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Westland Lynx mesh intake guards; 'how to'

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Ok, after numerous requests, I've now put together a 'how to' make Lynx mesh intake guards. As we know, both the Revell 1/32 and the Airfix 1/48 kits area devoid of decent parts and only have clear intake guards which to my mind look a bit pants. When Ali, Colin (heloman1) and I were developing the aftermarket sets for AlleyCat, we scratched our heads for ages to come up with a brass etched option that would be easy to produce and relatively simple for the customer. Alas, we couldn't easily convert my method to production so for the time being, it will have to be a DIY solution. I've used this technique for all my Lynx and am satisfied that it looks convincing. I have seen some very very good intake blanks made by chaps on here but I guess most would like to have proper intake guards.

So here we go then. This technique works equally well for the Airfix or Revell kits.

1, Here's what we are trying to replicate. A point of note is the guard you see below is the standard one and this is the one we are going to make. The other version is what we call the 'snow guard'. Very similar in look apart from there is a large gap to the rear of the mesh to allow for air to still get in to the intake should the mesh area become clogged with slush or snow. It also helps to prevent large build up of snow on the intakes. If any one wants to do that one, let me know and I'll dig some piccies out.


2. Materials used are: Aber S10 net mesh or S19 mesh (the latter is better for 1/48 and is actually the perfect 'over and under' weave. I prefer to use the larger mesh for the 1/32 Lynx but it has larger scale squares and plain weave compared to the real thing. You'll see me using both on this tutorial as I experimented with the smaller S19 for 1/32. I have yet to find the correct weave pattern of the correct size for 1/32. Mesh squares need to be about .8mm. I am currently investigated Eduards range of mesh.


3. Get the kit intake part and clean off any flash. Orientate the mesh so it runs north/south relative to the part then using nail scissors or a sharp knife, cut an approximate shape out of the mesh being mindful that due to the curvature of the guard, you'll need to allow for quite a bit. We will trim it later. Remember: measure 3 times, cut once!


4. Once you have your square of mesh, overlay it on to the intake guard and make sure it conforms to the shape. Fold under the top and bottom to help it stay secure whilst youre manipulating the shape. Luckily, the Aber mesh it strong and flexible and because it is brass, it holds its shape. Carefully burnish the mesh with your finger so the raised horizontal frames appear in the mesh. Try to manipulate the excess that you will have along the middle rib as this is where the curve is at its most prominent. Use flat tweezers to 'pinch' the excess up then carefully trim it away. Use a non permy marker to mark the other horizontal parts of the frame and also the frame itself. This will aid trimming later.


5. Heres the S19 mesh thats ideal for 1/48. You can see that I've cut the mesh out from the spue and kept the sprue as the rear part of the frame. It just makes it a bit easier later on when placing the rest of the frame on. I've trimmed the front and bottom to size. Dont trim the top just yet as we will use this to help attaching it to the fuselage. Once youve done this, remove the kit clear part carefully. The mesh should maintain its shape to a certain degree.


6. You can clearly see the cut out along the middle rib of the frame.


7. Cut thin strips of plasticard to about 1mm width for 1/32 and about 0.7mm for 1/48. Use paper thin card as it needs to be flexible to conform to the shape.


8. Now this is where is gets fiddly. I have found that starting from the front/bottom is easiest. Using a cocktail stick, apply a tiny amount of cyano (I use Rocket medium) to the plastic strip then carefully position it. This will anchor the strip so we can apply a bit more to the strip as we go along. Dont be tempted to leave the kit clear part under it as there is a great risk youll stick it to it!


9. Heres the S10 mesh with front part of the frame complete. You can faintly see where I've marked the mesh for the horizontal parts of the frame and the obvious curve with the bit of mesh we cut out. Do the bottom, rear and top parts of the frame next.


10. Horizontal frame strips. Starting from front to rear, dab a tiny bit of glue on to the plastic strip then place it flush with the forward frame strip. Continue to do this until you have attached it to the rear frame.


11. Once its all dry, trim off the excess strips. Carefully sand the frame down. Its very important that throughout the glueing process, we dont get excessive glue anywhere as this will clog the mesh up. This is why I suggest a dab of glue on the strip and not directly on to the mesh.


12. Repeat for the other side.


13. Initial fitting. As you can see, its doesnt appear to conform to the shape of the body. Not a drama as we can carefully make it conform using a toothpick and tweezers pushing the frame around a bit. (Hopefully you can see that all the pain of putting the rivets on the fuselage has paid off as they look pretty good!)


14. After a small amount of careful prodding and fettling, it fits nicely.


15. The completed article. Prior to priming with Tamiya fine grey, I applied a few Archer resin 3d rivets to simulate the attachment fastners. I then gave the guards a very quick spray of Tamiya fine primer (really important not to go OTT as this will clog the mesh). I've applied a bit of Flory black weathering solution to give it a bit of depth.


16. This is why we left excess on the top of the mesh. We can use is to hook around the top of the gearbox fairing to aid positioning.


17. When I finally attach it to the aircraft right at the very end of the build, I cut very thin strips of double sided tape and apply it to the rear and bottom parts of the frame. With the top 'hook' of the mesh and this tape, I've found its more than adequate to keep it secure. As you can see, the S10 mesh is quite large compared to the real thing. As I said at the beginning, S19 is perfect in pattern but a bit too small for 1/32 and you have to be very careful with glueing and painting so as not to clog the mesh up.


Hope this helps.


Edited by Lynx7

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I don't build gearboxes but this is a fabulous 'How To' feature. Mods please pin.


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Now THAT is helpful and long awaited by me thank you very much Tony well done indeed

I really wonder why Eduard have not tackled that problem

AND thank heavens Trumpeter didn't release the kit like that one's mind boggles at the potential for an 18 plus page spread discussing the why's and wherefore's ! (he says tongue firmly in cheek)


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Excellent work, thanks for putting that up. Also the rivets do look good.

Thanks for sharing

All the best


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I too am surprised that Eduard havent tackled it yet. To actually print off the part with suitable cuts on a brass sheet should be fairly simple for them. I know that Ali and I almost had a solution but it proved a bit too much on the technical production front. Fingers crossed, Eduard are looking in ;-)

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Nice one Tony I remember the first ones I showed you all those years ago seems like yesterday when I was doing my blue Has 2

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Very useful post, thanks for sharing !

The Airfix 1/72 kit would also benefit from these, I'll try to follow your technique in this scale and see what comes out

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Hi Tony. Excellent job, just what was needed, Ali and I battled with the Wessex intake guard for the 72nd kit, so I know what needs to be done to get it looking right. I think the intake pic on the cab was most helpful in indicating wha the finished item should look like. Don't you just love BM?


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Very handy 'how to'

Many thanks for sharing it with us. Hope you don't mind I have printed it off ready for my Lynx builds.

I guess the rush for Aber mesh will be on.

Again thanks. :wow::wow:

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Just discovered this......an extremely useful tutorial for which I am most grateful. I have a number of Lynx projects in the pipeline, having had an affiliation with both major variants over the years and in various locations. One of the areas of concern in building an accurate representation of the type was how I would improve on the valiant efforts of Airfix to replicate these complex mesh intake guards....now I know !

Many thanks again


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Wish I'd seen this excellent tutorial when I built the Aifix Lynx :(

Edited by Ian Suds

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