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Robert Bausch
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Airfix 1/48 English Electric Lightning F.6…

February 21, 2014 · in Aviation · · 23 · 3.6K

The , one of my all time favorite aircraft, was designed by W. E. “Teddy” Petter, English Electric's chief designer, after he had created the evergreen Canberra. And it was an absolute home run. In terms of flight performance, other country's fighters were hard pressed to keep up, over many years, all the way to the F-22. Most US folks would not believe that, but it is true. If you have ever watched a Lightning “going vertical” you will get an idea. Just realize it was doing this back in the 1960's!

Anyway, when introduced their Lightning kits, I thought this was the end of the search for the Holy Grail, and I still think so. I have the stack of Airfix 1/48 kits to prove it, and a grand plan on how I am going to do each one, with one of the F.1s marked for conversion to a T.4 or T.5.

But so far, all I have done (and a while ago) is this F.6 of 11 Sqn, and an F.1 of 74 Sqn. I guess it is true that “the best laid plans” don't always work out. My Dad used to say ”the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”, but I think a rather less harsh interpretation is what is needed in this case. Other things regarding life have gotten in the way. Isn't that ever the way it is?

This example depicts F.6 XR 725 of 11 Sqn, based at RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire, England. This is Wg Cdr Bostock's aircraft, towards the end of the Lightning's service in the RAF. I generally try to avoid the added expense and complexity of aftermarket cockpits, etc., but on this model I used the Cutting Edge cockpit (not too much fitting problems if I remember), and AeroMaster decals for RAF and squadron markings. All airframe stencils were from kit decals, which are extensive.

I just found these photos, which I took at our previous home, prior to August 2006, and realized they might be good enough to send iModeler, as they were taken with my 1st Nikon digital camera. I will take some new pix of the F.1, as I only have a couple, and they are “pre digital”, so the F.1 in natural metal will profit from a new photo session.

I have a hunch that these now older Airfix 1/48 Lightning kits will still be, for many, all that will ever be needed to produce some of the best models of this amazing aircraft.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. I had a 72 scale one back some centuries ago and I can remember that even at that young age I thought it was a weird looking aircraft. I guess that has all changed now because i think they are rather wicked looking and would give just about anything a run for their money even at today's standards. I was watching a video of the South Africans doing engine changes and I was really surprised at how compact those two engines were/are. It really make me sit up and take notice about the difference between those and say a J 79. As for this build I really like the looks and I wouldn't mind having a go at one myself but at a time when I am in the Jet building mood. A superb build Robert. Top shelf.

    • Paul, thanks for your compliment, and for your mention of the South African video, will have to try and find that. Did you know that Mike Beachy Head lost his T.5 in a tragic accident in 2009? That was the bird you could get a ride in, if you were rich. But no more.

  2. Looking good! I built an F.1A in 92 Sq. colors years ago. I'm looking for one kit for conversion to a T.5 as well. I just got NeoMega's kit and am itching to use it!

  3. What a terrific build.
    Sure like to know how you get the crisp panel lines-something that eludes me most of the time.

  4. Very nicely finished indeed...a great job. Nicely photographed I might add.

  5. Great build , and superb finish Robert. I remember many moons ago building the 1/72nd scale Lightning.
    Seeing this may make me go out and buy the 1/48 version.
    Well done sir.

  6. Very nice work. I hope Airfix will re-release this as they have the Seafire 46/47.

  7. About as close to perfection as one can get with a Gold Locks kit.
    Two thumbs up, looking forward to more builds.

  8. That's Goldilocks kit as in" just right". My editor needs to keep his day job.

  9. outstanding bob

  10. Brilliant work Rob, makes me proud to be English !, the first build I posted was this same kit in Royal Saudi Airforce markings (check it out in my gallery), what was I thinking ,I've got to do another one in but R.A.F. colours, you' done a terrific job here - I want one !

  11. OMG! that is MINT! speechless

  12. Thanks to all for your comments. The Lightning is an inspirational aircraft for sure. I will try to get the Tiger Squadron F.1 posted sometime soon.

  13. I have loved this plane since my Dad brought home a solid scale recognition model when we were stationed at Keflavik Air Force Base! I have built several of the kits and still have one to do, just can't get enough! Yours is truly inspiring!

  14. Exceptional work.

  15. Bob,
    I can't add anything that has not already been said. Except... I have had the privilege to see the actual model and I can truthfully say to all, it is better than the photos show. Truly worth the first prize of a blue cheese burger.

  16. Wow, what's a blue cheeseburger? Is the cheese blue, like in Stilton, or is the beef blue, as in only just cooked?
    Or is there some other meaning?

    • George, only Frank can let you know of the secret order of the "Blue Cheeseburger". I have been sworn to secrecy, and if I violated that, Frank would have me sent to the Lubyanka, something I don't want to experience. Vlad would be on his side.

  17. Just stunning! The best I've seen.

  18. i personally think more attention should be spent on the outside of the aircraft..cockpits are not the focus,at least for me

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