May 2017

Lynx HMA.8

Trident 1c

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Agusta Westland Lynx HMA.8

815 Squadron, HMS SOMERSET 2010.

Hobbyboss 1/72 with scratch conversion & Xtradecal markings

The Lynx has formed the backbone of the Royal Navy’s small ship helicopter force since the early 1980s , seeing active service across the world. Armed with Sting Ray torpdoes, Mk.11 depth charges, Sea Skua anti-ship missiles or a range of gun packs and mounts, the Lynx was specifically developed to operate from the small decks of Frigates and destroyers in extreme conditions..

The final deployment of the Lynx in Fleet Air Arm service ended in March 2017 when HMS PORTLAND’s Lynx HMA.8 returned to 815 Sqn’s base at RNAS Yeovilton for the last time.  

Over the years there have been a number of kits of the naval Lynx in 1/72 scale, from the early FROG issue (which is roughly based on the prototype), through a very basic Matchbox offering, to a relatively nice, but basic Fujimi kit.  For many years the best option was the late 1970s Airfix kit, which is also fairly basic, but captures the shape well and has been issued in a range of variants form the early Mk.2 through to the current Mk.8.

More recently  Hobbyboss have produced a modern Lynx kit, very nicely engineered and using state of the art moulding technology.  Unfortunately, whilst an easy and satisfying build, it suffers form some significant shape and detail issues. These are particularly noticeable on the Mk.2 and Mk.3 issues, but for the later variants, the more complex nose shape hides some of the faults and allows a reasonable replica to be made with only a few simple changes.

Most of my kit modifications were scratch built from sprue and the spares box, some of which can be seen above:

The real thing - Lynx HMA.8 at RNAS Yeovilton

Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident 1C

British airways, Turnhouse (Edinburgh Airport) 1981.

Airfix 1/72 OOB


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Background Image: Royal Navy Lynx at the Yeovilton Airshow

Have a look at my Friends and Allies pages for more civil aviation.

Rather like the TSR2, the Hawker Siddeley Trident  epitomised the fatal flaws in the post WW2 British aircraft industry.  Technologically advanced and superbly engineered, its original design might have been a world-beater, but was scaled back to meet a very tight and specific market requirement (set by government owned BEA) which had disappeared before it was ready to enter service.  In its original form it would have competed on equal terms with the Boeing 727, but it ended up underpowered and too small.  Along with the (even smaller) BAC1-11 and BAe 146, a lack of strategic market awareness, with an overemphasis  on costly technological advances condemned the British civil aircraft industry to oblivion by the end of the 1980s.

Nevertheless, the Trident was a successful aircraft that pioneered the use of automated landing systems, and is still one of the fastest airliners ever built.  

This is the rather ancient (first issued 1966) Airfix kit in one of its 1990s incarnations.  Fit and assembly is surprisingly good, however it suffers from a number of shape and detail errors that do require some effort to resolve.  With the exception of one of these, I have left the kit as intended by Airfix;  I felt that I had to offset the sideways folding nose wheels to port as this is such an unique and bizarre feature of the Trident, driven by the need for a large electronics bay in the aircraft’s nose.  The other obvious errors are the lack of an kink in the middle of the wing and the absence of the large wing to fuselage fairing and fillet at the rear of the wings.  I understand that the cabin window layout is not correct either. Nevertheless, as an example of roughly what a Trident would look like, it is good enough for me!

After the rather disappointing cabin window effect on my Embraer kit last month, I tried a different approach with these, placing a black backing piece behind them and using Krystal Clear to glaze the gaps after painting - it looks to have been a reasonable success, so I will do this again in future!

Have a look at my Helicopters pages for more RN and other rotary wings.

The real thing (centre), along with a Vickers VC10 and BAC 1-11 at the IWM Duxford

And finally…. My Lynx fleet so far!