1/48 Airfix English Electric Lightning F1A: Cold War Warrior
1/48 Airfix English Electric F1A Lightning: Just finished this today after about a week and a half of working on it. It is OOB except for the detail in the cockpit, seat, and behind canopy. Also added a few bits to the main wheel well and some break lines. The cockpit/seat includes details from the Eduard detail set. This was not the easiest of kits to build but was not that bad either. A few trouble spots such as intake lip ring not fitting well. This is a result of the vague manner in which the whole front wheel gear well and intake cone assembly fit. Instructions could be better on this area as well as other areas. When attaching the horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage there is nothing in the assembly to give you an idea of angle relative to surface plane. If you let the stabilizer lay naturally the way the plastic is molded you will end up with a drastic negative angle. The instruction provide no detail or mention of this. Must use external references. The main wings were a bit warped and the fuselage had a slight warp to it which required special handling to assemble properly. The wings attached well to the fuselage with only a little filler needed on bottom side. I give the overall detail level of the kit a 3.5 out of 5. Detail orientated model makers will want to get some extras to busy things up especially in the cockpit and the main gear wells. I give the level of engineering/fit a 3 out of 5. Despite not being a perfect kit it does produce a large impressive model. The decals were a little thick but settled well with some solutions. I used all acrylic paints such as Vallejo Metallic Colors to produce the NMF of the aircraft. I used pre-shading and post-shading techniques to weather the aircraft and enhance details. I also used enamel washed to enhance details and recessed panel lines. It was disappointing that the model surface did not include more rivet detail b/c the real aircraft is covered with rivets and it is apparent in most pictures of the air frame. I was not satisfied with my post-shading job. I feel like I over did it and it appears to stark against the NMF. It looked a lot lighter as I was applying this layer using very thinned black under very low pressure. I forgot how much acrylics can change in color as it dries. There was really no way to fix it w/o a complete re-paint and obtaining a new set of decals.
I have included a few late stage build photos towards the end of the pictures attached.
48 additional images. Click to enlarge.