Revell 1/144 Lightning F.53






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




Say what you want about the British aviation industry; during the 1960s, they designed some pretty impressive aircraft. One of those was the last truly totally British fighter that was done; the Lightning. It was impressively large, impressively loud, impressively fast and impressively complex. It was also one that crowds loved to see and hear. Personally, I would have hated to be a maintenance tech on the beast as it looks to me to have been very maintenance unfriendly. Nevertheless, it managed to soldier on until the end of the 1980s before finally being retired.

You wouldn't call the Lightning to be a real success in the foreign aircraft market. Only two countries bought the plane; Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Both kept them in service for only a short time before they realized that they were unable to keep up with the maintenance required and retired the type. These planes were basically built to F.6 standards, though there were some differences in terms of equipment carried.



I'm not really sure whose kit this started out to be. My first guess would be Crown as Revell of Germany reboxes a bunch of other peoples stuff. It is also quite possible that it is a Revell new mold. I just don't know. I do know that the kit is superbly molded with nice engraved panel lines and pretty good detailing. Of course the panel lines would be a scale six inches across on the real plane, but it is the effect we are looking for. It comes with a  two pairs of missiles (your choice) and over wing fuel tanks. In fact, there are large holes in the one-piece wing to accommodate them so if you want to leave them off you'll have to fill the holes. Cockpit is non-existent as is typical with kits of this scale.

Instructions are quite good and even better than on some of the other RoG kits. At least they aren't those stupid little thin strips of instructions as in many of the small 1/72 kits. What a mess those are. Decals are well printed though quite matte and with lots of carrier film to trim. The green also seems way too light to my eyes. I believe it should be a much darker green. Needless to say, you are pretty well stuck with what is given as aftermarket 1/144 decals are nearly as rare as hen's teeth.

Overall, it looks like a very nice model of a way cool aircraft. It has enough detail to make experienced modelers happy and should do well with those who are really into small scale modern jets.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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