Fly | 32014: 1/32 Sea Hurricane Mk.IIc

Reviewed by Ray Peterson

Fly’s most recent release in their Hurricane series is the Sea Hurricane Mk.IIc. Like all of their Mk.II Hurricane kits, it comes in a two part box with nice box art which the postal service happily crushed for me. It includes four plastic sprues containing 82 parts, plus another clear sprue with thirteen parts. There are also twenty-four bagged resin parts of general Hurricane details, plus another bag with five resin parts specific to the Sea Hurricane. There are 72 PE parts, a clear film with seven different sections of printed instruments on it. Also included is a 15cm x 21cm 24-page instruction booklet, a 19.5 cm x 10.5 cm decal sheet with another small 10.5 cm x 6 cm sheet of stencils.

Overview


The plastic parts look very good for a short run kit, with crisp detail and only a hint of flash. The sprue attachments are a little thick, but not that bad. The resin parts are well detailed and crisply cast. The PE parts are well done and the decals look in register and of good quality. Clear parts have very good clarity before any coat of Future.

Dry fitting the major parts, it appears fit will be quite good, although some filler will no doubt be needed. Typical of short run kits, there are no locating pins, so you may want to add some tabs behind the seams to help in lining things up. The lower wing is in three parts and there is no spar included. Looking at my kit, I am thinking I will probably add a spar and glue the three lower wing parts together first on a guide to set the dihedral, and maybe glue the upper wing halves to the fuselage then work them together to reduce any gaps.


Overall shape appears quite accurate with span and length within acceptable limits, considering my not super exact measuring methods. The fuselage matches within reason drawings in the Modeller's Datafile. The surface detail on the wings is spectacular, with petite raised rivets in some spots, and recessed rivets on the leading edge. Nearly every connector seems to be represented. Considering the size of some of the sprue connections and working the joints, it will be interesting replacing some of that detail, especially on the leading edge joint.


That surface detail for some reason doesn’t extend fully onto the fuselage halves, however. A lot of rivet detail is missing and the dzus fasteners are rather weakly done. As an interesting side note, the old Revell kit has most of that missing detail, although over-emphasized. The fabric is done reasonably well on the rear fuselage, but the moving surfaces – ailerons, rudder, and elevators – have exaggerated ribs that could do with a bit of sanding down to better represent the taped ribs of the real thing.

The Devil is in the Details

Let’s go through the details in the order of construction as suggested in the instructions. I will offer some rivet-counter type comments, as well as some quick and easy modifications that would increase the accuracy of the kit.

First up is the cockpit. The floor and sidewall framework is quite well done and accurate, although the joints are molded as if they are welded when in fact all the tubing is connected with bolts through sandwich plates. The joystick is one of the better ones I have seen in plastic, though not perfect. It could also be improved with wiring and piping.


The seat is pretty accurate, except for the port wall of the seat, which has a small flare which I think is supposed to represent the leather chafing strap which is otherwise missing. Also, the seat adjustment handle and pneumatic pump is missing on the right side of the seat. Most of the controls are added from the PE parts, but some are incorrect for the IIc. Parts 26, 28 and 30 should not be used; they are early model parts. Just use part 31 as shown for that area. Likewise, the instrument panel, while it looks pretty good, is actually a Mk.I panel. The drawings in the instructions are quite accurate, by the way, but do not exactly match the parts. That is actually a theme throughout the instructions. A major error is the generic instrument provided at the top left corner of the IP. It is supposed to be the gear position indicator, and is the same on all Hurricane versions. If you can part with the cash, I recommend the Yahu Models panel, as it is near perfect.

On the port sidewall, PE part 23 should be cut in half. The two-meter setup is on the early Hurricane, the IIc should only have one meter. Part 26 should be left off, and part 25 should be bent 90 degrees at the knob, with a short length of rod added to the top to better represent the throttle on the IIc.

For the starboard sidewall, on part A3, there should be a couple of placards and stencils to the right of the locking lever. Also, for the Sea Hurricane, a flare pistol and six flares are supposed to be stowed. I could not find a definitive diagram, the modified CG drawing shows them stowed in the area of the escape panel. These parts are not supplied. The instructions show the armor head plate provided in PE complete with fasteners, but the fasteners are not on the provided part.

The kit does not include any plumbing or wiring, which in my book is fine as molded-on detail in this scale just doesn’t look right. With no floor, the Hurricane can be plumbed and wired to your heart’s content. I suggest adding a little wiring from the controls on the sides or other areas where it will most be seen. It would not take much to make this cockpit look nice and busy as what Fly provides is a great base.


As for the fuselage nose, the two small bumps just under the exhaust on the port side are actually supposed to be an open small elbow(pointed towards the front) and a small open exhaust behind for the generator. Just in back of one of the dzus fasteners in the lower nose panel is a small depression. These should be enlarged and drilled out as they are for the hand crank starters and occur on each side. Probably these starter holes, and the hole in the center of the fuselage(to allow access to the timing plug), just behind the first panel back of the spinner should be added as they are very prominent in photos. There is also supposed to be a small sugar-scoop type vent just above the leading edge of the wing root for venting the fuel system. Again, there are a lot of fasteners of a few different sizes on the top and side panels of the forward fuselage. It would require something like HGW’s or Archer Transfers rivets to match the detail on the wings.

The fish-tail resin exhausts look pretty good, although they don’t have the slit exhaust openings. It would be really difficult to do by the modeler as the rear of the exhaust is so small, but it will be interesting if we see an aftermarket replacement for these. Until then, careful painting should help as it will not show too much.


The wings, as mentioned before, look really, really good. The aerilons are fixed, and the ribs could be toned down but that is about it. Fly provides structure inserts for the landing lights as that can be seen through the clear covers. It wouldn’t hurt to add a few wires in there, too, but it will give a very nice detailed look. They also provide separate clear bulbs for the wing tip lights as well as clear covers. Remember, the port side bulb is red, the starboard side should be blue (blue plus the yellow-spectrum bulbs of the era produce a green when lit).


The resin wheel wells look really good, although there is always additional detail one can add. On the back wall, near each end, there is a small circle. Those are actually supposed to be holes to hold the ends of the starter cranks, which are then clipped to the side walls. Additional plumbing and wiring can be added to make the area look a bit busier.

The kit provides cannon in both plastic and resin. The resin looks a lot crisper and should be used. They both represent the earlier ‘Type 1’ cannon with the flat springs to the rear of the exposed cannon. There was also a ‘Type 2’ cannon with the spring in the center; which is not supplied. The ‘Type 2’ can be sourced from Master Model of Poland – they also sell a beautiful set of ‘Type 1’ cannons.


PE straps are provided to nicely represent the underside covers over the outer wing attachment points, which should also help cover any seam in this area. Note the shell ejector chutes should be opened up and maybe boxed in. The plastic is thinner in this area apparently to help with this.

The kit provides the three-color ID light system, but I cannot find any period photo evidence this was used during WWII, except maybe with some late Canadian made XIIs. The Hurricane II Manual mentions allowing for the three color system, but photos do not show it. The manual also shows a launching tube for parachute flares for the port opening of those lights, and a sprung door on the outside. So, my recommendation would be to put in the center light – I believe the color should be amber – and scribe deeper the square on the port side, then fill in the two outer light sockets.

There should also be a small access hatch scribed in on the port side to the side of the radiator housing. It is shown on the instructions but does not appear on the kit part.

The intakes and screens look pretty good, although the shape of the Vokes tropical filter seems to have some issues. It looks a little shallow with not enough space between the intake and the fuselage. For the Sea Hurricane, I haven’t seen anything but the standard intake, part D8, in use. All the decal options for this kit show it.


The radiator looks pretty good, and the PE screens appear to have a pretty accurate honeycomb pattern. Radu Brinzan has replacement mesh if you screw up the kit’s mesh. There are a few issues, though. The center oil radiator, the round shape in the middle, is a tube that should be recessed from the front face and then extend out at the back. There should be three tubes coming out the top of the extension going up into the fuselage. Also, parts D23 and D24 should go from the flap to the small depressions forward and outside of the spots called out for. The rear depressions are for thin metal braces that go to the corners of the housing. This may be what PE parts 15 should be for, though the instructions don’t show that. There also should be a thin wire bracing the very center of the outer edges of the intake.

The landing gear looks pretty good and pretty accurate. Brake lines of course could be added. The wheels are in resin and look good, including the Dunlop name on the sides. The actual wheels might be slightly small in diameter, but the type of wheel modeled does look small and studying photos against what is provided they appear similar. No doubt aftermarket will step in and give us options.


As part of the Sea Hurricane parts, rollers are provided for each side of the radiator housing. The Modeller’s Datafile says these were not fitted to Mk.IIc Sea Hurricanes, and the Sea Hurricane Addendum to the MkII Manual does not list the rollers as part of the Sea Hurricane Mk.II conversion. So best to leave them off.

The kit includes the pull down step for mounting the aircraft, and a PE rim for the slot where the step is stored. The actual slot fairing sticks out an inch or more, so you might want to replace or add to it. Also, the slot should be opened up for a better look. And remember, if you show the step down, the rod of the step should point to the handhold on the fuselage side and the handhold opened up as the two were mechanically connected.

The kit prop and spinner appears to represent the Rotol 11’3” diameter version, and that is what the kit one scales to. I hate trying to verify prop shapes as it looks different in every picture due to the twist of the prop and angle of the picture. At any rate, it looks pretty close although I am not too sure about the shape of the tips. I will leave that to the prop experts to point out any issues. The spinner shape looks pretty good, too, representing the longer version, but some fastener detail could be added.


For the arrestor hook area, the kit supplies an insert for the fuselage and a separate hook in resin. It looks good, but I think I would tape up the fuselage, measure for the cuts, then cut out each half and dry fit, dry fit, dry fit. I would then make up some backing for the insert and add the insert when I close up the fuselage rather than wait till Step 33 to do this…

The rudder and elevators are separate parts, again with some heavy rib detail that could use some sanding down. Some control horns and tabs are provided, but no provided leads or notes on what should be done. The tail wheel is a nice three-part assembly.


The clear parts look nice, and quite accurate with a separate armored glass to fit to the inside face and PE grab handles are provided, as well as a rear-view mirror. Also, for the Sea Hurricane, don’t forget to add the head rest pad, to the cockpit rear armor. This should really be placed in Step 18. Note the ID light on the top of the fuselage as shown on Step 38, as well as the raised ridge where the antenna is shown attached, is not molded on the kit or provided. The gun sight is a bit simplified but appears accurate.


The instructions provide an numbered overview of the parts. This is the only point of reference for part numbers as there are no numbers on the sprues. The assemblies are in exploded isometric view. They also provide a series of color drawings showing how the interior parts should be painted, which is a nice touch, with actual color names and not paint numbers.


The Sea Hurricane gets decals for three schemes: "Sheila" of No. 824 Sqdn, HMS Striker, 1944, in dark green and extra dark sea grey; "Libby" of No. 825 Sqdn, HMS Striker, 1944, in dark green and extra dark sea grey; an un-named aircraft of pilot Sub-Lt. A. Burghama, No. 835 Sqdn, HMS Niarana, 1944 in a white North Atlantic scheme with black stripes; and "Nikki", another No 835 Sqdn aircraft in a mostly white North Atlantic scheme from 1944.

The only scheme that I could find actual photos of was for “Nicki” in nearly all white and appears quite accurate. The only caveat for this scheme is the photos show this aircraft had the ‘Type 2’ cannon, so for the purist, you would want to get the Master cannon set.

Summary

In conclusion, while I have compiled a long list of missing details and a few corrections, this is a very fine kit of the Sea Hurricane Mk.IIc and is a great canvas for extra detailing, yet I feel would still be a well detailed kit out-of-the-box. It is by far the best 1/32nd Hurricane so far, much more accurate and detailed than the Revell kit and I look forward to the Mk.I which is obviously going to follow.

I highly recommend this kit.

Review kit courtesy of my aching wallet, purchased from Fly direct.

References

  1. The Hurricane II Manual, edited by Dr. Michael Fopp, Greenhill Books, 1944/2003
  2. The Modellers Datafile #2: The Hawker Hurricane, Richard Franks, SAM Publications, 1999
  3. Walk Around #14: Hurricane, Ron MacKay & Don Greer, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1998
  4. Aero Detail #12: Hawker Hurricane, Shigeru Nohara, Hajime Ohsato and Scott Hards, Dai Nippon Kaiga, 1994
  5. Famous Aircraft of the World #2: Hawker Hurricane, Richard Caruana, Periscopio Publications, 2008
  6. Aviation Classics #15: The Hawker Hurricane, Tim Callaway, editor, Mortons Media Group Ltd, 2012

I also suggest visiting LSP member Quang's build thread. He has been doing a bang-up job of detailing the Mk.IIc.

© Ray Peterson 2016

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This review was published on Sunday, July 17 2016; Last modified on Monday, July 18 2016