Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Review - Model 1/72, Airfix Lynx AH1

The Lynx AH 1 entered service with the British army in 1977 with the TOW armed Attack Helicopter version first making an appearance from 1981. It remained the principal Attack Helicopter in the British army until 1988 when it was replaced through upgrade by the AH1GT and the AH7 with their distinctive burp tipped rotor blades. The conversion to AH 7 was completed in 1994, but AH1s recieved the engine and rotor mods from 1991 to become the AH1GT so TOW armed AH1 aircraft didn't quite make it to my end date of 1993. The BURP tipped rotor blades can be obtained as an aftermarket purchase form Pavla so AH1GT and AH7 variants can be modeled.

The aircraft principally served in the Attack Helicopter Squadrons of the Army Aviation regiments attached to each of the 3 Armoured Divisions in Germany although it was also deployed by UKLFs 7 Regiment, and The Royal Marines. It was also deployed as an unarmed aircraft for troop transport.

The kit is now sadly OOP but they are not difficult to get hold of either on eBay or from Model Shops. I have managed to pick up quite a few. I have built mine as the TOW armed version of the AH1 that served in BAOR from 1981 - 1991 although at a stretch you could run them onto 1994.

There are numerous air/aviation focused modelling reviews which will lay down every missing rivet, some of them are brilliant. The kit itself assembles easily and is quick to build if your painting out the windows. The only really fidly bit is the rotor head assembly and that is not that difficult.

The biggest failing of the kit from a wargames perspective are the missile mounts, whilst the mounting points are correct I am not convinced Britain ever deployed a 6 missile armed AH 1 Lynx all references and pictures that I can find show 8 missiles mounted in a two by two block either side. Having said this its a pretty straight forward problem to fix as long as your not after a high level of detail fix.

The Kit supplied mounts shown above need to be adapted to carry 4 Missiles in a 2x2 block, I also reduced the distance of the missiles from the mount although you could easily skip this step.

  • The missile mount is separated from the Aircraft mount
  • The third missile mount is removed
  • The inboard arm of the missile mount is shortened.
  • The mounting points are shortened and squared off
  • 8 15mm plastic rod lengths are cut to represent the TOW tubes

  • The 4 Tubes are then attached to the missile mount,
  • The missile mount and aircraft mount are reattached to each other
  • A mounting hole is drilled in the A/C hull bellow the door frame and above the mounting point
  • The completes unit is attached to the aircraft

I have made the rotor blades removable so can play with and without depending on the size of the Scenario.
Two primary paint schemes have been used by Army Air Corps AH1s. From 1977 to 1986 the images of Lynx AH1's show a black and green camouflage pattern. From 1987 the light grey and green pattern seems to have been introduced but not implemented immediately across the whole fleet. This is based on analysis of images in the Air Britain Photographic Images Collection that cover Lynx AH1. I have Chosen to do this one in the light grey and green scheme which makes it a late period bird.

The aircraft was airbrushed in Tamya XF-19 Sky Grey then the camouflage colour was added, Tamya XF-26 Deep Green, the whole was then washed in badab black before being highlighted in the original colours and a pin wash applied. TOW tubes were painted Vajello Russian Uniform and rotors, windows and exhaust Vajello Black Grey. Decals were from the box with different registrations being applied by re-aranging the numbers. They were mounted using Corsec enginiering flight stands on existing bases.

I found Airbrushing the aircraft quite difficult and you may wish to consider leaving rotors and missiles off the aircraft untill you have the airframe painted, however it was quick, I think the kit builds into a wonderful representation of the Aircraft and they look just like I remember them, an enjoyable build just as well as there are a few more to go.


Avistar: Westland Lynx
Air Britain Photographic Images Collection
Prime Portal Lynx AH 1 Walk around
Aviation Images - Aircraft in Detail, Westland Lynx
Scalemates Westland Lynx
British Military Helicopters, 1986, J Everett-Heath
Today's Army Air Corps, 1987, P Beaver
Kit Review

Related Posts:

ORBAT - 1980's British, Army Air Corps Aviation Regiment