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KIT REVIEW


Revell Westland Lynx Mk. 8 -- 1:32 Scale



The Westland Lynx is a long-serving and highly versatile British helicopter that first became operational in 1977 and was later exported to the armed forces of over a dozen nations.  Historically, the Lynx has demonstrated remarkably versatility serving in diverse roles from tank killing to sub hunting.  Revell has recently re-released their big 1:32 scale kit of the Lynx in with parts for the Mk. 8 variant.  Let’s check it out.  

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By the mid-1960s, Great Britain was in the market for a replacement for the Westland Scout and Wasp helicopters but also wanted something beyond a UH-1 Huey.  This led to the Westland Lynx, a multi-purpose twin-engine battlefield helicopter that was both highly agile and capable of very high airspeeds.  The first Lynx prototype flew in March 1971.  It started breaking multiple speed records soon after, and as more powerful versions were produced, it kept extending those records for more than 15 years.  The Lynx is also capable for fully aerobatic flight as well. 

The first variants were produced for the British army and navalized versions followed soon after.  Depending on the version, the Lynx features a pilot and observer while British Army Lynx helicopters include a door gunner.  The cabin is accessed via large sliding doors on each side of the fuselage that can hold up to ten passengers.  There have been dozens of Lynx variants tailored to anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, vessel replenishment, search-and-rescue, airborne reconnaissance, armed ground attack, medivac, and troop transport.  Its versatility is a testament to Westland’s outstanding design. 

Armed with Sting Ray torpedoes, Sea Skua surface-skimming anti-ship missiles, and depth charges, Royal Navy Lynx helicopters were used in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) roles during the 1981 Falklands conflict.  A Lynx also launched a crippling attack on an Argentinian patrol boat using a Sea Skua missile.  Ten years later, Royal Navy Lynx helicopters were used for transport, reconnaissance, and attack during the first Gulf War.  They launched some two dozen Sea Skuas against a large contingent of the Iraqi navy in the Battle of Bubiyan and permanently crippled their warfighting capability.  British Army Lynxes went after Iraqi tank concentrations with TOW missiles leading up to and into the ground war.  Lynxes played a major role in NATO operations in Kosovo and Serbia.  By the time of the second Gulf War in 2003, they represented the primary British rotary wing platform in-theater.  The type also saw extensive duty in Afghanistan.  While the Lynx continues to fly on with many other nations such as Germany, South Korea, Oman, Thailand, and South Africa, among others, the sun set on the Royal Navy’s and British army’s last Lynx in 2017 and 2018, respectively, following some four decades of service.

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Revell’s 1:32 scale Westland Lynx Mk. 8 kit consists of 268 parts, with 254 of those parts on 13 grey injection molded polystyrene sprues and the remaining 12 clear parts on two sprues.  The full color instruction booklet organizes the build over 88 steps.  Markings for two helicopters are provided:

Strengths:  The quality of Revell of Germany (RoG, and now, it’s just Revell) new-tool kits has been high for more than a decade.  In this release, they have re-issued their 2012 new-tool Sea Lynx kit with a few new parts and decals as the Mk.8 in Royal Navy service.  In 1:32 scale, this is pretty big helicopter kit and the main rotor blades span about 17 inches.
A note on nomenclature – the kit calls this the “Lynx Mk. 8” but it was also designated (and I think most properly referred to) as the HMA.8 "Super Lynx" (HMA = Helicopter, Maritime Attack).  This was an upgraded attack model for maritime roles with a bigger powerplant, new rotor blades, an enlarged tail rotor, and a FLIR turret on the nose.

The kit itself is molded in flawless fashion, with delicately recessed panel lines, raised details, and lots of great detail, which is what 1:32 scale demands.  There is a lot detail in this kit, as it contains a very complete cockpit with very nicely done sticks, collectives, rudder pedals, and instrument panel/console details.  Instrument faces are intended to be represented by the kit decals, but lots of other features are inviting to the detail painter.  The optical quality of the clear parts is also excellent, and you’ll see the completed cockpit with quite some clarity.  A full cabin can be found aft of the two front seats, and again, it is filled with lots of solid details from the quilting on the ceiling and the walls, pipes, and other gear.

The airframe exterior is certainly another a real highlight of the kit (but see below).  The exterior surfaces of the airframe feature finely recessed panel lines and raised reinforcement “beef-up” plates.  There’s a ton of other great details from countermeasure systems including a disco ball, the FLIR turret, radome, landing gear and tires, winch and hoist system, lots of antennas, and the windshield wipers.  Armament includes a port side-mounted .50 cal door gun, and a set of two torpedoes and two Sea Skua missiles.  The rotor mast head and rotor blades also look pretty sharp.  

Both markings options include some distinctive nose art (the Lynx attached to the IRON DUKE has an Iron Man-inspired Daffy Duck on the nose) and a variety of stencils common to both markings options.  Stencils are also provided for the Sea Skua missiles.  Decal printing was done by Cartograph and it looks excellent.   

Weaknesses:  I can claim to be a longtime admirer of the Westland Lynx, but I cannot claim to be a Lynx subject matter expert.  Perhaps there are some finer details that I’ve missed, but with that said, this is a really nice kit.  I have three primary critical observations.  First, the airframe exterior seems to have been simplified.  The 1:1 scale Lynx has lots of dome-headed rivets, and this kit’s surface is rivet-less with virtually no recessed or raised rivet detail to be seen.  Even the box art shows these details, but they are not on the kit parts.  A good solution would be to get busy with adding those rivets using those provided by Archer Fine Transfers.  Also, I would opt to sand off the molded-on seatbelt detail and replace them with photoetched metal parts.  Watch out for any errant ejection pin markings and note that the engine exhausts will have a nasty seam running down the middle.  You’ll want to eliminate those. 

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Revell has produced another winning kit with their 1:32 scale Westland Lynx Mk. 8 kit.  It is overall very well done and it features a particularly nice range of interior and exterior details.  Fans of Royal Navy subject matter and large-scale helicopters in general should really enjoy this this kit of a previously underrepresented subject.

Sincere thanks are owed to everyone at Revell for the review sample.  You can find them on the web at https://www.revell.de/en/home/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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