Hobbycraft 1/32 Hawker Sea Fury FB11
By Thierry Laurent
- TYPE: Hawker Sea Fury FB11
- SCALE: 1/32
- COMPANY: Hobbycraft Canada
- KIT Number:
- HC1716: Cold War Fighter
- HC1717: Desert Fighter
- HC1718: NATO Defender
- MOLD CREATION DATE: 2008
KIT DATABASE ENTRY:
TWEAK LIST VERSION 1.0 (publication date: March 2009)
The following list is intended to help modelers in improving scale accuracy of an airplane model replica. In no way is it intended to support or be offensive towards a scale model company. As such, it is only the result of a progressive process and is in no way intended to be absolute or even comprehensive. Hence, it is intended to focus on commonly admitted discrepancies and will probably not cover some errors. It is up to the modeler to decide whether correcting the listed issues is worth the time and money he will have to invest in the quest for accuracy process.
No aftermarket correction or detail set is mentioned in this document as the availability of such items may be very variable. Hence, refer to other LSP sections to find relevant information. Moreover, aftermarket sets do not necessarily correct all listed issues. Please refer accordingly to relevant documentation.
- Kit is molded is neutral gray plastic. It is made of two sprues for the wings and fuselage and two other ones for the smaller parts. There is also a small clear sprue for the windshield/canopy part.
- Molding is correct but there are many molding marks to remove on the large parts. For instance, this is very noticeable behind the main wheel well. There are also surface blemishes (mainly on the wing parts). There is flash on some of the smaller parts. The panel lines are not fully correct but acceptable even if too heavy. Sanding all big parts will solve most of the aforementioned issues.
- Fit is generally very good and accordingly the kit builds easily.
- Regarding accuracy, the shapes are generally correct, the most glaring error being the upper front section and windshield location. As this seems to be mainly an enlargement of the previously released quarter scale Hobbycraft kit, detail is lacking.
NOTICEABLE FUSELAGE ISSUES (from front to rear)
- The spinner is too simplistic as such and should be either reworked or replaced. Its tip is too pointy and should be sanded to restore a better cross section. Moreover, a small round panel should be added on the tip. One line should be engraved around the spinner to simulate its different sections. Holes should be extended behind the blades fixing (to get an oblong result) and some angled grooves should be engraved to depict more correctly the separation between the spinner and its support plate. Moreover some prominent screw heads are also missing (two between each blade couple). Blades are not perfectly shaped but acceptable as such. However, assembling them correctly without relying on a jig will be very difficult.
- Even if it is not very visible, the part depicting the front part of the Centaurus engine is not adequate for such a large scale kit. Moreover, it is located far too forward as the two cylinder head rows were hidden behind the large service hatches. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of options to correct this and this asks for a major rebuild of the nose section. Besides scratch building new cylinders, the Beaufighter Hercules cylinders may be an alternate source to build a better engine (but keep in mind that the Centaurus used four more cylinders than the Hercules). This will be mandatory if you want to open some of the engine service hatches. if you do not want to modify the engine ring part, paint it flat black.
- The fuselage upper area forward of the windscreen is noticeably incorrect. It is divided into flat facets whereas it should be round. Sand to restore a smooth round section with new panel lines. The slope between the windshield and the nose is also too steep. However, restoring the correct round profile over the top of the nose section and, as explained here under, relocating the windshield will result in a far better replica, the resulting slope becoming acceptable in comparison with scale plans.
- The exhausts are not opened and have a conical and too thin section whereas they should be cylindrical tubes. Therefore, replacing them with thin tubing is necessary. Moreover, add the missing surface details on the tubes end (such as the clips fixing them to the protecting plate). To be able to use a correct tubing section, sand the thickness of the plate protecting the exhausts has the kit section looks more like armor plate than metal sheet. Note that prominent screws heads should be added on this plate.
- The slit at the rear of each cooling sliding gill (located behind the exhausts) should be carefully enlarged to depict a thinner metal sheet edge. Moreover, a line should be engraved on the gill upper edge to simulate a separate moving panel. Another option asks for removing the kit section to add a thinner, scratch-built panel.
- There should be three fasteners on each side of the engine cowling and two behind it. Only the former ones are engraved. However, the central one is larger than the others and they are simply simulated by a rectangular line. All five fasteners should be thinner, have the same length and width and be far more detailed.
- The kit has no engraved port side step door. It is only simulated by an under scaled decal. Note this door automatically opened when the landing gear was extended.
- The Perspex round glass protecting the canopy jettison emergency handle is missing on the port side. Simply use a 3,5mm drill to simulate the conical-shaped recess before adding the handle and the glass.
- When the saddle is extended the port side hand hold is automatically opened (bottom-up). Note that the saddle part is far too thick and its handle is missing.
- Most FB11s had a SCR522 radio system whip antenna behind the end of the canopy central guiding rail. However, on some batches, the antenna was relocated near the fin upper edge (e.g. on some Canadian airframes).
- The rudder separate parts do not have the rounded front edge they should have. This will be very noticeable if the rudder is angled. Moreover, the rudder actuator parts that should be located under the tail planes are missing. The two missing notches of the hinges and their mechanism should be added as well. Last but not least, the rudder tab actuator should be added on the port side (near the rudder lower edge).
- Either separate tail planes elevators or engrave deeper grooves to simulate separate parts.
- The kit lacks the small nav. lights located under the tail planes.
- The arresting hook is very basic (no part to depict the release and support mechanism) and the hook itself is too thin. There were four large bolts near the hook to secure it to the tube.
NOTICEABLE WING/WEAPONS ISSUES
- Wing cross section is incorrect as the under section is more rounded than the upper one. This is far from obvious unless if the wing is cut to be depicted folded. Correcting this is nonetheless recommended to fold the wings. This is far from impossible but will be time consuming (thin wing halves edges with a motor tool and use CA to glue correctly shaped cross members to restore an accurate airfoil).
- Either separate wing ailerons or engrave deeper grooves between them and the wing to simulate separate parts. Do not forget drilling square holes and add plastic bits to depict the hinges. Keep in mind that they stay neutral when the plane is parked but tip outwards a few degrees when the wings are folded.
- Aileron trim tab trailing edge should not be aligned with the aileron edge but protrude a little bit. Moreover, the small actuator is missing. To solve this, cut them, add a strip on the rear and re-glue them.
- Gun muzzles should be added. Note that the outboard ones protrude more than the inboard ones. Note as well that the wing holes for the gun muzzles are more oval than rounded. If you use the gun muzzle as a central reference point, the lower lip of each hole is lower in relation with this central point. Use a round file to enlarge the lower edge of each hole to simulate this.
- The gun camera is missing on the port wing front edge (near the gun muzzles holes).
- The port oil cooler wing intake is a little bit too shallow. It needs to be deeper with the lower lip cut back a bit. The mesh pattern is incorrect. On FAA airframes, the mesh was fixed by nine verticals iron stripes whereas other ones only use five of them. Some airframes had an odd conical shaped folded iron sheet part on the starboard side of the intake, just in front of the mesh. This cover directed fresh air in a small round hole located in the intake side. Note as well that the rear section under the wing should be made of a movable outlet flap. Engrave deeper grooves or rebuilt this with plasticard to simulate the separate part.
- The drop-shaped bulges protecting the gun breeches should have a longer and pointier end. More precisely, their end should go further than the rear panel line (this is why triangular extensions have been added to the panel end). Moreover, all gun and ammo service hatches are fixed by dzus fasteners that are not reproduced on the kit.
- Note that there should be signaling pegs (with a flat mushroom-shaped head profile) on the port wing surface: one located near the fuselage that went out when the landing gear was down and the other, located near the wing hinge, which protruded when the wings were folded (or more precisely when their folding mechanism was unlocked). To simulate this, drill a very small hole and add a rod with a round plastic disk glued on the top.
- Kit has no launching hook. This should protrude from a small well located between the oblong intake louvers at the root of the wing bottom surface. Note that the well is not round: its shape looks like a 0 with parallel sides and a pointed rear end.
- Many service panels under the wings were fixed by prominent screws or dzus fasteners. The kit has none of them. Ideally, they should be added as on weathered airframes, some were very obvious. This was for instance the case near the large intake louvers located on the underside of the plane, near the wing root.
- The landing lights are missing on the wings underside. Note that their protection glass is not round. Under port wing, light is amber whereas under the glass of the starboard one there are two lights: red (front) and green (rear). Add the lights, their support structure, the electrical wires and the wing strengtheners around the lights.
- The ammunition chute holes should be opened in the bottom of each wing.
- Flaps hinges should be visible through some small square notches whereas the kit has none of them. Moreover, a simple line (not fully correct) depicts the separation between the wing and flaps. Either separate flaps or engrave deeper grooves between them and the wing to simulate separate parts.
- A small drain tube should protrude from each side of the bottom of each wing root trailing edge.
- The kit has separate parts for the wing tip lights. Unfortunately they are not clear molded. Replace them with clear parts. Drill a hole to simulate the bulb, paint it, then glue, sand and polish the new parts.
- Add a thinner pitot tube in port wing front edge.
- Drop tanks are correct. Bombs and rockets are however on the heavy side. The bombs pylons should be far more detailed: a lip is missing around the pylon edge (against the wing surface), the bomb hanging lock mechanism is missing and the stabilizing arms need more details). The bomb round fin should be sanded or replaced to restore a metal sheet thickness. The same job should be done for the rocket fins. Rockets seem to be a little bit under scaled (more particularly the warhead).
NOTICEABLE COCKPIT ISSUES
- The Sea Fury pit is a busy area with many switches, electrical lines, boxes and so on. The kit cockpit is very basic. This will ask for aftermarket replacement or major rebuild as all parts are either simplified or incorrect (tub, seat, IP, control column, throttle, etc.). Moreover, some obvious items (such as the compass) are missing. If you choose the hard way to enhance the cockpit, keep in mind that most of the details are black-painted and will not be really visible. Hence, if you want to save time, dedicate most of your time to the seat area and drill out the IP dials to add some instrument decals. Note that there were major instrument differences between batches of single seat Furies (more particularly the front IP side panels). Last, do not forget adding the oxygen hose on the seat port side.
- The cockpit sills are far too thick. They should be sanded from the internal side of the fuselage. Unfortunately, if you do not use an aftermarket cockpit, this will ask for a full rebuild of the sides over the consoles.
- Add a scratch-built gun-sight if you do not use an aftermarket one.
NOTICEABLE CANOPY ISSUES
- The canopy and windshield are not separated parts. Moreover, they are not correctly shaped. This is very noticeable on the windshield upper section. Replace, scratch-build or at least try to correct a little bit the profile of the parts. Last but not least, the windshield is located too high and far too backwards. It should be moved more or less 5mm near the nose. This would improve the too steep slope stance in front of the windshield and correct the too short cockpit opening issue. Keep this major change in mind if you decide to scratch-build a better cockpit.
- One notch should be cut in the lower edge of each side of the canopy edge and a small hole should be drilled further (more or less at the center of the side). Last, an oval recess should be drilled on the port side of the canopy tail.
- The rear guiding rail of the canopy is far too thick and has an incorrect section (it should be hollowed and opened on the top). Remove the molded rail and replace it with a plastic profile or strips. The canopy side guiding rails on either side of the cockpit sills are missing.
NOTICEABLE LANDING GEAR ISSUES
- The main landing gear is far too simplified. Hydraulic retraction rods are missing. Hydraulic lines and other missing details such as the tie-downs lugs should be added on the struts. Gear doors are much too thick and their shape is not fully correct but a little bit of plasticard and a sanding job may easily solve this. Most of the surface details are too flat or simplified and the 22 holes are missing at the bottom edge of each main door internal side. This is not immediately noticeable but wheels and rims are not correctly proportioned, rim details are simplistic and the four square holes are not deep enough.
- The main landing gear well is too simplified. It is a little bit too shallow, location of some strengtheners is erroneous and the cross-section is incorrect (they should have an inverted T section). Moreover, all the hydraulic tubes and hoses as well as other details are missing. Either rebuild, detail or replace the well. Detailing the existing part is an easy option. Deepen it is nonetheless not an easy job as this asks for grinding more than 1mm of the plastic thickness of the rear of the part.
- The tail landing gear is a single part (wheel and leg) with very basic details. Moreover, the diameter of the wheel rim is too small. This is far from visible but the rear bay has no detail and the doors actuators are missing.
OTHER NOTICEABLE ISSUES & MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS
- Kit has no separate flaps but this is not a real issue as they were retracted as soon as the aircraft was parked. They were only opened during take-off, landing or maintenance operations.
- Even if Hawker used primer and sanded the airplane surface to get the best aerodynamic result, some period pictures clearly show stressed skin (more particularly on the rear fuselage section and the tail) and rivet lines. Hence, check your references to determine if the airframe you want to depict may be accordingly modified.
- Kit offers standard war load configuration. However, a lot of variations were observed:
- Dual banks rocket launchers were only used in Korea during the initial period of the war (up to last months of 1951) as their intensive use was damaging the wing structure. Note dual banks rockets were used as such far later by other air forces (e.g. pictures of Cuban Furies prove it).
- Single banks rockets were used in Korea up to mid-1952. Note that as Sea Furies had to use external fuel tanks most of the time, rockets were not put on the inboard rail to avoid fouling the tanks. From this period (last HMS Glory & Ocean tour of duties), rockets were normally replaced by a couple of 500 lbs bombs. Later, 1000 lbs. bombs were also used but this asked for the help of RATOG rockets.
- Bomb mountings were not only mounted on the same location than the fuel tanks. As external fuel tanks were generally necessary for autonomy reasons, the bomb launchers were often relocated on the position of the central rocket launcher station. Moreover, it is not rare to see pre-Korea FAA Furies (or Canadian or even Cuban) with such a configuration AND inboard and outboard rocket launchers.
- Some Sea Furies were used for photographic reconnaissance missions. Such planes were normally equipped with two F24 cameras (as used in the Seafires FR47). One had to be used through a port in the starboard side (the port replaced the fuselage oblong panel with rounded corners located near the wing root trailing edge) and the other was normally located vertically in front of this one, behind the radio boxes. This implies that a camera window had to be put in the belly. However, no picture of such a belly window port has been found. Pictures show that some Australian Sea Furies used camera ports on both sides. This field modification was not fully satisfactory as the Centaurus engine leaks dirtied the windows. To solve this, FAA Furies of HMS Glory used an expedient solution: a modified fuel tank with cameras shooting through one or two cut ends.
- Using the same parts to depict all Sea Fury single seat types result in some obvious errors. For instance:
- FAA FB11 and Dutch FB50 Sea Furies had very different front IPs.
- Some airplanes such as FAA WJ232 had a small camera port on the starboard side, near the wing trailing edge. In this case, a small additional control box was installed in the cockpit.
- The single one-seat West German Fury was unarmed and de-navalized.
- The so-called "Baghdad Furies" had no wingfold and hook mechanisms. Moreover, their rudder was differently shaped (FB60 had the initial prototype type also used on many two-seaters). Hence, check which version you want to depict to modify the kit accordingly.
Each kit has two large sheets of very good quality decals covering five or six different airframes:
- The "Cold War Fighter":
- FB 11, WJ232, 802 Sqn, Royal Navy, O-114, HMS Ocean, Korea, Aug 1951.
- FB 11, VX726, 802 Sqn, Royal Australian Navy, K-101, HMAS Sydney, Japan, 1952.
- FB 11, WH589, Royal Australian Navy, NW-115, RAN Bankstown, 1968.
- FB 11, 42, FAR (Cuban Air Force), Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961.
- FB 11, 41, FAR, Post Invasion, 1961.
- The "Desert Fighter":
- FB 11, 703, Egyptian AF, Suez, 1956.
- FB 11, Egyptian AF, 1948.
- FB 11, Royal Iraqi AF, 1956.
- FB 11, Royal Iraqi AF, Habbaniya, 1950.
- FB 11, Royal Iraqi AF, 1952.
- FB 11, L976, 9 Sqn, Pakistani AF, 1949.
- The "NATO Defender":
- FB 11, TG118, 107, 870 Sqn, Royal Canadian Navy, 1952.
- FB 11, TG117, VG-ZZA, Royal Canadian Navy, 1950.
- FB 11, WG566, VG-BCA, 803 Sqn, Royal Canadian Navy, 1952.
- FB 11, 6-8. 3 Sqn, Royal Netherlands Navy, 1956.
- FB 11, D-CACY, Luftfahrt Beratungsdienst, 1966.
The following sources were used to build this list.
- Buttler, Tony, Sea Fury in British, Australian, Canadian & Dutch Service, Dalrymple & Verdun, 2008.
- Darling, Kev, Hawker Sea Fury, Warbird Tech vol.37, Specialty press, 2002.
- Harrisson, W.A., Hawker Sea Fury, Warpaint series n°16, Hall Parks books.
- Mackay, Ron, Hawker Sea Fury in Action, Aircraft in Action n°117, Squadron Signal Publications, 1991.
- Pelletier, Alain, Hawker Sea Fury, Ouest-France editions, 1983.
- Scale Models Magazine(October 1983 is particularly recommended)
- Scale Aviation Modeller International Magazine
- Model Airplane Monthly Magazine
- Wingmasters Magazine
- Replic Magazine(issue 191 has an excellent walk-around)
- Model Airplanes News Magazine
- Various web pages (LSP, Cybermodeler and different online walk-arounds)
© Thierry Laurent 2009
This article was published on Friday, September 16 2016; Last modified on Friday, September 16 2016