.
    Well done Josh.

  4. Simply beautiful Josh, love those bold color schemes, before everything turned gray

  5. Nice job, Josh….especially on those various NMF panel colors.

    • This is an older build, so not so many colors except aluminum. The tail pipes and muzzle panels were Testors jet exhaust. All the aluminum panels that aren’t polished are just picked out with a brush using a jar of buffing aluminum and letting it sit. (I like the effect though, so I still use it instead of masking and spraying. You get a finish that isn’t uniform and I think it looks more realistic on certain panels.) My new Lightnings will have a little variation to the panels. The real plane is pretty uniform in color and sheen. Usually just access panels seem a little dull compared to the surrounding skin, but there are more panel shades around the tailpipes that I didn’t have on here. My biggest problem was getting the exhaust streak down the port side. I added it last year before a contest because it was TOO clean! Metalizer seems to repel paint when I use it like I would on a matte finish, so I broke down and airbrushed a little black to give my other paints a surface to bite to. (Streaks are accomplished with a Q-tip, finger, blending stick or any other object I have on hand! High-tech stuff!) I save old thinners polluted with paint. Black and brownish tinted for oil, red/brown tinted for hydraulic oil!

      • I’ve always had pretty good luck varying my NMF panels with Model Master “Buffable Metalizers” in the spray can(s). As you said, you can achieve different shades by either shinin’ ’em up or leavin’ ’em as is.

        • That’s usually how I would spray my aluminum, out of the can. I did try airbrushing it on my F-100F but it didn’t turn out as nice as out of the spray can and I couldn’t figure out why. Turns out someone put a bottle of the non-buffing in with the buffing aluminum and I didn’t catch it. I think I sprayed the non-buffing on top of the buffing as that’s what I have a jar of, I I’ve never bought non-buffing! Needless to say, the fuselage looks “unique”! At least I found a way to get a patchy, corroded effect! I have also though about masking panels and sanding them with fine grit paper in various directions to see how it reflects light! (I did do that when I built Aoshima’s Back to the Future DeLorean and sprayed it with stainless steel buffing. It looked the part when done!)

  6. Close the canopy, preserve the lines, don’t worry about decals on the instrument panels. What I am doing with my F.2A/F.6 re-release. 🙂

    Very nice work!

    • It doesn’t look too bad with decals, it’s just that I like to paint all the fiddly details. (I also like painting the crews that come with Monogram bombers!) When the kit came out, I was just elated to finally have a 1/48 Lightning! I should probably build a few gear up in flight to hang. Not only to look good, but to save some space! (I also have the re-release. That’ll probably be a 92 Sq. bird too! I also have the F.6 update by Grand Phoenix as well. THAT’S the kit that made me dislike the interior in this one!) I just wish this kit was more readily available!

  7. you just keep doing it josh…fantastic

  8. Can’t have too many Lightnings for me ,probably the finest showcase of British Engineering,absolutely stunning performance ,would probably still been a player today.

    • Yeah. With modern engines with better fuel economy, it’s one major fault would probably be remedied! (Not that it really matters anymore with air-refueling :-D) I would’ve liked to have seen what the TSR2 would’ve been if it hadn’t been axed. (Too bad the example that flew wasn’t preserved. I feel the same way about the XB-35 or YB-49, it would be nice to have one in a museum!)

  9. Beautifully done Hats off to you Josh, you can never have enough Lightnings
    I agree with Neil it was and still is a remarkable aircraft its just a shame they cant fly at air shows any more.
    Well done Josh

    • Only in Britain … South Africa has a trainer that is flying and in the U.S. a group did some engine run ups with plans for flight.

      • Yeah. I read in FlyPast that ZU-BBD flew in South Africa with the single seaters coming back soon. People state how the crash was a tragedy (don’t get me wrong it was) but he was an experienced Lightning pilot and knew the dangers, but did it anyway. What ever happened for them to get grounded must have been remedied if the CAA is letting them go again. (The article stated that they oversaw the refurbishment of the two seater.) Even the RAF lost them (biggest cause, engine fires) so I’m amazed they went as long as they did! I think the people working on them now aren’t any less “professional” than RAF crew. In fact, the restoration here in the states is being done by ex RAF and Rolls Royce engineers and mechanics! (Check out AALO for more info.) I just can’t wait till I finally get to see one in person (and in the air no less!)

  10. Good looking model, the lightening is in the category of double ugly …like the F-4 phantom both a/c are so ugly that there beautiful. The canopy situation …everyone is correct either opened or closed with or with decals.

    Two thumbs up on this one.

  11. I wouldn’t call it “ugly”, but it is certainly unique! I’ve loved it ever since I saw a picture of one back in the 80’s! Maybe its the planform, or over/under engines, but something stuck!
    For my vote of best looking plane right now, I’d have to go for the Su-50. It combines the sleekness in the head on veiw and profile of the YF-23 with the plan view of the F-22 with the engine setup of the Su-27 and it just looks cool. like something out of G.I. Joe!(The Rafale is hard to beat too. Very sexy the way the fuselage curls up over the intakes!

  12. Another beautiful lightning! Nice job on the “natural” finish, the panels jump out and make the plane.

  13. What a nice Lightning!!! Josh, you achieved a clean and very realistic finish on that beast, congratulations.

  14. Thanks a lot Emeterio! I’ve seen the kind of work you do, so it means a lot to me coming from you! Tell me, is the cockpit on that Snipe what one can expect upon opening a Wingnut’s box, or did you add stuff?

  15. Very nice rendition of the early Lightning and I agree about the colorful markings. You have better luck with non-coated Metalizers as my 15 year old build is showing age poorly, mostly fingerprints that do not come of.
    Apparently I screwed up some where so I ended up foiling and clear coating my NMF’s.
    The Lightning became a favorite of mine when I purchased the 1/48 Airfix kit and started studying more about it . Having the finished kit to look at, I really could see the lines, over and under engines and the “cut-out” delta wing. A very beautiful aircraft and typically British design.
    Looking forward to your 1/32 version

    • Maybe it’s because I commit the sin of not washing my parts before doing anything (even painting) with them. You probably don’t see my fingerprints because they blend in with the mold release agent! 😀 (I’ll probably get some flak for that!) I do occasionally get prints on them from handling, but usually I’ll pick them up with gloves or paper towel and always by the edges of the wings (or any surface that has paint if handy). You can usually buff them out though.

  16. Josh,
    I can’t add any more to the compliments you have already received. I will just say that this is beautiful. Excellent work.

  17. Same as Frank said above! I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the Lightning is definitely in my top. ten of beautiful designs.

  18. Josh, great job on one of my most favorite aircraft. Natural metal finishes are always going to be a debating issue, as to what the best way of doing them is. I personally don’t think there is any one best way, but many! Thanks for posting.

    • Thank you and well said. No two are the same in real life, so the differing methods make for different looking models, even if they’re all the same type. I’m still experimenting myself!

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.