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E.E. Lightning F.1A / F.3

Trumpeter, 1/32 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Trumpeter Kit Number 02280 - English Electric Lightning F.1A / F.3
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 158 parts in grey plastic; 9 parts in clear; three vinyl tyres; two cast metal parts; acetate film for instruments; markings for two aircraft
Price: Around AUD$215.00 (equivalent to around USD$148.00), distributed in Australia by J.B. Wholesalers
Available through specialist hobby shops worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality mouldings; very straightforward engineering and simple parts breakdown; optional position flaperons, elevators and speed brakes; surface features include finely recessed panel lines and fastener detail; thin, clear transparent parts; options include weapons, alternate fins and gun panels; does not suffer from the same "pinched" exhaust area as 1/72 scale kit.
Disadvantages: Basic ejection seat; some errors remain on decal sheet despite corrections.
Conclusion: Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Lightning F.1A/F.3 should be easy to build even for relatively inexperienced modellers, and it will be big and impressive when finished.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Trumpeter's 1/32 scale E.E. Lightning F.1A / F.3 is available online from Squadron
 

FirstLook

 

Trumpeter continues its commitment to big models with its 1/32 scale BAC / English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3.

For such a big model - the fuselage is more than 20 inches long - the parts count is surprisingly modest. Trumpeter's 1/32 scale BAE Lightning comprises just 158 parts in grey plastic, 9 parts in clear, three vinyl tyres, two cast metal parts, acetate film for instruments and markings for two aircraft.

 

  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 Review by Brett Green: Image
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Trumpeter's box art has often been uninspiring, but the artwork on this E.E. Lightning box top is stunning. I am pleased to report that the high standard on the outside carries over to the contents.

This model contains all the parts to build either of these early Lightnings, including alternate fins, weapons and cannon panels (one with the Aden 30mm cannon for the F.1A, and one without for the F.3). Firestreak missiles are supplied for the F.1A, while Red Tops are also included for the F.3.

Surface detail is really very nice with crisp and finely recessed panel lines and subtle rivet and fastener detail. You won't need to coat the surface of this model with Mr Surfacer before painting - it will do just fine as it is, even if you are planning a bare metal finish.

Cockpit detail is generally good with busy side consoles and a clear instrument panel with acetate fil providing the printed dials. The seat is a bit basic though, and there has been no attempt to depict the tangle of harnesses and straps that adorned the real thing. I am sure that it won't be long before we see a resin after market replacement though.

The intake bullet assembly incorporates the front landing gear bay. I would suggest that you pack as much lead weight into the bullet itself and the two halves of the rear bullet assembly (parts G-16 and G32) before joining the parts. This will go towards keeing the nose wheel on the ground, but you may need to add more weight to the forward fuselage too.

The exhaust area is nicely detailed using only 11 parts, and the rear of the fusleage does not display the exaggerated "pinched" appearance of Trumpeter's 1/72 scale kit in this same area.

The wings are remarkably simple - upper and lower halves on each side trapping a single-piece main wheel well, plus flaperons. The modeller is offered the option of main landing gear legs in plastic or in cast metal. All tyres are vinyl - not my favourite medium, I must admit, but once again I'll bet the after-market will ride to our rescue pronto.

 

 

Speed brakes are supplied separately and may be posed open if desired. The missiles are nicely done. Both styles feature clear plastic seeker heads.

The canopy parts are thin and free from distortion.

 

 

The overall engineering of this kit is simple, sensible and conventional. The only potential problem that I can see is that the large wings and tailplanes are secured with a minimum of reinforcement - shallow tabs for the wings and not even that luxury for the horizontal tailplanes. A little extra effort adding some brass pins would not go astray.

Two marking options are offered:

  1. Lightning F.1A XM174 of 56 Sqn. RAF Wattisham, 1963. This aircraft is finished in bare metal with striking red trim on the spine, the fin and leading edges of the wings and horizontal tailplanes.

  2. Lightning F.3 XR711 of 111 Sqn. RAF Wattisham, 1965. Another bare metal bird, this time with a black spine and fin with yellow markings.

 

 

The original decal sheet provided a peculiar yellow, white and blue fin flash, but this kit includes a revised version with the correct colours. A supplementary sheet is also supplied with stencils and additional national markings. All the decals are well printed and in register.

Please note that Hannants will be releasing four after-market alternatives in their Xtradecal range in the coming weeks.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Trumpeter certainly seems to have hauled out their "A" Team for this 1/32 scale English Electric Lightning F.1A/F.3 kit.

It is well detailed, with restrained surface features and appears to be generally accurate. Detail is good too.

It is also Trumpeter's simplest large-scale kit to date, with no gimmicks, no moving parts, no redundant interior detail.

Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Lightning F.1A/F.3 should be easy to build even for relatively inexperienced modellers, and it will be big and impressive when finished. These Cold War combatants wore some of the most striking colours of the period too.

Lovely!

Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the sample

Text and Images Copyright 2009 by Brett Green
Page Created 29 March, 2009
Last updated 30 March, 2009

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