Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IId
by Fernando Rolandelli
Hawker Hurricane Mk.IId
KX121, “G”, 5th Sqn. RAF, Burma, 1944.
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Nº 5 Squadron had a long history in-theater, starting with Mohawks in the early, dark years, transitioning to Hurricanes and then P-47s for the fighter-bomber role. It also deployed the IId heavy cannon armed tank busting variant of the Hurri. Japanese tanks were a rare occurrence, but bunkers were highly developed and the cannon armed Hurris were very effective against those. Japanese also used river barges as main transportation method and these were also very vulnerable to them. Within the 221st Fighter Wing of the 3rd Tactical Air Force, it took part in the battles of Imphal and Kohima Japanese Army Air Force tried to the last to keep air superiority so the theater was rather lively in air combat even in the late war period, with large Japanese fighter sweeps not uncommon.
KX121 is a Hawker built machine, one out of a contract 62305/39/C for 1.200 delivered from 20.11.42 to 19.04.43. The batch was completed mainly as II with some conversions to Sea Hurricane IIC. Some were also finished as Mk.IV, the lowest known serial is KX813.
Until Airfix wakes up and develops its excellent Mk.I into a II, the classic Hasegawa kit remains the best option for a model of such a version. It has been much maligned for its “multiversion” design, and for the incorrect (though “conventional”) way of depicting the turtledeck aft of the cockpit (with a deep indentation to allow the canopy to seat -frankly, aside from two completely different pieces to choose as appropriate, the design of the actual aircraft doesn’t allow for much else).
The kit is currently available only in the #0097 “King’s Cup Air Race” boxing (a modified Mk.IIc); and still commands a high price on ebay, even in its Mk.I incarnations (rather unexplainably in view of the widely available and reasonably priced Airfix kit). It looks completely accurate, with some caveats. The rear turtledeck calls for action (at least, if you leave the canopy closed, do not paint it Gray-Green) The wing also, for it is a Mk.IIc’s. Hasegawa has molded only two wings, a Mk.IIb and a Mk.IIc, dealing with the differences with inserts or panels you have to erase.
Now, the wing in the Mk.IV, the cannon armed attack Hurri par excellence, has different, simplified upper panels (in an “universal” wing able to carry rockets or fuel tanks –often both, in dissymmetrical configuration). I could not find a clear reference for the IId (every surviving example is a IV), but IMHO the wing was a quick adaptation from the IIc, just as that in the kit. Therefore, I let the panel configuration on the upper wing surface. It must be said that the four small bulges for the Hispano cannons’ breeches are not included (though the cannon base inserts are).
To this kit, obtained at ebay.de at a relatively high price, I added an Eduard Zoom PE (mainly because of the instrument panel and harness), a Barracuda resin wheel bay, and the real motivation of the build, the Model Alliance decals for the Burma attacker.
Should I say it was uneventful? For all its crazy multipiece design (and the addition of the Barracuda resin bay, which involved some hacking, which is not required with the Ultracast one, for instance) the kit went together almost perfectly. I added the nose halves to each fuselage half first, and took special care with the “single .303” wing inserts. I made the customary “fill” of the turtle deck recess with Milliput. The biggest problem of any Hase Hurri build, the join between the lower rear wing to fuselage (easily in the “top ten” of the Worst Designed Join Lines Ever –what were they thinking?) gave me the fits: I started by thinning the wing on the inner side to minimize the eventual step, but a mild one developed, as well as a sink, all of them very difficult to eradicate without obliterating the “string-n-fabric” detail (the fact that it is rather heavy overall doesn’t mean you can do that) After several sessions of very carefully application of putty and sanding in a longitudinal direction it ended up looking acceptably good.
Gun pods are NOT handed! Both eject cartridges to the right. With no way of checking the accuracy of this scheme, I let them be. The big “muzzle brake – reinforcement – flash hider – whatever” you see in the gun’s muzzles is actually a mistake (well, sort of): it depicts the bag usually put over the muzzle to avoid dust coming in (just as the Red tape). To be honest, the instructions command you to paint them in Red. Just do not drill the muzzle (as in the Quickboost replacement parts)! If I were brave, I would have erased them, restoring the tube, and drilling the muzzle hole; that would have given it a more “operational” look; but I am not.
Cockpit was absolutely uneventful, almost boring.
Do not bother in adding any detail below the “consoles” (such as the myriad of cables and tubing you, like me, assume will be seen from the open cockpit) because, unless you open the door trap on the right, they will be invisible. Add instead some detail to them and over them. Paint the space in the middle of the instrument panel, as well as the gunsight mounting, in Gray-Green.
I followed the method of gluing the upper wing halves to the fuselage and then adding the undersurface half, that ensured an almost perfect wing root join.
The resin bay roof had to be thinned to its near extinction. Wing diedhral (man, that wing is thick!) and undercarriage angle were perfect in one go, even the funny angled wheel (added later). Vokes filter, instead, had to be heavily puttied and sanded.
I replaced the canopy with a Rob Taurus vac. I usually replace only the hood, keeping the kit’s windscreen (even if I have to cut it loose); they usually fit better than the vac part. In this case, I spotted a hair flaw on its surface (or rather, on the inside of the clear plastic) that certainly showed at some angle of the light (I checked another kit and showed the same flaw) Reluctantly, I carefully cut of the RT windscreen and fitted it. It must be said its fit was exemplary.
A late TLS machine, in the MA instructions it is shown as sporting “inverted” colours; I doubted that would be correct that late in the war. I couldn’t find any pictures of this machine, but most I did find (all Mk.IIcs from 28th Sqn) showed “normal” camouflage, so I went that way (later, a still from IWM I found showed this machine taking off from a distance and seem to confirm this –the dark area around the cockpit is a tell-tale).
Undersurface is quoted as “Light Mediterranean Blue”; it could have been Medium Sea Grey (or Azure Blue, though this was not favoured in India). I made a mix of PRU Blue and Azure Blue to get this. European wing roundels are painted out in DG over and “fresh” LMB under wing; those in fuselage are always painted out following the camouflage pattern so I left them alone.
All paints were Xtracrylixs over a heavy dark preshade, painted in “mottle fashion”. I rubbed the preshade off the stringers to get some contrast.
All interior parts were painted Aluminium; the wheel bay main part in Alclad, the rest in a Warhammer paint colour with a fancy name but particularly good for brushing.
Not many on this one. Stencils came from the kit; insignia from the Model Alliance sheet. All behaved correctly. I used DACO’s Medium Decal Set over the Hase’s notoriously thick decals. MA serials did silver a little bit on the stringer pattern.
The thin White trimming on the “T” is separate and a bit of a chore to safely land on target.
A good, friendly kit if you handle well a couple of difficult areas (but that would not destroy the overall look of it anyway). Still head and shoulder on the competition (namely the Hobbycraft, the Ark Models –actually a Mk.I sold as a IIb-, and some early Monogram-Revell concoctions); at least until Airfix makes one to its new mould Mk.I standard.
Modellers' Datafile 2, Richard Franks, SAM Publications
SAM Combat colors 02, Michael Dodd, Guideline Publications
Aero detail 12, Dai Nippon Kaiga (publishers)
Camouflage and Markings nº3, James Goulding, Ducimus Publications
AJ Press Monografie Lotnicze 51 to 54
Text and Images Copyright ©
2017 by Fernado Rolandelli
Page Created 20 June, 2017
20 June, 2017
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