Fairey Firefly FR.1 / NF.1
with ASH Radar
AZ Model, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||AZ Model AZ 4815 - Fairey Firefly
FR.1 / NF.1 with ASH Radar
|Contents and Media:
||48 parts in tan coloured plastic; 26
resin parts; 4 parts in clear; a photo-etched fret; instruments printed
on a clear acetate sheet; canopy masks and markings for three aircraft.
From £34.03 available online from Hannants
available online from NKR Models
and specialist hobby
||Good quality injection plastic;
beautifully detailed resin parts for cockpits and wheel wells; nice thin
and clear transparencies; photo-etched detail parts;
interesting marking options; includes canopy masks.
Reviewed by Brett Green
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The Fairey Firefly was designed to meet a 1940
Fleet Air Arm requirement for a fighter / reconnaissance aircraft. The
first Firefly unit, 1770 Squadron, entered service in February 1944. The
first operational use of the Firefly was against the Tirpitz in July
The Firefly Mk.I was somewhat underpowered as a
fighter, but had considerable success in the strike role.
The Firefly continued in service until the end of
the Pacific War. Later marks even labored on until the Korean War with
the British and Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arms.
There have been three 1/48 scale Firefly Mk.I
kits issues to date. The first was Flightpath's impressive multimedia
kit from the 1990s. This featured main components in vacform plastic,
supplemented with metal and photo-etched detail parts. Soon after,
Flightpath offered basically the same kit with the vacform airframe
replaced by resin parts. The most recent offering was the Grand Phoenix
Firefly Mk.I released around 2002. This was a very nice kit. Injection
moulded plastic parts were supplemented with beautifully detailed resin
plus a small photo-etched fret.
AZ Model's first Firefly release, "Fairey Firefly
FR.1 / NF.1 with ASH Radar", is effectively a newly moulded re-release
of the Grand Phoenix kit with a couple of enhancements.
The new kit comprises just 48 parts in
tan coloured plastic; 26 resin parts; 4 parts in clear; a
photo-etched fret; instruments printed on a clear acetate sheet; canopy
masks and markings for three aircraft.
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
The plastic parts are produced to a high standard.
The plastic is satin in texture, with
recessed panel lines. Fabric texture on the rudder is fairly subtle. Sprue attachment points are fine. There are no moulding
imperfections that will be visible on the finished model, but some
raised ejector pins on the inside of parts (notably the wings) will have
to be sliced off before assembly to avoid interfering with fit. There
are no locating pins, so extra care will be needed when aligning the
larger plastic parts. I would also suggest reinforcing the butt-join on
the horizontal tailplanes with brass wire or a steel pin.
The plastic of the original Grand Phoenix kit was
noticeably gritty to the touch, but this new tan coloured AZ moulding is
The plastic is supplemented with 26 resin parts. These
cover the front and rear cockpits, the wheel wells, radiator and
The resin parts are beautifully detailed and perfectly
cast. The cockpit is a real joy to behold, with a jumble of detail on
the sidewalls, crisply rendered radios and electronics boxes, and
structural detail cast onto bulkheads.
The wheel wells are realistically deep, featuring
structural detail and wiring in each one-piece casting.
The exhausts are exquisite too, with the subtle twin
stacks each accurately cast with hollow ends. A resin mounting rack for
the ASH Radar is also included. The pod itself is attached to the
The only word of caution, in common with any limited run
kit, is that the resin will need careful preparation. I know from
talking to several modellers who built the Grand Phoenix Firefly that
the casting blocks on top of the wheel wells will need to be completely
removed before they will fit between the wing halves. In fact, it might
be advisable to thin the inside of the upper wing halves too.
Test fitting of the cockpit components - especially the
sidewalls and the bulkheads - will also be essential.
An Eduard photo etched fret is provided.
This contains a nicely detailed instrument panel (the instruments are
provided on an accompanying printed acetate sheet), harnesses, plus
other small details.
The clear parts are another highlight. They positively
sparkle and are free of any distortion, with crisply defined canopy
AZ Models also provide canopy masks for these clear
Markings are provided for three night fighters in
different schemes. The decals are
thin, nicely in register and the colours look good.
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
It is very pleasing to see that AZ Model has breathed new life into
the Grand Phoenix Firefly, which has been unavailable for some years
The moulding quality seems to be an improvement over the original
kit, and the inclusion of canopy masks and new marking options are
AZ Model's 1/48 scale Firelfy Mk.I will best suit modellers who
already have a few limited run kits under their belts. If you have built
a recent kit from Classic Airframes or Special Hobby, you will know what
to expect with AZ Models' Firefly Mk.I. The relatively small parts count
belies the challenge. The key to a successful build will be thorough
preparation, constant test-fitting, careful alignment of parts and,
above all, patience. However, if you treat this kit with due respect -
especially the resin cockpit and wheel wells - it should deliver a very
Thanks to Legato / AZ Models for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2007 by
Page Created 17 December, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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