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Hurricane Mk.IIb

Arma Hobby, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

Arma Hobby Kit No. 40007 - Hurricane Mk.IIb

Contents and Media:

120 parts in grey plastic, 13 parts in clear plastic; self-adhesive masks; markings for three aircraft.

Price:

€45.00 plus shipping available online at Arma Hobby

£45.49 EU Price (£37.49 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants

and hobby retailers worldwide 

Scale:

1/48

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Superb surface textures; excellent moulding quality; very high level of detail; thoughtful parts breakdown; locating pins to aid alignment and assembly; high quality packaging.

Disadvantages:

None noted

Recommendation:

In common with its Hurricane Mk.IIc predecessors, Arma Hobby's 1/48 scale Hurricane Mk.IIb is gorgeous kit - excellent surface textures, moulding quality, detail and inclusions.

Reviewed by Brett Green

Introduction

 

The Hawker Hurricane was Britain's first modern monoplane fighter aircraft, entering service in 1937.

Hawker's chief designer, Sidney Camm, designed the Hurricane around the new Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Although the British Air Ministry had not yet placed an order, Hawker nevertheless prepared for the production of 1,000 aircraft. This head start significantly expedited delivery once the order for 600 Hurricanes was received in June 1936.

In addition to the fabric covered rear fuselage, the earliest versions of the Hurricane featured fabric wings, reflecting the earlier production techniques of the Hawker Aircraft Company. These initial 600 aircraft were also fitted with a fixed pitch, two-bladed wooden Watts propeller, although these were quickly supplanted by de Havilland and Rotol three-bladed propeller assemblies that permitted pitch adjustment from the cockpit. The later improved aircraft also included windscreens with armoured glass. In time, the fabric wings of many of these early Hurricanes were replaced with metal wings.


 

Hurricane Mk.IIb

The Hurricane Mk.II was powered by the improved Merlin XX engine with two-speed supercharger. The new engine was longer than the earlier Merlin and so the Hurricane gained a 4.5 in "plug" in front of the cockpit, which made the aircraft slightly more stable due to the slight forward shift in centre of gravity.

 

 

Carrying four additional wing-mounted .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns; for a total of 12 guns, 230 Hurricane Mk.IIbs were factory fitted with racks allowing this variant to carry two 250 lb (110 kg) or two 500 lb (230 kg) bombs. This lowered the top speed of the Hurricane to 301 mph (484 km/h), but by this point mixed sweeps of Hurricanes carrying bombs, protected by a screen of fighter Hurricanes were not uncommon. The same racks allowed the Hurricane to carry two 45 imp gal (200 L) drop tanks instead of the bombs, nearly doubling the Hurricane's fuel load.

A total of 3,178 IIbs built in Britain to November 1942, 2,011 by Hawker, 867 by Gloster Aircraft Company and 300 by the Austin Aero Company, plus another 515 by Canadian Car and Foundry built November 1941 to March 1943.

Many of the Canadian built aircraft being were with C (cannon) wings before delivery to the RAF.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Arma Hobby launched a 1/48 scale Hurricane family. in July 2023. Their debut offering was a1/48 scale Hurricane Mk.IIc, quickly followed by a Mk.IIc Trop.

Arma Hobby has now expanded the family with a 1/48 scale Hurricane Mk.IIb

The kit comprises around 120 parts in grey plastic, 13 parts in clear plastic, self-adhesive canopy masks and markings for three aircraft.

  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IIb Review by Brett Green: Image
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Two of the three grey sprues - A and B - are common to the debut Mk.IIc release, but Sprue E is all new.

 

 

Sprue E includes the ten machine gun wing. You'll need to drill out the four outboard machine gun openings. These are clearly indicated in the wing leading edge. Arma Hobby has included a pair of deep mounts for the four barrels, also offered on Sprue E

Another nice inclusion on the new sprue is pair of "plastic masks" for the wheel wells in the shape of the landing gear covers. These may be held in place using Blu-Tack or white glue.

 

 

The lower wing half has flashed over locating holes for the bomb rack or the drop tanks.

 

 

The parts are moulded with a satin finish. Surface textures are just gorgeous. Arma Hobby has mixed an impressive combination of recesed panel lines, super-subtle recessed and raised rivets, raised fastener heads and other structural details. These are all subtle and consistent. The overall effect is crisp and varied.

 

 

The interior of the major fuselage and wing parts are festooned with circles of raised ejector pins but they do not interfere with fit, nor do they intrude in any way on the outside surfaces of the parts.

 

 

The fabric texture on the rear fuselage and tail surfaces are particularly subtle and impressive.

 

 

The fuselage is supplied as left and right halves with the fin and the lower rear fuselage supplied as separate parts.

 

 

Some details are moulded directly to the inside of the fuselage and onto the wing. These are supplemented by a plastic framework, the "bottomless" floor with foot rests, rudder pedals, control column and more.

 

 

The decal sheet supplies harness straps and instrument dials for the cockpit.

The instrument panel is moulded with raised and recessed detail. It looks great. I think I'll be carefully painting and dry-brushing mine with individual dials inside the bezels.

 

 

The upper and lower wings are both moulded as full span.

 

 

Wheel wells are highly detailed including raised lettering. Main wheels are two pieces each in injection moulded plastic. Wheels are flattened and subtly bulged.

 

 

A Rotol propeller assembly and spinner are included.

The radiator faces feature super fine mesh detail moulded onto the plastic parts.

Two different styles of cannon barrels are included, as is a Vokes tropical filter, wing-mounted drop tanks, alternative styles of exhaust, lower fuselage inserts, spinners and more.

 

 

The canopy is quite clear and offers separate parts for the windscreen and the sliding section. Two sliding sections are included - one for the closed position and a wider one to display the canopy open and show off all that lovely detail.

 

Clear landing lights for the wing leading edges are included too.

Wing tip navigation lights are also supplied.

Self-adhesive die-cut masks for the canopy and the wheels are included,

Instructions are supplied in a 12 page stapled A4-sized booklet. Assembly is described over 37 steps using clear diagrams. An errata sheet is also supplied.

The kit is packed into a stout brown carboard box with a thinner cardboard lid featuring attractive box art. This is a big improvement over earlier releases with flimsy side-opening boxes.

Thanks Arma!


 

Marking Options

Three marking options are included. Each of the marking options gets a dedicated page with both side views plus upper and lower plan views.

 

 

Colour callouts are provided for FS numbers and a good selection of model paint numbers including Hakata, AK, Lifecolor, AMMO, Humbrol, Vallejo and Tamiya.

 

 

The marking options are:

  1. Hurricane Mk IIb “Hurribomber”, BE489/AE-Q “Butch the Falcon”, No. 402 Squadron RCAF, Warmwell, February 1942. Finished in Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey. This aircraft was fitted with bomb racks.

  2. Hurricane Mk IIb Z3171/SW-P “Hyderabad City”, No. 253 Squadron RAF, Hibaldstow, pilot F/SGT. J.C. Tate, winter 1941/42 finished in overall Night.

  3. Hurricane Mk IIb, Z3675/WX-B, No. 302 Squadron PAF, Church Stanton, August 1941 finished in Dark Earth and Dark Green over Sky.

 

 

Decals are printed by Techmod.

 

 

They are glossy, colours are well saturated and everything is in perfect register.

 

 

Conclusion

 

We have had no shortage of 1/48 scale Hurricane Mk.IIc models over the decades but we have had fewer choices as far as the Mk.IIb goes. If memory serves correctly, I think the Hasegawa kit is the only other Hurricane Mk.IIb in 1/48 scale.

Arma Hobby’s new 1/48 scale Hurricane Mk.IIb, IIc and IIc Trop kits blows all the competition off the park in terms of surface textures and details. These are clearly the best 1/48 scale Hurricane Mk.II kits and I would also venture that it is the best 1/48 scale mainstream Hurricane kit of any variant.

In common with its recent predecessors, Arma Hobby's 1/48 scale Hurricane Mk.IIb is gorgeous kit - excellent surface textures, moulding quality, detail and inclusions.

I look forward to hearing about Arma's next steps in 1/48 scale too.

Thanks to Arma Hobby for the sample


Review and Images Text Copyright 2024 by Brett Green
Page Created 4 January, 2024
Last updated 4 January, 2024

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