by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
The kitEduard's Lysander Mk III arrives in a solid conventional box with the parts bagged separately for protection. A nice touch is that the delicate resin parts are further protected with a layer of bubble-wrap. The kit comprises:
93 x grey styrene parts (16 not needed)
7 x clear styrene parts
14 x beige resin parts
112 x etched metal parts (some pre-painted) with an accompanying clear film for gunsights.
A set of canopy masks
Decals for 4 x colour schemes
The basic Lysander is a few years old now (originally released under the Gavia label), but you'd hardly guess it from the crisply moulded parts. There are no signs of flash or sinkage, and the knockout pins are kept out of harm's way and shouldn't be visible.
Surface finish consists of precisely engraved panel lines with some raised details like fasteners and vents. The extensive fabric areas are nicely handled - perhaps not quite as subtle as Eduard's latest efforts, but still very good and without the exaggerated "sagging" evident in some other kits.
A test fit of the main parts shows no problems. The fuselage and tail line up well enough, as do the wings halves. You can't actually attach the wings until the complex cockpit structure is fitted.
Complex cockpit? Eduard have gone to town on what is one of the high points of the kit. With a mix of styrene, etched and resin items, the cockpit is made up from more than 60 parts. There are pre-painted seat harnesses, instrument panel, consoles and fascias. Meanwhile, the standard etched fret supplies a delicate basket-style pilot's seat, a perforated gunner's seat and a multi-part mounting for a finely cast resin Lewis gun.
Unlike in their previous "ProfiPack" Lysander, Eduard have left Gavia's styrene engine pretty much alone. For the most part, this is no great loss, as their resin engine cylinders last time weren't a major improvement over the original styrene ones, but it is disappointing to see that the resin exhaust collector ring hasn't been included again. With this release, there are etched push-rods and mounting bracket, resin oil cooler intakes and a 4-part etched adjustable-style carburettor intake that must be folded to shape. The propeller blades seem a little flat, so I'll have to check Hendon's Lizzie next time I've helping behind the scenes.
A big plus over Gavia's kit is the provision of etched bomb racks - Mk.1 Light Series and Universal No.1 carriers. It's just a shame that there are no stores to hang from them.
The transparencies are crystal clear with sharp frame details and a real bonus is the set of die-cut kabuki tape painting masks that will save a lot of hassle. The gunner's canopy is correct for the Mk.IIIA, with a "kink" in the front and a longer lower edge. Unfortunately, this is a problem here, because the Finnish Mk. IIIs were taken from the first production batch (s/n R8991 - R8999 became LY114 - LY122) and, as such, should carry the early-style canopy with a straight front edge. Modification is going to be very difficult, entailing changes to both the canopy and fuselage, so most modellers will probably have to just turn a blind eye to the issue if they want to use the Finnish markings. (Thanks to Steffen Arndt for alerting me to the problem.)
Last, but certainly not least, is the undercarriage and Eduard have included a nice set of resin skis. They have detailed legs, but these will be hidden under etched collars. Perhaps they can be displayed in a servicing scene - if not, a solid resin plug would have been simpler and provided a stronger attachment.
Instructions & DecalsThe assembly diagrams are clearly drawn, breaking construction down into 21 logical stages. As usual, Eduard recommend Gunze Sangyo paints throughout.
In a new move, Eduard have followed the style set by Classic Airframes by printing the painting guide in black and white, with colour artwork available on-line. The four schemes featured are:
A. LY-116, 2/LeLv 16, Hirvas, January 1943
B. LY-118, 2/LeLv 16, August 1945
C. LY-119, 2/LeLv 16, Viiksjärvi, February 1942
D. LY-120, 2/LeLv 16, Nurmoila, June 1942
The decals are very nicely printed in perfect register on the review sample. The items are thin and glossy with minimal carrier film evident. Full Hakaristi (Finnish swastikas) are provided.
ConclusionEduard's Limited Edition Lysander is quite a complex kit and experienced modellers will relish the challenge of the comprehensive etched details and well-cast resin parts. Needless to say, these extras do push up the price - consequently, it's almost twice the cost of the original Gavia which has been out of production for some time. Perhaps Eduard can be convinced to also release a Weekend Edition Lysander that would be more suitable for beginners.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.