Airfix 1/48 AH.7 Lynx, SFOR Headquarters, Ilidza, Bosnia 1998
Hello all! I present to you my Airfix 1/48 scale Lynx helicopter. I wanted to build this one to represent a Lynx that we landed next to in Ilidza, Bosnia, back in 1998. All I had to go on was one less-than-stellar photo that I took, so I had to do a bunch of research online to get the markings correct. In the end, I used the serial numbers that came with the kit, but just added the SFOR stencils by masking and painting and built it without the exhaust bins and sand filters. Apparently, Lynx helicopters come in a variety of configurations regarding mission equipment, so I went off of what I could make out in my photo. This means I had to scratch build the steps at the front of the skids, as well as the searchlight on the right side. I also scratch built the FOD screens on the inlets out of steel mesh and stock plastic. That was a bit of a pain but I managed to get something close to what they are supposed to be like.
For the interior, I used the Eduard photoetch detail set, as well as some leftover seatbelts from a different PE set for the back row of seats. My son gave me the first aid kits that mount behind the pilot seats from his spares box. The kit itself had such a fine tolerance for the fit of the parts that when I installed the PE set, it threw off the fit of the fuselage and cockpit. The worst part about that was a big gap between the windshield and fuselage. I hid most of that with Milliput and a lot of patient and careful sanding.
The bird in my photo had the door gun pintle mount installed but no weapon. I went ahead and took the liberty of installing the machine gun that came with the kit on the left side. As for the other side, I read somewhere from some guy that when in Bosnia, they would mount the door gun on the left, and the TOW missile system on the right. It was also stated that they only mounted the outboard missiles since the inboard ones where a pain to install, so I went ahead and configured my model as such. Hopefully I am not too far off of plausibility.
I had some technical advice from a buddy with personal experience around Lynx helicopters so he helped my get the green right, and showed me a most awesome pic of the cargo hook so that I knew where to add the electrical harness. I also added the power cable to the searchlight mounted on the skid. These were made from steel wire.
I installed the landing light in the extended position, since it wouldn't fit flush into the fuselage. On the rotor blades, there are supposed to be clear parts that represent some sort of fluid reservoir on the real thing, but the parts were very tiny and the attachment to the sprue was a bit thick and clunky. When I tried to hold the first one with my tweezers to trim and clean up the part, it pinged away from my tweezers into my carpet, never to be found again. Thanks for setting me up for failure on that one, Airfix.
Lastly, I wanted to make a base for my Lynx similar to the one that we landed on way back then. The helipads were steel planks, so I tried to represent that with popsicle sticks on a pine base, trimmed to fit and covered in foil to hide the wood grain and make it look like metal. That was followed with silver spray paint and weathered with pastels and other powders to make it not so uniform in color. The dirt came from my front yard and the grass from a Woodland Scenic diorama making set. I am not sure if I am completely happy with the results, but it will do for now.
Overall this was a great kit and fun to build. I would highly recommend it but if you use photoetch in the cockpit/cabin, dryfit, check and recheck before gluing the parts together. Sorry for being so long winded and thanks for viewing!