Italeri's 1/48 scale
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
by Roland Sachsenhofer
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I Early Version
Hobby Boss' 1/32 Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop is available online from Squadron
Recently I was involved in a model building project with the last Hurricane ever built, PZ 865 "Last of the Many".
This project marks the beginning of the production line, because the Hurricane L1568 shown here comes from one of the first production series.
A few special features that change the familiar appearance of this well-known aircraft are striking. The powerful two-blade propeller is the first to catch the eye: made of wood and equipped with a fixed angle of attack, it was optimized for high flight speeds. At launch, however, the Hurricane needed a disproportionately long runway; as it turned out later, it was possible to almost halve the runway with variable three-blade propellers. A second deviation from the usual picture results from the absence of the tail wheel keel at the tail of the machine. As with the prototype, the first Hurricanes were manufactured with a smooth rear lower part.
A closer look is needed to find out the other differences: the antenna mast is still a straight rod and the shape of the exhaust manifolds corresponds to the early "kidney shape", which makes the face of the Hurricanes look a little wider and more massive.
The pitot tube under the wing is not found, but on the left side below the cockpit. A characteristic double-cone Venturi tube collected the air pressure data of the early machines. Last but not least: the wings are not covered with metal, but with fabric.
The model aircraft was flown in 1938 with No.73 Squadron in the form shown here. Even then, the camouflage was "Dark Earth" and "Dark Green", but the undersides still show a silvery aluminum coating. The decals come from the excellent decal sheet "Pre-war Hurricanes" from Iliad.
In order to implement the described special features in the model, the initial kit of Italeri had to be rebuilt a little. First the rear fin was sawn away, whereby the resulting cavity had to be closed with plastic and putty.
The attachment of the "textile" wings was no less elaborate. Here, too, sawing and filling was carried out, but collateral damage could not be avoided. Many of the beautifully embossed structures were unfortunately lost during my handling, not all of them could be restored by engraving.
Initiative is required when adapting the front part of the fuselage to the diameter of the two-blade screw: since the resin conversion kit is designed for Hasegawa's moulds, some dimensions had to be compensated here.
I would like to put it this way: during the building process I sometimes had the wish to transport the model into the dung bucket instead of the showcase. However, this is not due to all the rebuilding work!
Unfortunately I have to say that Italeri has messed up a lot here: the details in the cockpit and in the landing gear area are rich in detail, but there is a serious lack of fitting accuracy! A look at the construction photos shows the sometimes massive gaps and inaccuracies that one is forced to accept with this kit. Anyway, I will keep my fingers off every Italeri Hurricane!
Apart from what I just said, I am very happy to have brought this elaborate model to a satisfying end. The many new insights into the type history of this fascinating aircraft type alone have made this project a rewarding experience.
If you are interested in the building process, please have a look here on Scalemates: https://www.scalemates.com/profiles/mate.php?id=10148&p=albums&album=49925
As ever, remarks will be appreciated: email@example.com
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2019 by Roland Sachsenhofer
Page Created 26 August, 2019
26 August, 2019
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