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Westland Lysander
Mk.III SD "Special Duties"

by Thomas Wielecki


Westland Lysander Mk.III SD "Special Duties"

images by Brett Green  

Eduard/Gavia's 1/48 scale Lysander is available online from Squadron 




After completing my first model, an Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 from Hasegawa, I wanted something different in every way. So what better than a high wing, radial engined, spatted and English aircraft from a different manufacturer. As soon as I spotted the Lysander in a hobby shop I bought it.


As my experience in plastic is limited to say the least, I can't really comment on the quality as compared to other makers. All I knew that like the Hasegawa 109, it was very nice with some minor flaws. The plastic felt somewhat different to work with. The Hasegawa  styrene was a bit more brittle and harder; while the Gavia was more like frozen chewing gum.





The main problems were the underwing struts. If placed as per instructions the Lysander would turn out with a fair bit of anhedral. The underwing holes were filled with putty and new one drilled out, no big deal. The other problem was that the cockpit was too wide for the fuselage so the floor and top ledges had to be shaved. Again not really a problem. Slight fit problems were encountered with the five piece glasshouse, but nothing that a bit of sand paper wouldn't fix.


Whatever extra detailing I added was scratch built from bits of plastic, wire and tissue paper for the harnesses. In the cockpit I only drilled out holes that were meant to be holes and not just dimples in solid plastic. The most prominent of those is the rear seat/stool that only appears to have a lap belt and in a photo reference looked like a sieve. Of course the large exhaust pipe was also hollowed out as far as possible.



Painting, Weathering and Markings


I really wanted to weather the aircraft and make it appear like it had a bit of a life and not just a hangar queen. The most troublesome step was the chipping. I tried with thin brushes and silver pencils and all I got was shapeless blotches that looked like shapeless silver blotches. I wanted chipped paint. In the end I decided to do exactly that, chip the paint. All the canvas areas were masked off and the rest of the airframe sprayed with buffable Testor's Metalliser; the stuff that stays on your fingers after it's dried. I thought if it does that then paint won't stick to it too well either and it'll be easy to chip. I was right. The whole aircraft was the sprayed with a mix of Tamiya black, navy blue and red brown in a ratio I care not to remember. All I wanted was to break the black.


Chips were then scratched off with a new blade.

Following that a wash was added, then the airfarme sprayed with gloss clear for the decals. One of the kit decal options was chosen. Delicate streaks and a bit of shading here and there was added then overcoated with matt.

A weird thing then happened. The decals would assume a perfect matt finish while the painted areas became a semi gloss. I followed some advice I saw on HyperScale and mixed some methylated spirits into the matt clear, it worked.

For those who care, the particular aircraft modelled was based at Tempsford in 1944. That's what Gavia paint option 3 tells me.


Model and Text Copyright 2004 by Thomas Wielecki
Images Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 19 May, 2004
Last Updated 20 May, 2004

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