The English Electric Lightning was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft of the Cold War era. It was designed and manufactured by English Electric, who were subsequently integrated into the unified British Aircraft Corporation, after which point the aircraft was marketed as the BAC Lightning. The Lightning was the only all-British Mach 2 fighter aircraft and was the first aircraft in the world capable of supercruise.
The Lightning F.2A were F.2s upgraded to near F.6 standard and featuring Avon 211R engines, retained ADEN cannon and Firestreak (replaceable Firestreak pack swappable with ADEN Cannon Pack for a total of four ADEN Cannon), arrestor hook and enlarged Ventral Tank for two hours flight endurance. A total of 31 were converted from F.2. Info from Wikipedia
In the bag
Eduard’s update set for Airfix’s Lightning is contained on two frets, one pre coloured and self adhesive, with the larger fret the normal brass colour, packed into the familiar clear sleeve bag. A set of instructions sandwiched between two cardboard inserts is also supplied.
This set is for the interior and some exterior parts.
Starting with the cockpit, the ejection seat gets a much needed makeover in the way of cushions, a harness, and various other details for the seat, such as the ejection handles and two upper side panels. All these parts are pre coloured and S.A, and use the kits seat as the base.
The cockpit tub gets pre coloured side instrument panels, with throttle handles, a new part for the back cockpit wall, and some rudder pedals.
The kits instrument panel is used as a base for the two part pre coloured instrument panel. The dials are on an internal fret which is then covered by the dial face, and does give it a little depth.
The instrument hood gets a couple of parts added for the HUD system.
The canopy gets some new internal framework, rear view mirrors and de-icer lines. These parts are on the plain brass fret.
Also on the plain fret are parts for the undercarriage, such as actuators for the gear doors, new internal skin for the nose doors, hydraulic lines for the undercarriage legs, new main gear floor and side inserts and oleos for the main legs. Once installed these parts will up the detail on the kit very well.
New turbine faces replace the kits rather bulky moulded on faces. How much of this you will actually see is debatable as the exhaust pipe is quite long.
The airbrake gets several parts, with the internal wall and internal doors getting new parts to replace the near enough nonexistent detail in these areas. Two new parts for the actuators are also supplied.
A exhaust ring for the two missiles is supplied.
The rest of the parts are for the various aerials found on the lightning. These parts are tiny so care will have to be taken removing them if you don’t want to feed the carpet monster.
A nice touch by Eduard is the inclusion of a air inlet cover complete with handles for the nose of the aircraft.
The instructions are on a A4 size sheet with the build sequence in black and blue line drawings. The build is pretty easy to follow, with any parts replaced or needing surgery clearly shown. No internal colours are given for the non coloured fret parts that are installed.
This is a pretty good set, which encompasses both the interior detail needed and adding a bit more refinement to the exterior. This set does cost nearly as much as the base kit, but if you want a great looking and detailed Lightning then getting this set is really a must.
Having reviewed Pavla’s cockpit set for Airfix’s Lightning, I now have two ways, three if I build the kit OOB, to update the kits rather plain cockpit. But having got both sets I will probably mix and match the parts, using the Pavla ejection seat, instrument hood and tub, but use the Eduard instrument panels and rudder pedals.
If I was pushed to chose one set over the other I would probably go for the Eduard set as there is more parts to update the kit, internally and externally.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Lots of parts get updated. Easy to follow build. Pre coloured parts for the cockpit.Lows: Maybe the price will put some people off.Verdict: A great set for updating Airfix’s Lightning, both internally and externally.
About Andy Brazier (betheyn) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM
I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...