by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
The Westland Lysander began life as an army co-operation machine, but its remarkable STOL performance hastened its adoption as a true multi-role aircraft. The Lizzie undertook ground attack missions, precision supply drops , target-towing, air-sea rescue sorties and, perhaps most famously, the dropping of secret agents behind in occupied Europe and returning passengers to Britain.
Lysanders could carry a range of light bombs and were armed with two forward-firing machine guns (if they were fitted) plus one, or two, rear firing guns for the observer. Amazingly, considering this modest armament, a Lysander claimed the first Heinkel He 111 shot down over BEF territory.
Introduction & Plastic PartsGavia's kit was always good, so it's no surprise to see the plastic parts looking as crisp as ever. There is next to no flash and sprue attachments are commendably thin. The detail is precisely engraved and small parts, such as the cockpit panels and engine show fine detail. The fabric effect is perhaps a bit overdone - particularly on the fuselage - but the overall quality is excellent.
Resin PartsEduard have included a pretty serious resin update set. New engine parts, open-spat wheels, bombs (absent from the original) and some cockpit parts. The quality is excellent, but the engine cylinders aren't much different from the plastic parts. I can't help feeling Eduard would have done better to provide dropped slats and flaps and a late-style carburetter intake.
Etched-Metals PartsEduard's etched sheet replaces and augments a number of plastic parts. Instrument panels (with film backing) and seat harnesses are first on the list, but there's also a mass of other cockpit and engine parts, plus intricate bomb racks and other details. In truth, the original platic cockpit are pretty good and, sometimes, HSP would be better than flat etched parts...
Instructions & DecalsEduard's instructions are clearly layed out. It's easy to follow where the new resin and metal parts replace plastic originals.
Decals are provided for 4 schemes - 2 Lysander IIIAs, a target-tower and a Special Duty agent-dropping aircraft. The decals include a range of stencils, but the roundels on my example are slightly out of register and the red used is a rather bright.
ConclusionEduard have tried to put everything in one box, but missed some details along the way. It's great to have open wheel spats and some bomb racks with ordnance, but some of the other extras are only marginal improvements over the original parts. The decal sheet is a bit disappointing - Gavia's original was arguably better. This kit isn't one to hurry - using the resin and etch parts to their best will take time, but whether this release is worth an extra £10 over the original is hard to judge...