BAC Lightning F6
[ Page 3 ]


  ... continued from page 2....

yt  View this Echelon kit modelling report on YouTube here....


I opted to make a Lightning mk.53K which was based on the F6, operated by the Kuwait with Avon 302C engines and additional rocket firing capability. Some 12 were delivered to Kuwait from December 1969 to end 1969 along with 2 T mk.55K trainers.
They were not fitted with a refuelling probe.

Some 1/32 Lightning decals were designed for Saudi and Kuwait Lightnings.
The Kuwait roundels were estimated to be about 27 mm in 1/32. Other decals will be used from 
Echelon as appropriate for a Kuwait mk.53K like the walk way lines and smaller stencils.

ECHELON Lightning:
Page 1
Page 2

Lightning trainer:
Page 1
Page 2

The model was polished with a cloth and polishing paste and cleaned up. It than got a few new thin black coats with my usual Revell Aqua gloss Schwartz acrylic paint. This works fine and dried within 15 minutes. The model was set aside for a few days.

 tip TIP: 
A good way to fill
tiny scratches is to airbrush few thin coats of Johnson Future / Pledge acrylic floor varnish before setting any metal coats. This will fill the tiny scratches. Thin the Future/ Pledge with 25% Gunze Sangyo Levelling Thinner and this will give an excellent smooth result. This also protects the base acrylic paint layers. 

  pledge  gunze sangyo levelling thinner 

For the metal effects, ALCLAD paints give good results, these however do really need you to ventilate the airbrushing room and would need complete bottles of (expensive) ALCLAD paints and a lot of time. So
it was decided not to airbrush solely ALCLAD paints but to first airbrush Vallejo metal colour acrylics and ALCLAD on a few panels after that.

The mixed approach was:
(0) mask off any areas like the cockpit tub interior.
(1)  airbrush over the base grey a gloss black coat (any paint will do).
(2)  airbrush acrylic Vallejo metal color like aluminium 77.701.
(3)  the acrylic paint dry fast and after a day polish the surfaces.

(4)  now to get some extra metal hues, airbrush several light coats of ALCLAD. Ventilate the room and wear a face mask!
A few very light coats airbrushed were ALCLAD ALC-125 high speed silver and ALC-126 high shine aluminium.
Masking of the panels was done with very very low tack tape or if you have them use "Post IT" papers. The rear exhausts were airbrushed metal jet exhaust ALC-113. This mixed approach worked well and the advantage is that you do not spend full bottles of ALCLAD.
(5)  polish the surfaces but avoid scratching.

This mixed approach will give a metal effect.  

Some panel lines were accentuated with a soft pencil and some lines with painted acrylic metal with a fine brush.

The anti-glare panel was airbrushed mat black after masking as were a few panels on the vertical tail. 
The decals for the desired KUWAIT paint scheme were set. The home designed and Third Party printed decals were applied as usual. The surfaces are glossy so no need for a prior gloss varnish coat here.
The made Arab NO STEPs marking were added along the black walk way stripes.
  no step
Other stencils came from various sources: spares from the Echelon kit which are really outstanding and some from Xtradecal stencils set X32-019.

The Echelon transparant parts for the wind screen and canopy were tackled. Cut with fine scissors. The internal frames are also provided and airbrushed dark grey.

Unfortunately, I discovered that there was a dent in the central upper canopy frame. This was masked, filled with putty and sanded and thus repaired. I is partly in a clear area, not a lot can be done about this.
(UPDATE: it seems that an AEROCRAFT canopy set for the ECHELON kit is to be released Summer 2023).

The black frame painting will be changed a bit and it will not be that obvious. A rear view mirror was added from a Reheat etched metal set.
The canopy will be kept detachable and a few wires were installed at the rear that will fit in 2 small holes the fuselage spine edge.


The wind screen needs now to be mated with the fuselage nose. This was not a big issue, gaps were filled with white glue. Protect the surrounding areas and airbrush the anti-glare panel mat black.
  wind screen
The ejection seat and bits like the control stick are still be installed. I also will install a transparant "light fighter sight" panel on the center top coaming, standby compass and direction indicator inside the wind screen frames.

The rear exhaust ends had not yet been fixed as these need to be aligned with rear exhaust pipe edges. I could not see how the Echelon kit had these. So very thin pipe edges were made from metal foil that can twisted around a cylinder.
These were trimmed to shape and slightly extend at the rear exhaust area. Fix with superglue. The whole lot was airbrushed after masking ALCLAD ALC-113 jet exhaust metalizer.
  rear   exhausts  jet 
The cockpit was now detailed further. The Aires set has very nice resin details including a nice instrument panel.

The Martin Baker mk.4BS ejection seat is also included as resin part and looks very good. This seat was probably used on the mk.3 and F6 Lightnings. The metal casted ECHELON seat was thus not used as the resin seat has more detail but I used the excellent Echelon seat paint instructions:
The seat painted for the mk.53 F6 has a base frame of medium sea grey, black upper frame side and cushions of tan, oliver drab and black lower para pack. Upper face screen handle is yellow with black stripes as is the lower firing handle. The seat will be installed later.
  mb 4bs
Inside the cockpit, extra details were added like on the left console engine control handles made from plastic rod.
The undercarriages were now handled. The ECHELON kit has very good casted metal parts including good looking and accurate wheels. The tyres were airbrushed "tyre black" and the gear struts and wheel hubs aluminium.
The gear was installed using the ECHELON instructions as guide and looking at photos. I had to shorten a bit the casted metal retraction parts. Inside the bays and on the gear legs
hydraulics tubing was added made from JMC Hobby lead wire which is flexible.  
The nose gear was installed after a few plastic card bits were set inside to get a strong assembly in the bay as per instructions.

The Mk.53K F6 model got Red Top missiles which came from the Trumpeter Lightning kit. The missile seeker head is a transparant part and the missiles were overall white with some stripes.

The missile pylons/ stubs are not the Echelon vacu parts but I made these from thick card. All was sanded in shape and airbrushed aluminium. The stubs have a slight nose up attitude.
The Mk.53K F6 also could be fitted with big outboard wing pylons  that could carry rocket pods and bombs, On th upper F6 wing pylons could be installed to accommodate overwing fuel tanks or special long rocket pods. It was decided to add a pair of outboard wing pylons from scrap.
I could not find good (scale) drawings for the outboard pylon. Looking at photos their sizes were estimated. Thick plastic card was used to make the pylons. Practice 1,000 lb bombs were often carried, I found some appropriate bombs in the spares box. The pylons were airbrushed metal with Vallejo 77.701 aluminium and the bombs dark green.

The final bits are now installed.

The arrestor hook end is a metal part, the blade was made from Evergreen plastic strip.
Fitting the stabilizers was done, there remain gaps on the lower edges. May be I should have changed with strip the inside ends much earlier. The gaps on the lower areas were filled with white glue and are to be painted when dried.
  hook  outlet 
A small raised plate was added at the left rear starter exhaust from a piece of curved metal fret.

On the front edge of each large main gear door a taxi light is fitted. This was made from metal foil with a disc punched out with a Waldron punch and die set.

The overall model was cleaned up and got a gloss varnish coat by airbrushing Ammo-Mig A-Stand Aqua Gloss acrylic varnish (which is the new name of ALCLAD Aqua gloss). The varnish looks "white" in the bottle but will dry clear. Do not shake the bottle, but despite the advice on the bottle, I thinned the gloss varnish 25% with a mix of water and IsoPropylAlkohol and added a few drops of AK retarder. Shield off the wind screen and cockpit interior while airbrushing. 
  aqua gloss retarder  ipa
The varnish protects the decals and gives an even sheen.

The metal pitot tube of the Echelon kit was installed. The canopy is detachable and was set.


That completed this nice model which took about 75 hours to complete.


map  map  flag  roundel
[area: 17,800 | population: 4,4 million with 40% Kuwaiti's | capital: Kuwait city | GDP 28,000 USD per capita nominal ]

The small Kuwait Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya) was formed in 1961. Using the British doctrine, it got British aircraft like the Jet Provost and later Strikemaster and BAC Lightning supersonic fighters. The Kuwaiti Air Force used 12 F6 mk.53K Lightnings along with 2 T5 mk.55K trainers. Deliveries started December 1968. The main facilities were at Kuwait international airport, they later flew also from new bases Ahmed al Jaber and Jakra. They were hard to keep serviceable and the remaining jets were out of service in 1977 and replaced by the Mirage F-1.

More information about the Kuwaiti Air Force can be seen on my page here....
kuwait air force lightning 
1/32 BAC Lightning Echelon Kuwait
kuwait lightning 1/32
Lightning Kuwait air force
kuwait lightning 
yt  View this Echelon kit modelling report on YouTube here....
Back to 1/32 Scale models....
3KB back to home
(c) Copyright Meindert "designer"/ All rights reserved. Your comments are welcomed by  webmaster

August 29, 2023