The Westland Lysander - Airframe Detail No.9, by Richard A. Franks (Valiant Wings Publishing, 2020)

The Westland Lysander - Airframe Detail No.9, by Richard A. Franks (Valiant Wings Publishing, 2020)

The “Airframe Detail” range of reference books by Valiant Wings Publishing need no introduction as they have become the best sources for modellers and those interested in specific aircraft. This ninth title/monograph in the popular series is about the legendary Westland Lysander. An A4 114 page volume, well bound with a glossy card cover and printed on quality glossy paper that allows excellent reproduction of images and drawings. While primarily aimed at the modeller, there is much to appeal to the historian and technically-minded person as well. This volume will undoubtedly be an essential companion for everyone tackling the Matchbox/Revell 1/32 kit, the Gavia/Eduard and the older Italeri/Hawk/Testor 1/48 scale examples or the many 1/72 scale kits from Matchbox, Airfix, Frog and the new tool Dora Wings kit released in 2020.

Inside we find a introduction of over 20 pages (“Brief History”), tracing the Lysander development, RAF and Commonwealth usage, including foreign forces, all illustrated with useful, clear photos and drawings to show variations and unusual experiments, like the “Tandem Wing Lizzie” and retractable undercarriage variant.

The “Technical Description” is the longest section of the book, at 48 pages, which give the reader an enormous number of colour and black & white photos from modern conserved and contemporary (museum) sources, along with technical manual drawings, data from flight manuals, period diagrams and excellent notes. This is really a highlight of this volume and provides an invaluable source of information for the super-detailer. It covers cockpit area, canopy, undercarriage, wing, tail, controls, engine, armament, ordnance, radio and other equipment in full detail and always with explanatory captions.

There follows a 24 page section on the “Camouflage and Markings” with many interesting schemes. Many different airframes are covered in text, photos and excellent color profiles by Richard Caruana. One page is devoted to stencil marking details, with detailed three-view line drawings in 1/48 scale – also by Richard.

The third section contains a 7 page step-by-step build by Libor Jeki, of Dora Wings’ 1/72nd scale Lysander Mk III (SD) kit. The resulting model is, as usual, of exceptional quality and detail.

Finally, there are three appendices covering, in alphabetic lists by scale, all of the Lysander kits that have been available, accessories, decals, masks and a bibliography. The fourth -and last- appendix is a list of the Squadrons and Units, both RAF and foreign, along with a brief history of each, during their time operating the type.

In conclusion, this is an extremely useful and essential book that should be in every Lysander modeller’s (regardless of scale) - or aviation historian library. If you need to buy only one book on the subject then this is it! Highly recommended!

You can order it here.