By the end of my previous post in this build log, I’d managed to get the aeroplane mostly assembled and primed. The next task was an all-over coat of Tamiya gloss black (softened with a little white and blue), ready for decals and weathering. Once that was in place, I was able to add the engine cowling and slats.
The kit decal sheet provided pre-1942 roundels and flashes, appropriate for this aircraft, and I used a sheet of red 8″ RAF letters from Fantasy Printshop for the tail number.
I also added white rungs to the ladder—in the real aircraft these were painted for easy visibility in moonlight, as people scrambled in and out of the rear compartment during a frantic few minutes on the ground. You may also notice see the little scrawled “4” next to the ladder. In her marvellous memoir French Resistance In Sussex, Barbara Bertram recorded that the number of packages in the rear compartment was always marked in chalk on the side of the aircraft, to ensure that everything was unloaded.
Next, marking up the panel lines and adding a little light weathering and a few paint chips around the removable panelling. I used some LifeColor Liquid Pigment for this, switching from pale shades on the black paint to dark shades on the roundels and flashes.
After a coat of matt varnish I removed the paint masks and the two canopy sections I wanted to model as being open.
Then some small parts were put in place—the front cowling and exhaust, the message hook, and a radio aerial under the fuselage. Most Lysander III’s had a radio wire running from above the cockpit to the tail, directly above the rear compartment. This was omitted in the Special Duties Lysanders, presumably to avoid garotting passengers in the dark, and to allow this sort of thing to go on unimpeded:
Then the long-range fuel tank under the belly, which (judging from photographs) had a rather shinier finish than the fuselage.
The side window is easily modelled in the down position, since it slid down into the side of the fuselage. So I portrayed its upper edge with a styrene strip. The sliding overhead cockpit canopy is tricker, because it slid on rails to lie over the central part of the canopy, like this:
The thick kit parts don’t fit snugly one on top of the other, so I resorted to a little visual cheating, sanding off the moulded frame of the cockpit section, and extending its edges downwards with a little styrene—I’d rather have the canopy a little oversized than teetering like a small hat on a large head. Here it is, with the rails attached:
As a final touch, I added some luggage designed for O-gauge railway layouts, to portray those four items that needed to be unloaded.
So here’s the final product, as close as I can get to a Special Duties Lysander on the ground in a French field.