by Lee “Safety Stick” Parnell
The Westland Lynx AH Mk.1 was the principle attack helicopter of the British Army Air Corp for most of the eighties and nineties. Whilst it wasn’t as heavily armoured or armed as the Apache WAH-64 that replaced it, it was a relatively light and nimble airframe with a useful weapon load of eight TOW anti-tank weapons.
Attack helicopters are a useful tool on the modern battlefield and would be a near necessity to stop an armoured thrust by Nathan’s Russian armour. I decided to pick up a pair of H&R’s offering to see how they looked.
This is where H&R really win out. At £1.50 a chopper they come in lower than Skytrex (£2) and GHQ (£7 for a pack of two). The GHQ model looked visually appealing on the website but for something that only appears briefly in a turn…it’s hard to justify paying twice the price of the H&R model, especially as the H&R helicopters have a fairly good reputation amongst are group. After the Mil-6 incident there was no way I was going to buy Skytrex without seeing the model first!
Rotor diameter came out at about 12.6m which isn’t far off the 12.8m from the books, something that surprised me in a good way. The length was hard to gauge as it’s from nose to tail rotor center which I made to be about 11.4m; a little short of the 12.3m in real life.
I’m not sure I trust that measurement though. Gut feel is that the overall dimensions are right.
Mould quality was variable. In general, detail was crisply captured. I had one Lynx with minimal mould lines and one that had quite bad flashing. The mould runs down the vertical centre of the model which leaves the mould line in between the two engine fairings, a bitch to clean up.
On both Lynx, the mould really broke down around the tail rotor/stabilizer junction. That must be a bitch to mould without it bleeding out so it may have benefited from having the tail rotor and/or stabilizer as a separate bit to get a cleaner mould. It took a bit of butchering to clean up, and the worse of the two lynx still has a faint line along its nose. A bit of a shame.
Pretty good. The model is made of multiple parts so the launchers, skids and main rotors are pretty accurate in shape and size with no need for filling in that a single piece model requires.
The fuselage has the rather sporty lines of the Lynx captured well. My only issue would be the engine pods which don’t really look anything like the much smoother blended ones on a lynx. The pods sharply contrast with the hull with and abrupt start and a just as abrupt rear! In reality, the intake is quite curved (thanks to particle separator) and the rear blends back into the hull with two circular exhaust vents venting sideways. It doesn’t stop the model being obviously a Lynx but it does stop it being a great rendition of the aircraft.
In some ways the model is very well detailed. The TOW pods look the business and the forward hull and tail boon are both captured well, with the canopy galzing and TOW optics turret well defined and realised. Major aerials are also present on the fuselage and tail boon which was an unexpected but welcome level of detail. However, there are a few little odd errors:
1. Although the main glazed canopy panels are very well defined, making painting easy, the model is missing the two, relatively large, windows in the lower hull. I ended up painting them on by eye alone!
2. The Cabin Door is a bit short in length which throws off the reference points of the model and makes the rear fuselage look oversized. It bugged me for ages what was making the back of the fuselage pod so weird until I realized. The Cabin Door is also modelled with two small windows rather than the single large on in reality (its never had two small windows).
3. As mentioned, the engine pods are completely wrong and are lacking in detail compared to the rest of the model. There’s no intake detail and exhaust vents are missing, necessitating painting on two gunmetal grey circles in roughly the right place! It’s quite a jarring drop in detail when the forward hull and TOW launchers are so nice.
Much as the form, what’s there is really good. But its let down a little by what has been missed off.
Overall, the model was a fun one to paint, even if the preparation was a little laboured due to the mould lines. There was just enough detail to make for an effective and interesting paint job and the form leaves no doubt as to what the model represents.
I do find it a little sad that, but for an extra bit of attention to the engine pods, the model would really rival the GHQ model at a fraction of the price. As it is, the H&R lynx is still very good value for money and I would certainly suggest you consider how much worth your going to get out of the extra £2 you pay for the GHQ model.
If you’d like to know more about how I painted the Lynx (pedantic levels of fine detail included) then head over to my blog here.