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Westland Scout**FINISHED***


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My final entry in this GB is hopefully going to be the old Airfix Scout helicopter - I say hopefully because some of the parts are very thin and fragile and I am a lot clumsier now that when I built it not long after it came out in 1966!

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 It looks like I may have to try making a number of modifications, which could cause problems, but first I need some info as I have to date only found one pic of a Scout in the Falklands and that is unclear due to a number of people standing by it loading a casualty. As moulded by Airfix there are bulges to glue on the lower rear fuselage to provide enough width for a stretcher to be carried but it looks like at some point these were replaced by bulged doors instead so does anybody know when this mod took place? Given how frail the structure is it could prove problematic but I will have a shot if it was a feature of the ones used by the Army's 656 Squadron or 3CBAS with the Marines, both units having 6 in action at the time.

 

Another problem is the roof mounted sight for the SS-11 missiles - pictures definitely show it on the helicopter I have seen but in one source it mentions that the missile kit and rails was not always carried, and had to be mounted when a mix of Army and Marine Scouts carried out an attack on some Argentinian Artillery - does anybody know if the sight was carried all the time?

 

Finally, immediately after Airfix released the kit an article in Airfix magazine showed it fitted with a pair of small wheels on the skid frame, apparently to make it easier to manhandle it about - I have seen pics of Scouts both with and without the wheels and a soldier is masking my view of the skids in my photo, so would the wheels have been fitted or not - I am hoping to do a machine of 3CBAS - the air support unit for the Royal Marine Commandos.

 

By the time of this conflict the Scout was obsolete and being replaced by the Gazelle, but it was still used for scouting, moving small numbers of troops about, casevac and as mentioned previously for attacking enemy emplacements, guns etc. Of the 12 in theatre one was shot down by a Pucara and one damaged in a hard landing after a transmission failure. It was recovered but later written off.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Peter, good/nice choice. Yes the kit is old and fragile, I built one recently for another GB. I reinforced the blade connection with fine stiff strace wire. The engine is undersize but al is not lost. Airwaves produced a conversion/detail set. It contained the missiles, the roof mounted sight and a new tail rotor. You might find one on the Hannants site. 

 

Good luck

 

Colin

 

PS Plenty of ref on the net.

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Thanks Colin,

 

Plenty of pics but no indication when bulged doors were fitted. The Airwaves set is no longer available - only the small detailing one mostly for the cockpit. I had a quick look on e-Bay and Scout kits are going for silly prices - £20 to £30!

 

Pete

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Hello Pete.

 

the bulged rear doors appear to have been fitted from around 1975; however, not all Scouts converted to them straight away.  AAC Scouts based in Hong Kong were still using the earlier bubble as late as 1980.

 

cheers,
Mike

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Hi Pete

Take a look at Air Graphics, they make a resin, engine and geabox, bulged doors and the wheels to fit the skids. Very nice, I used lots of their parts on my Wasp conversion last year. Falcon or Tasman, I think, also do a vac form canopy if you are feeling brave.

 

regards Toby

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Planebuilder62 said:

Hi Pete

Take a look at Air Graphics, they make a resin, engine and geabox, bulged doors and the wheels to fit the skids. Very nice, I used lots of their parts on my Wasp conversion last year. Falcon or Tasman, I think, also do a vac form canopy if you are feeling brave.

 

regards Toby

Thanks Toby,

 

I have ordered some doors - should save me a lot of work. I have vaguely suitable wheels and can just about manage a sight I hope. That just leaves the revised tail rotor, which I may fudge! I know Air Graphics do a nice looking set with one and a revised engine but I do not want to spend too much on this build.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Hi Pete,

 

Good to have you along with the Scout. One of my favourites from times past when I could get them easily from our local hardware shop, and not at the £18 I paid last year for one on eBay. Which was by current standards cheap.

 

Best wishes for the build,

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  • PeterB changed the title to Westland Scout - hopefully!
  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I have made a start. I bought a set of resin bulged doors from Air Graphics and am in the process of fitting them.

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It involves cutting out the kit rear door and modifying the glazing - as I do not have any micro razor saws I cut off the frame first and then cut out the lower door. Once I have finished I will replace the frame. So far so good.

 

There were several changes to the Scout between the kit was produced and the Falklands War - I have already mentioned the ground handling wheels and the fact that some had a sight mounted through the roof for the Nord AS.11 missiles. There were also one or two aerials fitted, but the only other significant change seems to be to the tail rotor. The kit comes with the original narrow tapered blades with rounded ends but at some point a larger rotor with  parallel sided blades and a squared off tip was fitted. Also, after an accident where somebody apparently could not see the original red/white warning stripes, they were changed to black and white. I had intended to modify the kit blades but they are very fragile, so in the end I have ordered another set from Air Graphics which includes the wheels, new style rotor and an improved engine - oh well, it's only money and the kit was dirt cheap when I bought it 20 years ago. That just leaves the aerials and the sight!

 

Pete

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Hi Peter,

 

I've got the same kit and some of the Air Graphics add ons which look excellent. I've been trying to get the Airwaves PE cockpit parts but seems to be unobtainable. One of my favourite kits from early days (1960s), I look forward to seeing your build.

 

Incidentally, Air Graphics will be releasing a Wasp, hopefully this year.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I bought the full Air Graphics update set which includes the wheels, detailed engine and tail rotor, and also the sight for the SS-11 missiles, which saves me making one - now all I have to do is drill a roughly 3mm hole in the canopy without wrecking it! The parts are very nice but the instructions are a bit lacking. Looking at the few colour pics which show the interior, it seems that it was grey, and that the seats may have been blue, though that might be a later version. Also, the roof glazing, which I have seen described as black was more likely clear blue - anybody got any info?

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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  • PeterB changed the title to Westland Scout - A Question!

I’m away from my reference material Pete, but from memory the roof panels are a clear dark blue. The photos I took of a Scout at the Army Museum of Flying (a bad experience, go to the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection down the road, a zillion % better) show their Scouts have blue/black panels, erring to black.

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Thanks Charlie,

 

I have not as yet decided if I am doing an Army one or a Royal Marine Commando one but both seem to have had the same external colour scheme - NATO Green and Black. If nobody comes up with revised interior colours I will stick with grey. Interestingly, the original kit came with an IP printed on it but they have left that off the more recent instructions but not replaced it with a dec. I have therefore downloaded one from Scalemates and will print it out.

 

Pete

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Hi Pete,

 

Grey is fine for cockpit. From the booklet Westland Scout & Wasp by Adrian M. Balch; 

 

'Scout and Wasp's cockpits were finished in overall light grey. The instrument panel coamings and the grips for the collective and cyclic pitch control levels* were black. The instruments were mounted proud of the instrument panel on a dark grey plinth with white outlining the main group of flight instruments.

 

The seats were also painted light grey and had dark olive squabs and back pads, but these became faded with heavy use.

 

The cockpit roof glazing was smoke black-brown on the Scout and tinted black-blue on the Wasp'.

 

In all the photos the roof panels are very dark.

 

* I think this is probably a typo and it should be 'levers'.

 

Hope this helps, regards,

 

Charlie

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  • PeterB changed the title to Westland Scout

Thanks Charlie,

 

Unfortunately I had started before your post arrived, so I have gone for the blue roof tint which it does seem at least some of them had - others were black as you say. I have painted the interior grey and the seat squabs black which some pics seem to show, though it could of course be a dark green, but it is not going to be that visible anyway. The Airfix cockpit is far from accurate in any case - only the one stick for example and the seats are totally wrong in terms of the base - should have 4 legs I believe. Getting the clear resin bulged windows to fit was a pain, but it is close enough now.

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I will see if I can add some sort of coaming to the panel later. Next up is drilling a hole in the canopy for the sight - if that goes wrong the build will probably get no further!.

 

Pete

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I managed to get the sight in - a 4mm drill plus a little very careful filing did it.

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I supported the canopy on a block of White Tac to try and prevent any cracking and put a piece of masking tape on where the hole was going to be, to stop scratching if the drill slipped, and then gradually worked up from very small to successively larger drill bits. In the background are the replacement engine and gearbox. Incidentally Air Graphic do a set of decs but they cover 14 Wasps and 16 Scouts and cost over £20 so as I am only building one it was not worth it - of course if anybody has any spares left over I would be interested in making them an offer! On the dec sheet they show all the subjects with a blue tinted canopy roof though photos suggest many were black. 

 

Now all I have to do is a little touching up and decide what colour to paint the " window" on the sight.

 

Pete

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Posted (edited)

I put a small "coaming" over the IP - photos seem to show that it did not extend all the way to the windscreen, and then I glued the upper glazing on. Given the "trauma" caused at the back of the cockpit as a result of the bulged window conversion, it was no surprise to find it was a poor fit.

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Anyway, a combination of holding it down with tape and then gap filling with PVA glue seems to have worked reasonably well. 

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When the Scout was first introduced the Army was still painting its planes and helicopters in green/brown, but later it seems to have changed to green/black to match its vehicles/tanks etc. Finally at least some were painted in green/grey like the colours in use with the RAF. In theory the front end work was the more difficult part of the conversion/upgrade but many of the remaining parts are both fragile and fiddly, and handling it without breaking anything off will be a problem, so I think I will get the decs on next.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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At the Helicopter Museum, our Westland Scout has been tucked away behind the rear section of an Piasecki H-21 'Flying Banana' for the last few months.  Today, that section of the H-21 was moved inside; ready for refurbishment to be done on it and that meant that the Scout was in full view again.  This gave me the opportunity to check the roof glazings.

 

As can be seen in this image, the roof panels are of a smokey grey-blue.

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This view shows that the colour is very faint when looked at from inside the cab.

 

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HTH

 

Mike

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Thanks Mike,

 

That would perhaps explain why some say blue and some black tint - oddly enough I was thinking of using some Tamiya Smoke with the blue, but its done now.

 

Pete

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21 hours ago, bootneck said:

At the Helicopter Museum, our Westland Scout has been tucked away behind the rear section of an Piasecki H-21 'Flying Banana' for the last few months.  Today, that section of the H-21 was moved inside; ready for refurbishment to be done on it and that meant that the Scout was in full view again.  This gave me the opportunity to check the roof glazings.

 

As can be seen in this image, the roof panels are of a smokey grey-blue.

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This view shows that the colour is very faint when looked at from inside the cab.

 

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HTH

 

Mike

Mike,

 

Can you confirm what colour the main rotor blades are - I have seen black and grey suggested, and photos seem to show both. Maybe even black underneath and grey on top? Also, some seem to have yellow tips and some do not.

 

Pete

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Hi Pete,

 

I'll have a look to see where they are stored, when I go back next week.  All the Scouts that I worked with had the yellow blade tips.

 

In the interim, here are some views of the engine.

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Note that these engines have been cleaned, normally they would have a sheen, from various oils and sealants etc.   I have some photos, taken from the web therefore cannot show here, if you send me a pm then I'll send you copies.

 

cheers,

Mike

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Thanks Mike,

 

I have some pics of the engines but will send a PM anyway as your may be better. The pics I have tend to view the blades edge on, hence my request.

 

Pete

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Posted (edited)

There seems to be a bit of confusion between sources as to how many Scouts were used in Operation Corporate. Certainly they were flown by 2 units. The first 6 shipped out with the first part of the Task Force belonged to 3CBAS - Commando Brigade Air Support unit. Later they were joined by 3 Scouts of 656 Squadron Army Air Corps and there is a suggestion that a further 3 from 656 arrived with the landing force. However both units probably had Gazelles as well, and both types were listed as AH.1, which coupled perhaps with some chopping between units may have caused the problem. Certainly the Helis.com website only lists 9 Scouts in total along with a similar number of Gazelles, and 6 of the Scouts were belonging to 3CBAS! However they do list 3 which were loaded onto the impressed MV Europic Ferry and departed for the war zone on April 25th as part of 656 Squadron. Wiki says XT629 from 3CBAS was shot down by a Pucara with the pilot being killed and the crewman losing a leg,, and XR628 of 656 Squadron, having gone into a low hover to avoid A-4 Skyhawks, suffered a gearbox failure when climbing away after they left. The crew survived and the airframe was recovered but subsequently written off. They also say 3 Gazelles were shot down, one by friendly fire when lack of IFF resulted in it being mistaken for an Argentinian C-130 by HMS Cardiff!

 

Anyway, most of the decs are on.

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I am doing it as XT637, one of the 3 656 Squadron Scouts embarked on MV Europic Ferry - I still have to add the aircraft letter "F" on the tail once I put the rotor drive section on. As I mentioned previously, the kit has the early this tapered tail rotor but I am fitting the later broad parallel sided one you can see behind the kit which comes in 2 parts. Following an accident the red/white stripes were changed to black/white, and rather than try and paint them I printed off some decs which look like they might just work - once dry I will trim them back!

 

Getting there slowly.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Posted (edited)

Bit more progress. As expected the skid undercarriage was a fiddle and is rather flimsy.

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The Air Graphics update set is pretty good though the instructions are a bit basic - "add/replace" is about all they say. The bulged door set were a bit on the thick side even after I sanded them down, hence I suspect the problem with the top glazing, but it does look the part. All I have to do now is add the tail rotors, paint and assemble the main rotors, and finish painting the engine and gearbox. The last thing to go on will be the probe/pitot under the Port side of the nose. I have added a couple of blade aerials, one in front of the windscreen and one under the fuselage. To avoid masking I will brush paint a coat of Winsor and Newton Matt varnish on.     

 

Probably not very accurate but a bit better than the basic kit!

 

Pete

 

                                                                                                                                             

Edited by PeterB
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That looks very good Pete but I would tone down the gloss finish somewhat.  I know that these aircraft have a gloss type finish, but that is when viewed close up.  Your views are typical of looking at them 20-30m away and the distance effect does tone down that gloss.

 

cheers,

 

Mike

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  • PeterB changed the title to Westland Scout**FINISHED***

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