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Shar2

Augusta Westland Lynx Mk.8. 1:32

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Augusta Westland Lynx Mk.8

Revell 1/32

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History

The initial design, then known as the Westland WG.13, was started in the mid-1960s as a replacement for the Westland Scout and Wasp, and a more advanced alternative to the UH-1 Iroquois. The design was to be powered by a pair of Bristol Siddeley BS.360 turboshaft engines. As part of the Anglo-French helicopter agreement signed in February 1967, French company Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) had a 30 per cent share of production work, Westland performing the remainder. It was intended that France would procure the Lynx for its Navy and a heavily modified armed reconnaissance variant for the French Army, with the United Kingdom in return buying Aérospatiale Gazelle and Puma for its armed forces.

 

The initial naval variant of the Lynx, known as the Lynx HAS.2 in British service, or Lynx Mk.2(FN) in French service, differed from the Lynx AH.1 in being equipped with a tricycle undercarriage and a deck restraint system, folding main rotor blades, an emergency flotation system and a nose-mounted radar. An improved Lynx for the Royal Navy, the Lynx HAS.3, had Gem 42-1 Mark 204 engines, an uprated transmission, a new flotation system and an Orange Crop ESM system. The Lynx HAS.3 also received various other updates in service. A similar upgrade to the French Lynx was known as the Lynx Mk.4(FN).

 

In the early 1990s, Westland incorporated some of the technology from the Naval Lynx-3 design into a less-radical Super Lynx. This featured BERP rotor blades, the Westland 30-derived tail rotor, Gem 42 engines, a new under-nose 360-degree radar installation and an optional nose-mounted electro-optical sensor turret. Royal Navy Lynx HAS.3s upgraded to Super Lynx standard were known in service as the Lynx HMA.8, and several export customers ordered new-build or upgraded Super Lynxes. From the 1990s onwards, Westland began offering the Super Lynx 200, which was equipped with LHTEC CTS800 engines, and the Super Lynx 300, which also had a new cockpit and avionics derived from the Agusta Westland EH101. Both of these models have achieved several export sales. In 2002, Flight International reported that more than 40 variants of the Lynx were in service, numbering almost 400 aircraft having been built for various customers

 

The Model

The original RN Lynx from Revell was released back in 2013 and it’s then them until the aircraft’s retirement to release the latest and final version. Although this is pretty much a re-box of the original Mk3 it does come with all the upgrades that the Mk8 was known for, namely the ugly nose FLIR on the modified nose panel, and under fuselage radome. It does also come with a different tail boom with separate fin allowing the possibility of posing the fin folded. The box the kit comes in is adorned with a nice painting of a Lynx in flight, unfortunately it is an end opening box, therefore and floppy as ever, so no shoving it in the stash with any more than one other kit on it. Inside there are fourteen sprues of grey styrene, two of clear and a largish decal sheet. The mouldings have stood up well and there is no sign of flash or other imperfections, but quite a few moulding pips. The internal details are very nicely moulded and includes the sound proofing and tie downs on the inside of the cabin, although it could be doing with being a little bit baggier.

 

Construction begins with drilling out the requisite holes in the cabin floor  before added the cockpit centre console frame, instrument panel pedestal and panel, which appears to be correct for the type. The rudder pedals, cyclic and collective levers for both pilots are then glued into position, followed by the centre console control panels. Each of the pilots seats are made up from five parts with the seatbelts moulded into the backrest and seat squab. Once assembled the seats are glued into position along with the cabin rear bulkhead, sidewalls and rear bench seat with front support frame. The middle set of six seats might look ok from a distance but they bear little resemblance to the real things as the end frames are solid, whereas you’d see the actual framework on the real items. There is a group of electronic black boxes fitted behind the pilots seat consisting of seven parts and the middle seat assembly is fitted at the same time. The roof soundproofing is fitted with a hand hold before being glued into position. Before the fuselage halves are closed up the sections are fitted either edge of the side doors and more holes are required to be drilled out.

 

The engine exhaust plate is fitted with two, tow piece exhausts while the main rotor gearbox, which is very nicely represented is fitted with a drive pin and cap, so that, should you wish, the rotors can be turned once fitted. The cabin and main rotor gearbox assembly are then sandwiched between the fuselage halves as is the exhaust plate. The roof panel and engine covers are then glued into place, followed by the exhaust shrouds and several access panels. The underside of the fuselage is also attached at this point as are the underside tail panel and what looks like a doppler panel, but could be for the radio altimeter and orange crop panels. The intake grilles are unfortunately represented by clear parts, not mesh as per the rear aircraft. Personally, unless an aftermarket company can reproduce them the clear parts could make for good moulds for the modeller to produce their own mesh grilles.

 

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The underside is fitted with several more panels and aerials before work begins on the nose section. the nose comprises of five parts before the  five piece FLIR unit is attached. The completed assembly is then glued to the fuselage. The thwo piece tail cone is fitted with the end bulkhead which includes the hinge and locking points, as does the two piece tail fin. If you were to pose the fin folded you will need to add some internal detail to both, including the tail rotor transitional gearbox in the fin. The kit does come with the locking handle for the fin as well, so it looks like Revell nearly decided to give the folding fin option in the kit, but decided to do it properly.  The completed tail cone/fin is then glued to the fuselage, along with the side doors and the slides, windscreen and pilots doors, as well as smaller items such as the windscreen wipers and various blade aerials.

 

The main undercarriage legs each comprise to halves for each oleo, two parts to the scissor links and two halves for each wheel. The completed undercarriage legs are then sandwiched between two halves of each sponson interior before the two part sponson itself is attached. The nose wheel oleo is also in two halves and fitted with a two piece scissor link, plus two, tow piece wheels. With all the undercarriage assembled they are glued into their respective positions, along with the large anti IR beacon under the front end of the tailcone, a large blade aerial on the port side near the beacon and a number of other items which this reviewer hasn’t a clue what they are. The SACRU hook is then attached, along with four strengthening straps and the hold down harpoon unit. The tail rotor is a single piece moulding to which the inner hub and outer control rods are attached before being fitted to the port side of the fin, while on the starboard side the horizontal stabiliser is fitted. Another large blade aerial is fitted where the sonar hole used to be while just aft and to starboard there is a retractable lamp fitted.

 

The build now concentrates on to the weaponry. The modeller has the option to fit a 50 cal M2 heavy machine gun in the port doorway. This assembly is made up from no less than twenty two parts all told, and really looks the business, with the caveat that the cooling holes over the barrel could be better represented. The other options to add weapons to the Lynx include two Stingray torpedoes each from four parts or two Sea Skua anti shipping missiles, each consisting of eight parts. The launchers are made up from ten parts and if you’re not going to fir the gun you will need two launchers.  Aside from the weapons, the kit also includes the rescue hoist consisting of ten parts and is fitted to the starboard side doorway. The HF aerial stays are fitted to the underside of the tail cone and fitted with a length of wire of the modeller’s choice.  The last major assembly is the main rotor. The head is made up from thirteen parts, before the rotor blades are attached and the whole assembly fit to the main rotor gearbox finishing the build.

 

Decals

The single large decal sheet provides a complete stencil set for one aircraft all the marking specific to each option. The decals are very nicely produced with great colour density, in register and nicely opaque.  The markings provided are for the following:- 

 

  • Lynx Mk8, 207 Flight, 815 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Iron Duke, March 2016
  • Lynx Mk8, 215 Flight, 815 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Monmouth, March 2012

 

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Conclusion

It’s very nice to see this kit re-released with the new parts to build the final version of this venerable helicopter, and it’s still a fabulous looking kit.  Not being overly complex it shouldn’t take too much to make a good looking model out of it.  I have heard there may be fit problems in some areas, but with a bit of care and patience I’m sure they won’t be too bad. It will certainly be an impressive model for any collection. There is certainly plenty of scope for super detailing if that is your wish. If you wish to pose your Lynx with the blades folded there si an aftermarket set that will help you with that.

 

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