ARC! Here is my Airfix AH.7 Lynx. I wanted to finish it as the
aircraft I saw at the helipad at SFOR HQ while I was deployed to Bosnia back in
97-98. This kit fits like a dream, until you introduce some Photo-Etch.
The tolerance of the plastic parts is SO fine... How fine is it? It
is sooo fine... the fit gets thrown off because of some of the PE parts.
For example, I had quite the gap to deal with around the windshield, and the
center part of the lower fuselage had a bit more gap to fill than it would have
if I had not used the PE set.
In order to match the Lynx in the photo, I had to scratch build the search light, as well as the steps on the front end of the skids. The cargo hook was embellished with some steel wire to represent the electrical connectors. I also made the inlet FOD screens out of steel mesh and strip plastic using the clear kit parts as a guide. As for mission equipment, I remember the Lynx only having the one machine gun mounted on the left hand side. After having scoured the internet for references, I came across a forum thread where one of the former Lynx crew members described having a gun mounted on the left, and mounting 3 TOW missiles on the right, so I went ahead and built mine that way in order to have a more interesting configuration.
I painted the camouflage using a combination of Tamiya acrylics and Model Master enamels, giving them each enough time to dry and cure between coats. I also masked and painted the SFOR stencils on the sides of the transition section and on the tail rotor pylon. The "s" is smaller than the rest of the stencil because the aircraft were originally marked as IFOR, but when the mission changed, they just painted over the "i" with an "s", which sometimes didn't fit in the space provided. Bosnia got kind of muddy at times, so I muddied up the skids and cabin area with Tamiya weathering powders. Finally, the base is a bit of scrap pine and Popsicle sticks cut to size and covered with kitchen foil and weathered with paint and powders in my attempt to represent the steel planks that were the helipads at SFOR headquarters in Ilidza.
Overall this is a great kit, but if you use any photoetch sets with this one, be prepared for some extra sanding and filling. I really enjoyed putting this one together and its now a small reminder of some of the more exciting days of my youth. Thanks for looking!
Ramon R. Lomeli
Photos and text © by Ramon R. Lomeli