Sidetrack Lightning II, Royal Navy

Started by kitnut617, June 26, 2014, 12:34:00 PM

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I've manage to get a model completed, well mostly anyway. This just needs a few more tiddly decals and then it will be done.

If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike

Captain Canada

Who are you and what have you done with the real Robert ?


Looks great. A good idea too....since they'll be paying a half billion for each, you're going to want as much protection as possible !

The colours look great, as do the few extra lumps and bumps.

CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?


Decals my @r$e!


Nice one - I especially like the faded low viz roundels on this one, and the wing tip containers. I am not too familiar with the F-35 - are these "original" (intended from its creators) or own additions - and if so, where do these come from?

Looks very good, much more interesting than the "USAF original".  :thumbsup:


Nice idea!  :thumbsup: And there's no telling what fancy Avionics you could stow in those fairings nowadays
(I believe it's a good few years since side track was first thought of) perhaps even a "Cloaking" device  ;D

The British have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved". Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross". Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the Blitz in 1940 when tea supplies ran out for three weeks


Quotethe wing tip containers. I am not too familiar with the F-35 - are these "original" (intended from its creators) or own additions - and if so, where do these come from?

The wing tip fairings are the domes of the Sidetrack AEW system, a concept intended for the Harrier. I suspect this is the Lonewolf conversion set.


Thanks guys,

Yes the pods are part of the Lonewolf Sidetrack conversion for the Sea Harrier FA.2, when I bought a complete set to do a Sea Harrier I ask Adrian if I could buy some additional pods separately, which he said I could.  Reading the Flight Global article about Sidetrack it says the system was/is aimed at later operational aircraft as well as the Sea Harrier.

The wing tip pods just contain the scanners, the equipment to operate the scanners is in the former weapons bay (this would be a dedicated AEW aircraft so no swapping equipment for other rolls).  There's no system operators in the aircraft, the pilot just makes sure it's switched on and flies in prescribe orbits, the scanned data is relayed to a ground control room (in a ship or mobile control room) in almost real time where the operators there discern the info.  You can see I've added some blade antenna's under the aircraft, the idea is these are for the communications to the control room.
If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike


Fantastic!  Love AEW birds.  What kit did you use?  1/48?

Waiting for a "B" in 1/72.... 
Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA


Oops!  the kit is a 1/72 Fujimi F-35B, built mostly OOB.  The only extras are the wing tip pods and an Aeroclub Martin Baker Harrier GR.9 bang seat.  The decals came form my spares box, but are mostly from the SAM Publication Sea Harrier Retirement sheet.  The paint scheme is a copy of the Fujimi's Japanese Air Force scheme which the kit comes with, but the colours I used are what Airfix calls out for their new tool Harrier GR.9.
If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike


Great build, I've always fancied doing a F-22 V/STOL.


Excellent stuff Robert, I like the colour mix logic you used, and the backstory too.  :thumbsup: :bow:
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Ah, thanks a lot for the confirmation. Thought that it could be parts from the Harrier set, but was not sure - and you never know...  ;)


Thanks guys --- it was a fun build that gave me a kick-start to get going on some other project.

The F-35B makes a better aircraft for this system as all the equipment can be held in the weapons bay which leaves the wing pylons for fuel tanks, not like the Sea Harrier which has to use the large pods on the main pylons as equipment pods, the Flight Global article shows that this was the case.  

If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike


I was building this in a GB on another forum (Snoops, Sensors, Spooks & Spies on Beyond the Sprues) and something interesting popped up while I was researching what (and how) to do the decal scheme.  It was always going to be a Brit operated aircraft because of the Sidetrack system, and to be a Royal Navy one.  Choosing which squadron to operate it was a matter of looking through the decal box and finding some appropriate decals.  I had three sheets which I found I could use, all for Sea Harrier FA.2's. Plus I had the Xtrakit FA.2 kit to go by as well.

One of the three schemes in that kit was for an 801 Sqn. aircraft which was also aircraft number 007 for the squadron.  I thought that was too good not to use in this 'spooks & spies' GB.  Having chosen the scheme to use I got thinking about it -- double O 7 was an odd number for a sqn aircraft so I thought the pilot who flew it mostly must have had a surname of Bond or something.

Anyway it turns out it wasn't, but one of the decal sheets offered a clue.  The sheet in question was the SAM Productions sheet for the FA.2's retirement schemes, these had a multitude of 'name' boards stenciled on including the crew chiefs names.  One pair of crew chiefs (they are actually referred to as AEM's, Aircraft Engineer (Mechanical) ) drew my attention, their names appear attached together on the sheet so I'm assuming they worked on the same aircraft.  Well the top name was AEM James, and the bottom name was AEM Bond --- I think it's safe to assume that they were the crew chiefs for aircraft 007, don't you.

My story is when the Sea Harrier was 'stood down', these two guys transferred to the F-35 program and ended up working together again, and their new aircraft got number 007 too.
If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike


Excellent research followed by good/logical thinking  :thumbsup: ;D
Decals my @r$e!