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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Shotgun Approach: 1/48th Airfix E.E. Lightning F-2A/F-6

You have to give Airfix some credit for setting out to produce every major post-war British fighter. Their two different 1/48th scale E.E. Lightning kits make it possible to build an early or later version of this unique aircraft and overall, it is a well done effort.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Decent enough cockpit that you could just add seatbelts and be done with it

  • Full intake trunk with engine faceplate

  • Nicely done panel lines and engraved detailing with all the small intakes and exhaust ports on the fuselage

  • Separate wing control surfaces as well as airbrakes

  • Good exhausts complete with inner ducts and rear engine faceplates

  • Nicely detailed gear, wells and doors

  • Two piece canopy which can be displayed open or closed

  • Includes Redtop and Firestreak missiles as well as over-wing tanks for F.6

  • Clear navigation lights provided

Build Inspiration:

The E.E. Lightning series was such a unique airframe design with the over/under configuration of the engines. This combined with the Lightnings impressive performance and long service life made it a "must-have" in my collection. Actually I would like to add another version at some point, as between the variations of schemes and versions, having just one in your collection is limiting. For this round I decided on the No. 5 Squadron aircraft, based out of RAF Binbrook UK around 1984.

Heads-Up Report:

  • Admittedly the wing of the Lightning is complex in design and Airfix did a good job recreating this however, there seems to be a problem with warped wing parts (in my kit and other builds)

  • Fit of the flaps dropped is better than the fit of these parts raised, as this requires some additional work to get a decent fit. (Note: Flaps should be up on parked Lightnings.)

  • Horizontal tail surfaces should be attached with a very slight anhedral

  • Decals were a minor problem to get so settle down and I did still get some silvering and lifting edges despite my efforts

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Nothing added on this one - A good Out-of-the-Box build


I painted this model with the Humbrol colours called for (165/166/167 which turned out tp be semi-gloss paints as well), however the difference between the colours does not seem as apparent when compared to the actual aircraft, so something went wrong in the mix with my example (could have been me). Personally I never much liked spraying semi-gloss or gloss paints and prefer to add the given sheen at the end coat (so I won't go that route again). I used my go-to finish from here out with a gloss coat of Klear / Future to apply the decals and washes on, followed by a semi-matt coat in this case of Model Master clearcoat.

The After-Build Report:

This kit is the only game in town for a 1/48th EE Lightning and thankfully Airfix has provided a very nice kit base for your model making skills. A possible challenge for beginners, otherwise definitely recommended. This probably won't be the only one I build as there are at least a couple of more Lightning schemes I would like to add to the collection here.

Completed build #168 - December 2013 using the 1/48th scale Airfix #09178 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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