BAC Lightning F2A
[Page 1]


Echelon model in 1/32 scale made by Meindert de Vreeze
This is a vacuform model that is excellent. The kit was developed by mr. Frank Brown from the U.K. who I was able to meet at the IPMS UK Nationals at Donnington in 1992, so a long time ago. 

The kit includes fine plastic sheet parts and white metal parts. Various versions of the Lightning supersonic interceptor of the RAF can be made.   
The vacuform kit is a real achievement in what can be done through vacuforming and details parts from brass/metal. The kit is beautifully engineered. The Echelon team used factory drawings to make the vacuvorm moulds and the shapes look very good. 

Nowadays it is extremely rare as it is out of production for quite some years now. On Ebay to prices are paid for this kit, even though that....

in 2009 Trumpeter of China started to release a few injection moulded 1/32 kits of the Lightning. Many parts are common but need shape corrections however, particularly at the canopy and cockpit openings.

The Echelon model will be built to represent a F2A of RAF 92 Squadron King Cobras at Gutersloh, 1971. See also WIKI Info

Have a look at the Whirlybits 1/32 T5 conversion set here...

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Lightning trainer:
Page 1
Page 2
An overview of what you get in the Echelon kit: 

very large decal sheet! over 1 feet wide!

below... click on thumbnails as desired....



... and a very comprehensive set of instructions and drawings

Some parts are seen here (note: some have already been prepared and removed from the backing sheet)



Vacuform parts & metal parts


I had various drawings as well. Yes, I know drawings are not always accurate but still I made a few comparisons.
The large 1/32 drawing shows no name of the draftsman. A few details drawn looked inaccurate such as the nose gear bay lengths and the outboard flap end gap. On the photo above, a Trumpeter Lightning fuselage half is seen.

Still, some general comparisons were done:
The ECHELON fuselage outline looks fine with good "bigger" belly shape.
The wing planform for the F2A / F6 with kinked leading edge and wider wing tip looks fine.
The vertical tail shape looks good, may be 2mm missing at the top but may be that was the drawing.
The stabilizers look fine.
The casted metal main wheel looks spot on. And well detailed.

A few other drawings by Mr. C.J. Nichols were also looked at...

It was concluded that the Echelon had made a fine 1/32 Lightning vacuform kit with good shapes.
The model was built using the usual vacu form techniques. Fit was very good and metal parts were very welcome indeed. You need to study the instructions very carefully as the kit enables you to make different Lightning variants.

NOTE: this model was made some 25 years ago, at the time no large digital photos were made.

This upper view shows the nice metal finish applied. This was done through a mix of spraying Testor Metal coat in various colours, applying coats on Johnson Clear varnish, polishing the coats and doing the details with bare metal foil (nose ring) and just plain Humbrol metal coat for strips and fastener detail. 

The cockpit section was obviously detailed on this large scale. Seat is provided as metal casting by Echelon and detailed with tape, strip and painting it results in a nice representation. 

Wing walkways are provided with this excellent kit as decals and the blue coat on the top fairing was sprayed on. This was done before applying the metal coats as to avoid masking on very sensitive metal coats.


The tail area with metal exhaust rings added as provided with the kit.

a view from above of the tail section. Note the angle of the tail plane. Note the drilled details with vents etcetera.


This shows the exhausts that are as the engines stacked giving the Lighting a high but not so with fuselage cross section..
Provided by Echelon kit as metal casting.

The cockpit with the instrument panel, with most details provided by the Echelon kit.

...the cockpit with view of refuelling probe on the left wing. 

This shows the cockpit with Martin Baker mk.5 seat. The nose with bare metal foil on the intake lip. 

the wheel bays with doors with inner details.

a nice frontal view: a F2A of RAF 92 Squadron King Cobras at Gutersloh, 1971

The model took first prize in the vacuform category at the IPMS Nationals Contest, The Netherlands in 1997

Below some more recent photos... unfortunately, the canopy and wind screen have "yellowed" over the years...

(May be I will buy the Summer 2023 released Aerocraft resin canopy set for this kit and try to craft it on the old model).

To next [ ECHELON Page .... ]

Also check out the Lighting trainer conversion....

TIP: decades later some 1/32 Lightning decals were designed for Saudi and Kuwait Lightnings. Have a look at my custom decal page....

Best references
Watch You Tube Video's on the BAC Lightning:
YouTube Video 1 
YouTube Video 2
YouTube Video 3 (Walk around)

- BAC Lightning, Aircraft illustrated special, Braybrook 


My own modelling videos on YouTube:
- Building the 1/32 Echelon Lightning F6
- Converting a 1/32 Lightning trainer


Back to 1/32 Scale models....
3KB back to home
(c) Copyright Meindert "designer"/ All rights reserved. Your comments are welcomed by  webmaster

Created November 25, 2000