Belcher Bits 1/48 Westland Lynx (Navy Version)

By Michael Benolkin

History

The Westland Lynx is a result of an Anglo-French helicopter agreement reached in April 1968. Westland was the lead for the Lynx design and this type would become the first British aircraft designed to the Metric system.

The first Lynx prototype flew in March 1971 and was developed in two primary versions, the land-based AH.1 and the shipborne HAS.2. From these two basic designs have evolved a large family of aircraft variants that serve many countries around the world. Lynx operators include the UK, France, the Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, Qatar, Denmark, Norway, and Germany.

The Kit

Belcher Bits has released kit BK5 - the Naval variant of the Westland Lynx. The Army Lynx will be released as kit BK6. With the exception of the vacuformed windscreen/window sections, this kit is 100% resin in construction.

The numerous resin parts are nicely cast with fine panel lines cast on the exterior of the aircraft as well as nicely molded quilt-patterned insulator panels on the interior cabin walls. This kit is very detailed, featuring your choice of noses, tail sections and weaponry to create one of several Naval Lynx variants.

As is typical for a Belcher product, this kit features a 16-page instruction booklet that is very well illustrated for parts placement and scrap diagrams out of actual Lynx engineering drawings that highlight key details should you want to go the extra mile.

An extensive decal sheet is also included to create one of 17 aircraft. The decals correspond to also-provided optional parts to render an accurate version of your chosen aircraft. These versions include:

  • RN Lynx HAS.2, 702 Sqn, ca 1979

  • RN Lynx HAS.2, Falklands, ca 1982

  • RN Lynx HAS.2, 815 NAS, ca 1983

  • RN Lynx HAS.3, Kuwait, ca 1991

  • RN Lynx HMA.8, Lynx Operational Evaluation Unit, 1995

  • French Navy Lynx WG.13 (modified doors not included in kit)

  • French Navy Lynx Mk.2(FN), Flotille 31F, ca 1981

  • French Navy Lynx Mk.2(FN), Flotille 34F, ca 1983

  • French Navy Lynx Mk.4(FN), ca 1990

  • Dutch Navy Lynx UH-14A, ca 1978

  • Dutch Navy Lynx Mk.80, ca 1982

  • Dutch Navy Lynx Mk.90, ca 1990

  • German Navy Sea Lynx Mk.88, 2/MFG3, ca 1985

  • German Navy Super Lynx Mk.88A, ca 1999

  • Norwegian Coast Guard Lynx Mk.86, ca 1984

  • Portuguese Navy Super Lynx Mk.95, ca 1995

Conclusion

This is the first kit on the market of the Lynx helicopter in 1/48 scale. Based on the details and options available, this is easily the best Lynx kit on the market in any scale.

This is not a beginners kit nor should it be the first resin kit an average modeler would attempt. Without the right tools and some experience under your belt, you might find yourself damaging the kit and/or adhering yourself to your project (resin kits can only be assembled with cyano (Crazy Glue). If you do have some experience working with resin and have the tools and work area suited for dealing with the trimming of resin parts and dealing with resin dust, this kit is for you!

I saw a partially built example of this kit at the IPMS/USA 2001 National Convention at the Belcher Bits booth and I was instantly impressed. The modular approach at the airframe assembly ensures the same type of hollow, spacious and detailed cabin that you would find in a plastic kit. I know that I am looking forward to building this kit myself. The major difficulty I am going to have is choosing a version and color scheme from all of the options!

If your hobby shop does not carry the Belcher Bits line of kits, details and decals, you can order them from their website at http://belcherbits.mondenet.com

My sincere thanks to Belcher Bits for this review sample!


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