- Cockpit – a decent tub is presented with decals for the side and main instrument consoles. Some small details especially on the rear decking are missing but that’s not surprising given the scale. The MB ejection seat is a fair representation of the original but you’ll have to add a seat harness
- Engine intake – this looks like a highlight as the leading edge of the intake is extremely thin on the real aircraft and that has been captured well here. Another nice feature is the full-length trunking that disappears inside the fuselage. The engine fan faces are perfectly reasonable with raised compressor blade detail
- AIRPASS radar – Airborne Interception Radar and Pilot Attack Sight System is represented well too and incorporates the nose gear bay that makes sense.
- Exhaust / reheat / afterburner cans – look very presentable in the scale with the distinctive reheat petals fairly represented
- Undercarriage – again, good detail on what is a tricky arrangement of retraction arms and hydraulics. The main and nose wheels have good hub detail and slightly flattened tyres; these don’t look overdone especially as the Lightning tyres were kept at high pressures and didn’t show too much of a flat look
- Wheel wells – some wheel well detail is provided and again is acceptable for this scale – the nose gear bay having good side wall rib detail; a few mould ejector pin marks are present and you may want to try and reduce/remove these if they offend you
- Weapons – nice to see a pair of Firestreak AAMs is included and typical of the fit when operating from RAF Germany
- Clear parts – look good really, the canopy has the thick-looking framing of the original and is clear and free from blemish – nice
Instructions and decals
These have a new-look from Airfix – they are in colour; well at least the colour scheme sheets showing the paint schemes and decal locations, we’ve seen these before. What’s new is that some of the drawings are CAD-like and seem clearer to me and also several areas of the build are shows marked in red. Looking at the beginning of the instruction sheet the key states that these show parts not to be glued. While I can see that this may help alignment of some internal parts like the cockpit and jet exhaust assemblies if doesn’t seem to make any sense when you see the same red colour applied to rear ventral stabilising vanes or tail hook or undercarriage units – all a bit odd and confusing to me.
The decal sheet gives you markings for Lightning F.2A’s from both RAF Germany squadrons – Nos 19 and 92. The latter has that incredible Roundel Blue over ‘silver’ and just may have to get done ☺ the other scheme is for a No 19 squadron machine in that distinctive Dark Green over ‘silver’ undersides. Quality of the sheet looks very good – colour, saturation and all markings in register on my sheet.
Full stencil data and diagram showing exact location for all stencils and main markings is provided.
Well I for one am impressed. The price seems very fair given the level of detail and parts-count in the box, excellent decals and overall package. At this stage this kit comes highly recommended and we’ll see how the build works out later.
SMN Quick summary star rating out of 5
|FEATURE||STAR RATING (out of five)|
|Quality of moulding||****|