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Airfix 1/72 scale Hawker Hurricane Mk.I

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
Kit:A02067 // Scale:1/72 // Price:$9.49
Manufacturer:
Airfix
Pros:
Excellent cockpit, surface detail; good representation of fabric areas
Cons:
Large sprue gates, especially on smaller parts; cannot display canopy open; thick trailing edges
Comments:
Injection-molded, 63 parts, decals
FSM-NP0314_33
FSM-WB0914_Airfix_Hurricane_02
FSM-WB0914_Airfix_Hurricane_03
FSM-WB0914_Airfix_Hurricane_04
FSM-WB0914_Airfix_Hurricane_05
FSM-WB0914_Airfix_Hurricane_06
FSM-WB0914_Airfix_Hurricane_07

The Hurricane has been a longtime favorite modeling subject well represented in all scales. But the early Mk.I version with the two-bladed Watts propeller has not enjoyed that much coverage in 1/72 scale. Airfix responds to this deficit with its new release of the fabric-winged Hawker Hurricane Mk.I.

Molded in that now-familiar blue-gray plastic, Airfix’s molding has finely recessed panel lines which are much more to-scale than its earlier releases. The subtly rendered fabric areas are noteworthy, too. Clear parts are well done and include two windscreens, a separate canopy, and two landing-light covers. The kit offers a complete cockpit as well as decals and extra parts for two versions: an RAF machine from No. 111 Squadron, and a Belgian aircraft of Squadron 2/I/2AE (Chardon).

Construction is relatively simple and trouble free. Gear-well and cockpit detail is excellent, needing only some careful painting and scratchbuilt seat belts to complete their accuracy. 

The wings are a two-piece affair; on my sample, the outer sections of the upper halves were slightly larger than the bottom section. But a few swipes with a sanding stick took care of that problem.

The only place I had to sand for fit was where the wing and fuselage join. Some filler was also required along that seam. But that was it for the entire build.

The two-part canopy was an enigma for me. The separate aft portion doesn’t fit over the decking behind the cockpit, so it cannot be displayed opened without modification. You could sand the fuselage spine behind the cockpit until the canopy fits or, perhaps, very carefully pry the canopy wider. For a tight seam between the windscreen and canopy, I suggest gluing the canopy in position first, then attaching the windscreen to match the angle of the canopy.

Keyed wheel hubs ensure the correct angle on the gear struts. The struts, however, are delicate and require some fiddling to get in place. Exercise care here.

The choice of No. 111 Squadron appealed to me, with its three-color identification scheme on the underside of the wings and fuselage. I used Gunze Sangyo, Tamiya, and Vallejo products instead of the suggested Humbrol colors.

After a couple of gloss coats, I went to the decals. As with other recent Airfix kits, the decals worked well but silvered behind the clear areas in the serial numbers and stencils. This was particularly noticeable on the lower surface of the wing on the black side. I carefully cut around the numbers and letter in the decal and removed the cloudy areas. Obviously, I should have applied heavier layers of clear gloss. Since this version represents a machine that participated in a Bastille Day airshow in France, I expected it was free of dirt and grime. So, I kept weathering to a minimum.

I spent about 15 easy hours on this build. I think it would be suitable for a beginner, and experienced modelers will enjoy it as a respite from more-demanding builds. Either can produce a neat replica of this important early-war fighter.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2014 FineScale Modeler.

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