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Dora Wings Westland Lysander

Build review of the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with a fully detailed cockpit
Molded in light gray plastic, Dora Wings’ Lysander features fine recessed panel lines and good representation of the fabric on the wings and fuselage. A small photo-etched metal (PE) fret provides seat belts, cowl flaps (both open and closed), the boarding ladder, and other small details. A resin part connects the cylinders to the exhaust collector and vinyl masks help to paint the extensive canopy. Decals provide markings for three aircraft.

Step 1 shows adding the spinner to the prop, but not shown is that Part E22 is the spinner backplate. That part is shown in Step 8 as the compass — it is too big!

The cowl comprises three parts with no locating pins. Before the glue set, I used the engine mounting plate (Part A2) to refine the fit of the parts. I left off the cowl flaps until the cowl was on the fuselage. The resin ring fit the engine, but I had to sand the outer part to get it into the cowl. Go slowly and dry-fit often until just enough material is removed for a snug fit.

The interior is detailed and the fit is pretty good and the instrument-panel decal looked great over black paint. Wait to fit the top wing support (Part E25) until you add the canopy because its placement is crucial. 

While the instructions show the fuel tank being added to the interior there are no attachment points. I glued it to one half of the fuselage making sure the other half fit. It is possible to get the interior assembly in place over the attached fuel tank with finagling. 

It took quite a bit of sanding and filing to close the fuselage around the interior, but once the body was together, it needed little filling. 

The gunsight interfered with the fit of the front canopy, so I left it off; the Mk. III (SD) wasn’t armed anyway. 

The instructions show the rear canopy glued to the rear spine plates (parts D10 and D11). Instead, I added the plates to each half of the fuselage to get the best fit and added the canopy to the completed fuselage. Before adding the cowl, I installed the lower plates, which fit well with light sanding. To aid cowl flap installation, I glued a thin styrene strip inside the cowl, leaving a little protruding as a ledge for the PE part.

Before painting, I installed the canopy parts. There are alternate parts that allow you to show the rear canopy slid back, but surprisingly the top part of the rear canopy (C2) is never shown in the instructions. I had to trim the center panels for fit. The masks worked pretty well, but I did have issues with fitting some to the curved surfaces, even though they were made in halves. I wound up using bare metal foil to mask a couple of the panels. 

I painted the Lysander with Tamiya acrylics and the decals responded well to Microscale decal solutions Set and Sol. The decal diagram for the 357 Squadron does not show the position of the serial number but it is shown on the box art. 

Once the paint dried, I added the landing gear, drop tank, wings, boarding ladder, and prop. I took an unconventional approach to install the wings by first attaching the struts to the wings, but I wish there were more positive attachment points. Once the struts were dry, the wings were added. I still had to prop up the tips until the glue set (a small Tamiya paint bottle was perfect).

I spent 27 hours building my Lysander, about a quarter of the time working on improving fit. The finished model matched perfectly to the dimensions I found. There is little that makes this is the best 1/72 scale Lysander available. It will take a modeler with some experience to build the kit, but a less experienced modeler could eliminate much of the PE and still produce an excellent model.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the May 2020 issue.
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