1⁄48Defender of Malta
HistoryThe Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although largely overshadowed by the Supermarine Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF's air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.
The 1930s design evolved through several versions and adaptations, resulting in a series of aircraft which acted as interceptor-fighters, fighter-bombers (also called "Hurribombers"), and ground support aircraft. Further versions known as the Sea Hurricane had modifications which enabled operation from ships. Some were converted as catapult-launched convoy escorts, known as "Hurricats". More than 14,583 Hurricanes were built by the end of 1944 (including at least 800 converted to Sea Hurricanes and some 1,400 built in Canada by Canadian Car and Foundry).
The Sea Hurricane Ib was a Hurricane Mk I version equipped with catapult spools plus an arrester hook. From July 1941 they operated from HMS Furious and from October 1941, they were used on Merchant aircraft carrier (MAC ships), which were large cargo vessels with a flight deck enabling aircraft to be launched and recovered. A total of 340 aircraft were converted.
History adapted from Wikipedia.
The ModelThis is a 1/48th scale Hasegawa Sea Hurricane Mk Ib which I recently completed. This was a special edition Hurricane kit offered by Hasegawa some years ago which featured a resin insert for the underside, which depicts the tail hook apparatus for the airplane.
AssemblyAssembly was relatively simple. The underside of the fuselage was cut out and the resin insert was installed and it fit remarkably well. The kit cockpit was used although I did add some belts to the seat which were made from masking tape and painted with Vallejo colors. My main issue with the kit was the huge punch marks in the landing gear wells. Due to their location they were going to be impossible to sand and fill. Therefore, I filled them as best I could with Tamiya putty and then patted down the filler. Following that, I cut out pieces of 3M 2090 tape and covered over the areas where the punch marks were. I then added plumbing and wiring over that and painted the bays silver. A wash of Pledge Floor Wax and Acrylic NATO black paint was then applied to the bays.
Painting and finishingOnce the plane was assembled, it was primed with Testors Enamel Primer. After all the seams and blemishes had been addressed the aircraft was painted with Tamiya Sky, Polly Scale Extra Dark Sea Grey and Model Master Slate Grey. Post shading was applied over all three colors. The yellow ID panels on the wings and tail were also sprayed on using Model Master Insignia Yellow. All panel lines were then drawn with a .005 Micron Ink Pen. The panel lines were then shaded with an airbrush application of Tamiya Smoke thinned with Tamiya Thinner. Gun residue was airbrushed on using Tamiya NATO black applied at low pressure. A wash of Testors CREATEFX Black was applied to various recesses and raised areas as well. Testors CREATEFX Silver was used to depict worn areas on the metal parts of the Sea Hurricane. Fluid leaks and streaking were also added using oil paints which were streaked with a small brush. Exhaust stains were airbrushed on using Tamiya Deck Tan. Vertical water streaks through the exhaust stains were added by drawing pencil lines and smudging them with a small brush. Hasegawa only provides a closed canopy with the kit so I chose to use a Squadron vacu-form canopy since I like the looks of the Hurri with an open canopy.
A gloss coat of Pledge Floor Wax was added, prior to decalling. At this point I added additional weathering to the airplane by using the oil paint “dot method” and mineral spirits which was applied over the gloss finish. The plane was now ready to decal. I chose to depict a Sea Hurricane, V7077, from 801 Sqn. off the HMS Eagle during Operation Pedestal during the Malta relief efforts. This was one of four Sea Hurricanes which was in the air when HMS Eagle was sunk. The plane landed on HMS Victorious and subsequently joined that air wing. The roundels and fin flash from the Hasegawa kit sheet were used. The serial number came from a Hobbycraft Fleet Air Arm sheet and the “H” came from a Kagero/Cartograf 1/32 scale Spitfire sheet. At this point, a flat coat of Testors Dullcote and Metalizer Thinner was applied.
ConclusionDespite the enormous punch-marks in the wheel bays and Hasegawa only providing a one piece canopy, this was an enjoyable build and the kit makes for a good-looking Sea Hurricane replica. I wanted to depict a worn Sea Hurricane to reflect the hectic pace of operations during Pedestal as the Allies frantically got relief and supplies through to Malta.
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