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Fairey Fulmar II/NF.II

Special Hobby, 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby Kit No. SH72368 - Fairey Fulmar II/NF.II
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 77 parts in mid-grey slightly glossy plastic; nine parts in clear plastic; a small set of resin parts; decal sheet from Cartograf; PE fret.
Price:

GBP£14.49 EU Price (GBP£12.49 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants

16,60 € plus shipping available online from Special Hobby

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Nice to see an accurate well-produced injected kit for the later Fulmar. Good decal choices, Radar array in PE.
Disadvantages: Flimsy box is an issue SH should address, no locating pins makes dry-fitting and care with alignment a must, and no provision for open canopy, all of which are not major issues.
Recommendation: A welcome addition to the range of FAA aeroplanes in 1/72nd and another use for an older set of moulds.. 

Reviewed by Graham Carter


  Special Hobby's 1/48 scale Model 339-23 Buffalo will be available online from Squadron 

Introduction



The Fairey Fulmar should be familiar to most modellers and was a two-seat carrier-borne fighter that served with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) during the middle years of WWII. A total of 600 in two marks were built by Fairey Aviation between 1940 and the end of 1942. The Fulmar looked like a smaller brother of the same company’s  Battle light bomber, but had very little in common with it. Like the Battle, its performance was unspectacular, but it was  a reliable, sturdy aircraft with long range and an effective armament of eight machine guns, reduced to four in some versions.

The subject of this kit, the Fulmar Mk II began to be produced in January 1941, with the first Mk II reaching an operational squadron a few months later. A total of 350 of this later version were built. This mark introduced the more powerful Merlin XXX engine while the airframe was also improved to include the provision for a 60-gallon drop tank, and the ability to carry a 250 lb  or 500 lb bomb in lieu of the drop tank. Test showed that the 60-gallon drop tank extended range to 1,100 miles. About 100  MkII aircraft were converted to night fighters with AI Mk.X radar. AI = Airborne Interception, a role the aeroplane showed little aptitude for.

In both marks it was used by 24 FAA squadrons and one from the RAF, several of these being training units.  The prototype was also the first production Mk.I and survives at the FAA Museum in Yeovilton, although I can vouch for it not being brilliantly lit and it is all folded up so overall shots are difficult.

(sourced from Wikipedia and the instruction sheet)

 

 

FirstLook

 

Special Hobby has produced a series of Fulmars to meet the demands of we modellers in the ‘one true scale’ starting with the Mark I in 2009. The fact that this earlier kit is #72143 indicates the volume of kits this manufacturer has churned out for our delectation over the past few years. 

 



Being based on an earlier kit this one shows some of the features of the short-run technology of the time. It comes in a typically flimsy end-opening box with a nice rendition of a night fighter on the top and the four decal choices of the back in colour. Inside are three sprues in mid-grey slightly glossy plastic (do note that several of these sprues are joined together so you will need to be careful when selecting parts as the parts diagram has them all seperated), one in clear, a small set of resin bits, a good decal sheet from Cartograf and a very handy PE set .

 

  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72368 - Fairey Fulmar II/NF.II Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72368 - Fairey Fulmar II/NF.II Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72368 - Fairey Fulmar II/NF.II Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72368 - Fairey Fulmar II/NF.II Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No. SH72368 - Fairey Fulmar II/NF.II Review by Graham Carter: Image
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The kit includes all the parts for a Mk. I plus the additional ones for this version - there are ten parts not used for this version. Theoretically the clever modeller could use the Mk.II parts from this kit to modify an Airfix/Vista kit and build this kit as a Mk.I using these ten parts.

Instructions are of the newer coloured type and are generally quite clear with colour call-outs as you go in Gunze. I think it would be good for manufacturers to be a bit more eclectic in their colour references but understand the ties that bind.

The cockpit is nicely detailed but note that in drawing 1 there is one numberless part - it should be A6.  The only serious issue I see is that the instructions indicate that the over/ and under/ wing radar masts should be on all four decal choices but only one of the decal set is an NF II, unless there is a mistake in the labelling. 

The seperately packed cockpit transparencies are nice and clear and thin but do not allow for open display. Other clear parts are for ID lights under the fuselage and at the wing-tips and a cover for the landing light.

 



Resin parts provide a nice set of slightly flattened main wheels and the radar masts, the latter being of questionable use in my opinion as one has to join resin to plastic and then add PE aerials - too much temptation for the carpet monster I’m afraid.

 



As it is based on an early short-run kit the parts lack location pins and there are a few injector pins that may need to be removed on the wings. Any modeller experienced in such kits will know what to look for and that one needs to dry fit and, where necessary, fettle all parts before applying glue. I suspect some filler may be needed but have done no more than press parts together. Surface engraving is fine and consistently executed.

The PE fret includes the usual seat belts, plus radar arrays, flame dampers, catapult hooks and spools, undercart bits, and mercifully few fold-up equipment boxes.

 

 



Marking Options

Decals are for four airframes:

  • BP 791/BOJ, an NF Mk.II of 784 NAS,

  • BP782 /OR , a Mk.II of 806 NAS in the Indian Ocean,

  • X8812/6F a Mk.II of 809 NAS in Operation Pedestal, and

  • DR641/6B, a Mk.II of 809 NAS in Operation Torch.

The last three are all off HMS Victorious.

 

 

They appear to beautifully printed by Cartograf, with good density and carefully packed.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Special Hobby's Fulmar Mk.II is a welcome addition to the range of FAA aeroplanes in 1/72nd and another use for an older set of moulds.. 

Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for the review sample.


MPM kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers worldwide and at Squadron.com


Review and Images Copyright 2018 by Graham Carter
Page Created 20 February, 2018
Last updated 20 February, 2018

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