Eduard Zoom 1/32 BAE Lightning F1A/F3 Interior




$17.00 SRP


1/32 Trumpeter kit


Andrew Abshier

This Zoom detail set is a preprinted self-adhesive photo-etch set intended for the cockpit of the Trumpeter F1A/F3 variants of the English Electric Lightning.  This set strictly covers the cockpit only; no other details are provided for the ejection seat or the canopy.

 The set is both good and bad.  The good part is that the set is very sharply rendered with very finely printed details on the instrument panel and side consoles.  There are also additional parts that will add finer details to the interior, particularly underneath the glare shield.  The bad part is that the interior parts are printed in dark gray; while this is accurate for a later mark Lightning (F6 for certain, F2A very possibly) it is not an accurate interior color for the F1A and F3 variants.  It is possible that the set may be useful in an F2A (they were rebuilt F2s, and may well have gotten their cockpits repainted).

 I also question how realistic this set will look once installed.  In 1/32nd scale, all of that nice relief detail on the side panels has to be eliminated in total for the replacement side panels to be installed; to me shaving off all the relief detail in favor of these not really three-dimensional details of a photo-etch set is little better than using decals to represent the dials and switches.  It's a great concept for the smaller scales, but I'm not sure it's a good idea in 1/32nd scale.  The smaller non-dark gray bits are still useful for the cockpit, but then you're spending a lot for just a few tiny pieces of brass, and unless you're trying to win a trophy at the IPMS-USA Nationals that's probably too much work! 

If you can live with the compromises and don't mind handling photo-etch, the set is very good, but I think most modelers will be better served spending the money instead on the seat harness set.

 Review sample courtesy of Hannant's via Tom Cleaver.

October 2009

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