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Pavla 1/72 scale Westland Lysander Mk.II

Kit: No. 72048
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Pavla, available from Squadron Mail Order, 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75011-5010, 972-242-8663,
Price: $32.98
Comments: Multimedia, 91 parts (52 injection-molded, 5 vacuum-formed, 34 resin 2 printed film), decals
Pros: Needed subject, good profile
Cons: Poor fit, flash on some parts, Lewis gun lacks detail, fuselage too narrow
The Lysander started out as an artillery spotter and reconnaissance aircraft with the British Army. After the battle for France, it was found that the Lysander was too slow in comparison to newer faster fighters. It was used later in training, target towing, and by the Special Operations Executive to secretly transport spies behind enemy lines.

Pavla's newest release of this RAF workhorse includes finely engraved plastic parts, along with a resin interior, bomb racks, and main-landing-gear wheels. Markings for two British and one Free French aircraft are provided. A 16-page book with 32 steps guides the modeler through to completion.

After cleaning flash from the plastic interior components, I built the cockpit subassemblies and test-fitted them inside the fuselage halves. The locating tabs were not much help. I ended up aligning the wing spars (with the fuel tank and pilot's seat attached) to the notches in the vacuum-formed canopy and windscreen. With their locations set, I glued styrene-strip supports under the interior subassemblies to hold them in place as I glued the fuselage together.

The firewall that came with the kit was oversize, so I made a new one from sheet styrene. The circular cowl assembly didn't fit the front of the fuselage, which was more oblong in cross section. I filled in the gap between the fuselage and the cowl with Microscale Kristal Klear.

Assembly of the wings, bomb racks, and landing-gear subassemblies was challenging. There were no locating marks on the fuselage showing were the landing gear pylons go. The resin bomb shackles were fragile; I broke several. I replaced the undersize landing lights on the fronts of the wheel pants with aftermarket ones. The Lewis gun in the rear cockpit doesn't have much detail.

I painted the model with Testor Model Master RAF colors and applied the decals for a No. 13 Squadron aircraft. The finished model scales to the dimensions in David Mondey's British Aircraft of World War II, but the narrow fuselage looks odd. I spent 29 hours on my sample, more than usual due to the challenging fit.

- Thomas Foti


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