Aeromaster 48-369: Lightnings part 1

Units: Various




Scott Van Aken


When Airfix brought out their EE Lightning kits back in 1998, I was one of those who rushed out and bought one. As with many folks, I was thrilled to finally get a quality 1/48 kit of this plane. Yes, it was a touch pricey, but not out of line with what was coming out of Japan for a much smaller plane. It was also Airfix's last fully brand new aircraft kit. You see, like so many model companies that were started and run for years by enthusiasts, Airfix had been bought and sold a bunch of times. The people who owned Airfix at the time were much more concerned with making a lot of money than with producing kits. Unfortunately, they set goals that were nearly impossible to meet.

Those who have been involved in this hobby for a long period of time realize that rarely does one amortize the cost of a kit in a short time. It usually takes many years if not a decade to recoup the costs. According to the story, the bean-counters who run Airfix expected the Lightning kit to pay for itself a year after production. It didn't happen. What did happen was that it paid for itself in 15-18 months, an unheard of accomplishment in today's market. Needless to say, it wasn't fast enough for the accountants and we haven't seen an all new aircraft kit from Airfix since.

On this double sheet are markings for four early, bare metal Lightnings. All of them are quite colorful and will all need to have those color areas painted, for the most part.

First is an F.1A of 56 squadron in 1963. This one has large areas of the wing painted in the same red as the spine and fin.

Next is the blue-finned F.2 for 92 Sq around 1964. This can also be painted without the  blue spine.

From 11sq is this black-accented F.1A, also from 1964. You'll have to paint the yellow on the fin and the black on the spine.

Finally from 145 Sq/226 OCU is this F.1. Its colors are red and white. You have to paint the white on the tail and the red on the spine.

My good friend Drew Nix used the 92 Sq markings on his F.2 and you can see his review here.

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