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E.E. Lightning F.3

Here’s the Airfix Lightning F.3 (1/48th) done with aftermarket decals (Aeromaster, IIRC). This old Airfix kit has its faults, but can be built into a nice model. I like the purposeful look of the Lightning, especially done-up in brilliant 56 Squadron colors. I think it was these markings that caused the MoD to call for more subdued markings.

I added some detail to the ejection seat, as well as the MLG bays. I also deeped the NACA ducts on the fuselage by gently scraping away the plastic until some depth was attained; Airfix only gives an outline of the NACA ducts because the ducts are near the edge of the mold and depth could not be achieved. Some folks have lamented about some warping of the wings, but I had little problem getting the wings glued-up straight. Likewise, no problem with the fuselage.

Alclad II Aluminium was used for the main painting. NMF Lightnings were pretty monochromatic so I just used the aluminium, without any panel shading.

Overall, this old Airfix kit is pretty nice, and, since it’s the only-game-in-town, if you want a E.E. Lightning in 1/48th, this is it (According to the SAM Productions Modellers Datafile #7, Aeroclub and Sanger also released 1/48th Lightnings, but in vacu-form plastic) . Airfix also released the F-2A/F-6 in another boxing. This kit gives you the options to build the F-1/F-1A/F-2, and the F-3.

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.


19 responses to E.E. Lightning F.3

  1. Even sitting still, it looks fast. Nice work, Marvin.

  2. It’s a beauty, great NMF with some serious eye catching markings. Don’t know this kit but judging yours it must be a good base to achieve a great result

    • Thank you, Pedro. This Airfix kit has been around for awhile and is still available, if you do some searching. This is one of Airfix’ better moldings, because it has good shape, recessed panel lines, and modest detailing. The kit decal sheet is pretty large, so you have lots of detail there, too. Considering the modest price (~ $30USD), you can’t go wrong with this kit.

  3. Nicely done Marvin, and quite colorful to boot. And yes she does look fast just sitting. I like it.

  4. Great work, Marvin! Lightnings look best in natural metal to me.

  5. Thank you, John. I, too, think the Lightning looks best in NMF; camo on this airplane never did it any favors. Hiz-viz squadron markings are the best on this bird, IMHO of course.

  6. STUNNING. One of the hottest Cold War fighter interceptors. You did an awesome job on this beauty!!

  7. A real beauty! Your shading and finishing work really makes a monochromatic finish stand out, otherwise with those stunning decals/markings it would look like a toy. Love the Lightning, and you built a great one.

  8. Yes, a beautiful build, nicely done!! And Merry Christmas to you.

  9. Well done. I have one mostly built but I can’t remember why I stopped; it may have had something to do with the intake

    • Thank you, George…I appreciate it.

      Yes, the intake may well have been what caused the stoppage; I think the nose, intake, and the attached nose landing gear wheel well are the weakest part of this kit. The intake ring is also a source of aggravation because it is slightly larger than the front of the fuselage, and the slope angle of the ring is a little off as well. I know that there was an aftermarket intake ring available which supposedly took care of these issues. I, instead, chose to use the old grind-and-sand method to correct the issues. Even with reshaping of the nose ring, there is still an issue with attaching the intake shock cone to the nose landing gear well. I used glue and putty to get the best fit that I could here, but, still, the Airfix engineering could have been a bit better (I’m sure Tamiya would have gotten it right).

      Thanks again, and Merry Christmas!

  10. Hello Marvin,
    Super finish on this Lightning.
    Regards, Dirk

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