by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Both these etched sets are for the Trumpeter Lightnings but can be placed on the MonoChrome Lightnings as they are pretty much the same kit.
BAC Lightning F.1A/F.2 exterior etched set
One sheet of steel Photo etch is all that you get for your $ 22.95, along with a small instruction sheet.
The etch holds replacement and additional parts for the undercarriage legs, wheel bays, afterburner and the speed brakes.
Starting with the wheel bays, the etch covers the inside of the main and nose gear floors and has some raised rivet detail on them. There are also a couple of parts in the main gear well that get replaced. Gear door hinges are replaced and the main nose door has a new interior plate added.
The undercarriage legs get the attention of some new oleo's for the main legs as well as brake lines for the legs. The brake lines are a bit 2 D ish but do liven the legs up once painted. Both the main wheels have new covers for the hubs on both sides, which does improve the look of the plastic parts.
The speed brakes have new internal faces for both the doors and insides of the brakes as well as some new actuators added.
The exhaust has new afterburner rings added halfway down the pipes. This part is in my opinion completely unnecessary as once the pipes are fitted onto the aircraft with the rear exhaust in place you can't see the rings, at all.
Now usually an etch set improves a kit but with this set you don't notice a lot of difference, as most of the parts that are replaced are so small its actually hard to tell the difference between the etch part and the part you just replaced. 90% of the parts are fiddly to say the least and require a magnifying glass to see let alone bend. Most of this set doesn't add to the finished aircraft except for the undercarriage which does look better, just lol.
BAC Lightning ladder
Priced at $16.95 the one small steel fret holds the ladder which is broken into 3 pieces. A small instruction sheet has an exploded view of the parts to be bent and where they are placed in relation to one another, along with a drawing on where the ladder is placed on the aircraft.
Now actually building this very delicate thing is hard, as I found out in the first 2 seconds, when I bent the first part I took off the fret. The 3 separate parts all need to be bent in the appropriate places then lined up and glued together, but no matter how I tried i couldn't get them to line up properly with out bending them out of shape. It did go together in the end but it is a bit misshapen. The finished ladder does look a little 2 dimensional, but with a few coats of paint it should look pretty good sitting next to the aircraft.
I think someone with a lot more patience then myself could have done a far better job of it then my hamfisted effort. I can always use it as a template for one made out of plastic lol.
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