Westland Whirlwind F. Mk.I
Special Hobby, 1/32 scale
u m m a r y
||Special Hobby Kit No. SH 32047 - Westland Whirlwind F. Mk.I "Cannon Fighter"
|Contents and Media:
|| 270 parts in grey plastic (54 of these parts are marked not for use), 14 parts in clear (three marked not for use) and markings for four aircraft.
69.80 € plus shipping available online now from Special Hobby
£56.69 EU price (£47.24 Export Price) on pre-order plus shipping available from Hannants
and hobby retailers worldwide
||Very high level of detail; crisp and consistent surface textures including rows of rivets; logical design and good fit; separate control surfaces; poseable canopy.
||No harness straps supplied.
||This is another terrific release from Special Hobby. Surface textures are outstanding, and detail is excellent. I have been working on the kit over the last few days and it has been a joy to build with logical design and excellent fit so far. The cockpit looks fantastic too. Let's hope that Special Hobby target some more neglected British subjects in 1/32 scale such as the Fairey Battle and Boulton-Paul Defiant. Two thumbs up!
The Westland Whirlwind was a British twin-engine heavy fighter developed by Westland Aircraft. A contemporary of the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane, it was the first single-seat, twin-engine, cannon-armed fighter of the Royal Air Force.
When it first flew in 1938, the Whirlwind was one of the fastest combat aircraft in the world and with four Hispano-Suiza HS.404 20 mm autocannon in its nose, the most heavily armed. Protracted development problems with its Rolls-Royce Peregrine engines delayed the project and few Whirlwinds were built.
During the Second World War, only three RAF squadrons were equipped with the aircraft.
Despite being liked by its pilots and its success as a fighter and ground attack aircraft, it was withdrawn from service in 1943.*
Special Hobby is a division of Czech model and accessory company MPM. When they first appeared on the scene nearly 30 years ago they produced interesting and often rare subjects using low-pressure injection moulded technology and multi-media parts such as resin and photo-etch.
Modelling skills were definitely required for these early models, with no locating tabs or pins, some soft moulding and flash, and often with some scratch building needed.
The passing of the decades has resulted in a very different product. Special Hobby’s 1/32 scale Whirlwind bears very little resemblance to those early efforts.
This is a beautifully detailed replica with fine surface textures and a good standard of fit. It even features locating tabs and locating pins in selected areas.
Special Hobby’s kit is the first injection moulded Whirlwind in 1/32 scale, although ID Models released a basic vacform kit in this scale around 30 years ago, which is still available today via Tigger Models.
Special Hobby's 1/32 scale Westland Whirlwind F. Mk.I comprises 270 parts in grey plastic (54 of these parts are marked not for use), 14 parts in clear (three marked not for use) and markings for four aircraft.
The plastic is smooth and fairly soft – nice and easy to work with – while surface textures are made up from finely recessed panel lines and selected rows of very subtle rivets. Structural characteristics such as the wing fuel tanks are raised from the surface.
Although this is an all-plastic kit, detail is not compromised. The cockpit is beautifully outfitted with optional parts to permit an early or late version Whirlwind to be modelled. Alternative instrument panels and starboard side consoles make up the differences.
The instrument panels feature raised structures and bezels with decals supplied for the dials. Each option is made up from three separate decals, making it easier for them to conform to the heavily raised detail on the panel.
Dial detail is crisply printed and quite colourful with yellow, red and blue bezels and switches where appropriate.
There are a number of instrument dials on the starboard sidewall and side console but decals are not supplied for these. You can either cannibalise the unused panel decals or raid your decal drawer for individual Airscale (or equivalent) decal dials.
Seat belts are not supplied, but we are spoiled for choice these days when it comes to after-market Sutton Harnesses.
The kit supplies full structural detail on the inside of the wing radiator inlets and oulets. This should be visible through the rectangular leading edge intakes.
The airframe is broken down logically with full-span upper and lower wing parts and the fuselage split into left and right halves. Elevators, rudder and wing radiator flaps are supplied as separate parts
The cockpit floor is accurately mounted into a recess in the mid-upper wing.
Another nice touch is the back of the Rolls-Royce Peregrine engines poking through the bulkhead in the wheel well bays.
The undercarriage looks authentic. Main wheels and tailwheel tyres are heavily flattened and bulged.
The canopy is supplied in two parts with the windscreen and separate sliding section. A selection of landing and navigation lights are included too. Clear parts are thin and free from distortion.
Two British 250lb and two 125lb bombs, mounts, sway braces and supporting struts are supplied on the sprues but they are not mentioned in the instructions. These will undoubtedly be called out in the next release – the fighter-bomber Mk.II – although if you are really keen, only a set of after-market decal codes and serials stand between you and the bombed-up version.
The large decal sheet is printed perfectly by Cartograf (I do love Cartograf decals). Colours are rich and accurate, and the finish of the sheet is glossy.
Four marking options are offered – two in the early-war scheme of Dark Earth and Dark Green over Sky, and two finished in Mixed Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey.
Instructions are supplied in a glossy A4 16 page colour booklet.
This is another terrific release from Special Hobby. Surface textures are outstanding, and detail is lovely.
I have been working on the kit over the last couple of days and I can report that it has been a joy to build with logical design and excellent fit so far. The cockpit looks fantastic too.
Let's hope that Special Hobby target some more neglected British subjects in 1/32 scale such as the Fairey Battle and Boulton-Paul Defiant.
Two thumbs up!
Thanks to Special Hobby for the sample.
Review Text & Images Copyright © 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 12 May, 2021
13 May, 2021
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