Hawk 1/48 Westland Lysander Mk.II Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Westland Lysander Mk.II
In the mid-1930s, the British Army was looking for a liaison aircraft to replace the Hawker Hector. The Air Ministry released the requirement to selected companies and Westland was not on the initial list of invitees. When they did receive their opportunity, Westland's designers went beyond the specification and interviewed the pilots to see what capabilities were the most important. The key features they wanted were visibility, low-speed handling, and short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities.
The resulting design, internally designated as P.8, featured a high wing, an advanced aerodynamic wing with leading edge slats, slotted flaps, and an adjustable tailplane for low-speed pitch trim authority. Powered by an air-cooled Bristol Mercury engine rated at over 800 horsepower, the aircraft could take-off and land in very small fields, climb at over 1400 feet-per-minute, had a useful load of nearly 1800 pounds, and a range of 600 miles.
Compared to the German equivalent - the Fieseler Storch, the Lysander was twice as fast, could climb about 50% more per minute, and had more than double the range. While the empty weight of the Lysander was also twice that of the Storch, that also made the aircraft more tolerant of less-than-ideal field conditions where a stray gust of wind could flip a lighter aircraft on the ground.
In case you missed the news last year, Round 2 Models acquired the tooling and brands for the former Hawk and Lindberg kit lines and have been steadily rolling out subject we haven't seen in a while. Here is one such example, the 1/48 Lysander kit. I've built a few of these kits many decades ago including one of the 'chromed' kits (if you remember those).
This kit is very simple to assemble and is perfect for younger and/or less experienced modelers wanting to gain a little more experience with the basics. The kit assembles into a nice model though more experienced modelers will be looking for more details such as the Gavia/Eduard 1/48 Lysander kit. But if you're looking for a fun project, you've come to the right place.
The kit as a basic rendering of the Mercury engine but with some painting and remembering to replicate the distinctive bronze exhaust collector that is the front of the cowling, you'll be off to a good start. The cockpit is basic but does offer two optional crew figures. The rear cockpit has a stowed machine gun provided.
The wheel spats don't have the landing light lenses provided but a little drilling and some Krystal Klear will fix that.
The decals render a 16 Sqn Lysander from RAF Cambridge (UG-E/L4806). The color callouts in the painting instructions are a bit off, but you're simply using the early-war RAF Dark Green and RAF Dark Earth on the upper surfaces with black and white on the lower surfaces. You'll find camouflage patters online (and we'll try to get some in our paint guides soon).
It is nice to see these kits reissued as they are an inexpensive way to teach modeling skills before exposing your new modeler to the more expensive (and intimidating) projects out there.
For a look at this kit built-up, look here.
My sincere thanks to Round 2 Models for this review sample!