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About twenty seven years ago I modified a 1/48 scale Testors Lysander to the turreted Wendover. Our club, IPMS Mid-Sussex has a special competition theme 'restored examples' so I thought I'd spruce the model up a bit and show you.

 

Potted history of the 'Wendover':  In 1940 Westland did various investigations with their Lysander to add a turret. Turrets to were quite fashionable at the time, a prime example being the Boulton Paul Defiant. Even the Naval plane the Blackburn Skua had a four gun dorsal turret added and became the Roc. A Lysander fuselage had a BP dorsal turret added but it seems this moved the centre of gravity too far back and was unuseable in this configuration. According to James' Putnam Westland book, Westland technical director W Petter and their test pilot Harald Penrose visited France in early 1940. Here they both inspected and flew the Delanne T20 which was a sort of biplane with the lower wing mounted low down at the rear of the aircraft. This configuration solved the centre of gravity problems for the Lysander and they were then able to progress a large rear turret. 

 

Initially the aircraft flew with just a mock up rear turret but Penrose still managed to loop it on its first test flight in July 1940! According to some references this was as far as the modification progressed. However, work continued and by the end of 1941 a Frazer Nash FN20 (same as used on a Lanc) was fitted. According to my references no firing trial documentation has survived.

 

.............................................................

 

My starting kit was the Testors 1/48 Lysander. To this I added lights in the wheel spats by pull moulding clear acetate over them, then cut away the front and added a clear 'glass' over a rudimentary light. Milliput was added in the front of the Townend ring to make it less hollow.

 

The main modification required sawing the fuselage in half. An i-beam was glued to the front section and to this three formers were added. I skinned the empennage with thin plasticard on which I had drawn parallel lines with a fine point biro. Once turned inside out this provided a reasonable ribbing effect. The fitting of the first sheet crumpled as I used too much glue. My only option was to repeat the process over the top of the first skin. The end of the fuselage was formed using solid Milliput. The same material was used to make a basic turret shape over which I pull moulded more clear acetate. 

 

The rear flying surfaces were carved from solid plastic and I even tried to show the contoured surface on the rudders.

 

Once completed I found I had made the rear section far too short, which gives the whole thing a rather stubby appearance.  I used a general arrangement drawing from a publication and this was my downfall. As John, elsewhere on this website has pointed out - 'some publications distort the dimensions of drawings' !  I'll know better next time.

 

Below are some views of my model 

 

49356456023_48cbc033e4_z.jpgIMG_0303 by arhills, on Flickr

 

49357118442_a4fc206c23_z.jpgIMG_0302 by arhills, on Flickr

 

49357117747_d5597490c8_z.jpgIMG_0300 by arhills, on Flickr

 

49356911916_e5fa1e4668_z.jpgIMG_0304 by arhills, on Flickr

 

49357114937_2535c3a1a9_z.jpgIMG_0239 by arhills, on Flickr

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What a nicely built model albeit of a very odd looking aircraft.👍

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Lovely model - but what a weird looking machine!!  Do you know what the intended role for it would have been?  Too slow for a fighter?

 

Al.

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Al, The 'pregnant perch', another Lysander modification was made 'in order to strafe beaches in case there was an invasion', according to the Putnam book. My thoughts are that the rear turreted Lysander would be good for a similar activity.

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16 minutes ago, Adrian Hills said:

Al, The 'pregnant perch', another Lysander modification was made 'in order to strafe beaches in case there was an invasion', according to the Putnam book. My thoughts are that the rear turreted Lysander would be good for a similar activity.

Ah, OK, that kind of makes sense, I guess.  Not easy to imagine what the mindset in 1940 must have been with an invasion seemingly imminent...

 

Al.

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Bravo. That is a virtuoso performance of multiple scratchbuilding techniques.

 

(Also - I'm from South Bucks and I'm tickled anyone would call a plane "Wendover". Why not the Fairey Beaconsfield, or the Avro Little Chalfont? 🤣)

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Excellent 

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A lot of skills and creative thinking went into this model, that much is obvious.

 

Inspiring project, never mind the original research mishap!

 

Kind regards,

 

Joachim

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6 hours ago, Spitfire31 said:

A lot of skills and creative thinking went into this model, that much is obvious.

 

Inspiring project, never mind the original research mishap!

 

Kind regards,

 

Joachim

Joachim, thank you for the compliments. This model was done in my club in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. There we met every Sunday and Wednesday evenings - the Canadian winters being such as they are ! Suggestions of how to do this came from club members - particularly the ribbing technique. My point is that meeting regularly helps modellers bounce ideas off each other. Nowadays we have the internet and forums like this but it is a poor substitute to the advantages of being together. Fortunately, my other IPMS Club 'Hailsham and District Scale Model Club', do meet bi-weekly and BUILD together

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