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Found 6 results

  1. 1:32 Tempest Mk.II ‘HI-TECH’ Special Hobby Catalogue # 32054 Available from Special Hobby for €87,90 Hawker had a reputation for producing superbly stable and rugged gun platforms, such as the Hurricane and Typhoon fighter types. Unfortunately, for the Typhoon, the thick wing section prevented it from operating in format other than for low-level strike and bombing missions, where it was ideally suited, and certainly well-placed for the phase of the war in which it operated. The Typhoon wasn’t without other problems such as a fragile tail unit for which the rear fuselage needed metal plates riveted around the circumference, lest the tail depart the aircraft during violent manoeuvre. Whilst the poor visibility car-door canopy was replaced with a bubble hood, the pilot had to continually wear an oxygen mask due to a carbon monoxide engine leak that was never fixed. Whilst the Typhoon was being introduced into active service, developments were being made to reduce the drag of the thick wing. The design was seen to be so radical in relation to the original airframe that the fighter was given a new name. This was the Tempest, which while outwardly had a very similar appearance to the Typhoon, had a whole new, thin, laminar flow wing that was close to elliptical in planform. Other changes to standard production aircraft were the enlarged fin and strengthened fuselage, flush riveted surface and the shorter barrel Hispano cannon were mounted further into the wing, eliminating the faired barrels that protruded from the leading edge. Whilst this aircraft was fitted with the Napier Sabre engine that produced an appearance that likened it to the Typhoon, this was about to change. Hawker was already designing a new fighter, the Tornado, that was to utilise the 18-cylinder Bristol Centaurus radial engine. After examining a captured Fw 190, the compact system of installation and exhaust layout was mimicked for the Tornado. However, it was decided to transfer the Centaurus engine installation to the more advanced Tempest airframe, creating what became designated as the Tempest II. Production switching along with priority being given to Typhoon production, delayed the Tempest II entering service. A decision to tropicalize all Tempest II production for envisaged conflict in the South East Asian theatre, also added to delays. The war was now coming to an end, and Tempest II orders were now being either cancelled or scaled back. This was the last Hawker aircraft to feature a tubular internal structure, which was synonymous with Hawker machines. There was also an increased length to the Centaurus-powered aircraft, but hardly any penalty in weight due to the absence of the heavy radiator unit that gave the Sabre-engine machines their characteristic lines. Openings on the wing leading edge were introduced. One of these was for a radiator, and the other for the carburettor, thus keeping any drag to a bare minimum. Performance was enhanced in relation to the Napier engine machines, with a faster top speed and higher rate of climb. With the end of the war, and the scrapped plan to deploy Tempest II machines into the Japanese theatre of operations, many service machines began to operate from Allied bases within the defeated and occupied Germany. The Tempest went on to serve with several nations after WW2, with one notable Tempest II operator being Pakistan. The kit Having already reviewed the initial Tempest Mk.V ‘HI-TECH’ kit www.mhmodels.cz). These are finely cut from high quality vinyl that exhibit no post-cutting shrinkage. Hawker Tempest Mk.II British roundel airbrush mask for Special Hobby Hawker Tempest Mk.II Indian & Pakistan roundel airbrush mask for Special Hobby Hawker Tempest Mk.II Hi-Tech imatriculation airbrush mask for Special Hobby Click HERE for details
  2. 1/24 Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B 'car door' No 486 (NZ) Sqn. RAF Tangmere 'Operation Spartan' In 2014, Airfix contacted me and asked if I would build them the original bubble-top incarnation of their 1/24 Typhoon. As they had three other modellers also building, I was left with the shark mouth scheme....not that I was complaining. The model took around 7 weeks from start to finish and was one of the most satisfying builds I'd tackled in years. The blue infill on the mouth was also a talking point . There's no doubt that the finished model is impressive and imposing, yet not without its issues, such as seams that need removing, and some complicated plumbing work. Like many other modellers, the Typhoon that really interested us was the earlier car-door version. Thankfully, Airfix recently released this one, and I was asked again to build too. Original kit photos The new release looks as engaging, but isn't without a few niggles. I will be building scheme 'B' which is the earliest machine from the options given. This means removing the fish plates from the tail strengthening joint, meaning the missing detail from under the plates will need to be restored. Despite this being a necessary evil, for some bizarre reason, Airfix will have you slice away the plastic on the deck to the rear of the pilot, and replace it with an insert. The reason? Simply to replace the moulded detail with a less detailed alternative. Having tried this and screwing up a fuselage half, I decided to just remove the raised plastic detail and recreate the lapped panel detail, as per the tail unit fish tail area. Makes sense? Good, I thought so. Before After This Typhoon is quite interesting. Like all schemes in this release, it has a three-bladed propeller, but it also has the early style car door canopy, early narrow chord tailplane, and short cannon fairings. If you think you'll see lots of weapons underneath the wings, then you'll be wrong. This one carries no external ordnance. Yes.....a plain wing, unhindered by things hanging from it! After scraping the frames and other internal parts (for two whole days), the entire internal framework was assembled and then airbrushed with Xtreme Metal Aluminium. After a coat of Klear, a wash was added. Here is the result. I still need to add further staining and detail paintwork, but you get the idea. You'll also note the early pilot seat headrest/bulkhead. More soon........
  3. 1/32 Tempest Mk.V “HI-TECH” Special Hobby Catalogue # SH32052 Available from Special Hobby for 79,90€ Unlike Spitfire development, where even major airframe revisions saw the type keep its original name, Hawker’s Typhoon project was different. The Typhoon wasn’t without its problems, such as a seemingly unstoppable leaking of carbon monoxide gas into the cockpit, and of course that tail unit which had broken away completely on some aircraft, ending with a series of reinforcement straps that were designed as a simple fix for this. Like the Hurricane, the Typhoon also had a thick wing section that provided the machine with enough space for heavy armament, fuel tanks and resulted in a steady gun platform that could be used for low-level operations. Unfortunately, the thick wing was responsible for high levels of drag that slowed the aircraft at certain altitudes, and affected climb rates. To fix these problems needed a number of radical solutions which resulted in Sydney Camm and his team taking the Typhoon literally back to the drawing board. The resulting aircraft was sufficiently different enough to the Typhoon, as to eventually merit a name change, and in keeping with Hawker’s use of severe storm condition names for its range of fighters, ‘Tempest’ was chosen. Originally, the type was to have been called Typhoon II. Six prototypes were built, using different engines, resulting in not just the large-intake Typhoon style machine being built, but also a radial machine and a sleek-cowl Griffon-engine Tempest. Other variables including bubble canopy and car-door style canopy (á la early Typhoon), were included. The small tail fin surface of the prototype machines was eventually enlarged too, and the recognisable filleted fin introduced into production machines, as well as the wider span horizontal tail-plane that was seen on later versions of the Typhoon. A wider track landing gear helped with higher landing speeds. What made the Tempest radically different to the Typhoon was the design of a sleeker, laminar flow wing that was designed by NACA in the USA, and implemented on the new Mustang design. The Tempest Mk.V, which is the subject of this kit release, was fitted with a Napier Sabre IIa/b liquid-cooled H-24 sleeve-valve engine, and had wingspan of 41ft, length of 33ft 8in, and a maximum speed of between 432 and 435mph at 19,000ft. Armament was typically Mk.II/V Hispano cannon (x4), and rockets and bombs could be carried externally, as could droptanks for increased range/operational time. The Tempest went through various incarnations, and the later Sea Fury was a development of this, through the Tempest II family, retaining the later Bristol Centaurus engine. The Kit It really does seem like a long, long time since Special Hobby announced their Tempest kit. Of all the comments I’ve been reading online, and from people I know, this does appear to be a highly anticipated release, and offering the modeller an alternative to the PCM kit that was released in 2013. Currently, the PCM kit isn’t really showing up as available from various retailers. When Special Hobby said they would send me a copy of their new kit, I knew I would be in for some enjoyable hours rifling through the box and writing an article. Remember, I’m not generally looking at accuracy here, as this is an out-of-box appraisal that will look at details, possibilities, engineering, options and quality. Special Hobby’s Tempest kit is packed into quite a large, standard type box with a removable lid (take note, Revell!), and adorned with a classy artwork of a V1 being taken down by a victorious machine, piloted by Wing Commander Roland Prosper Beamont. Of course, this is one of the FIVE scheme options provided, and the only one that carries the D-Day invasion stripes. No other profiles are shown on the box lid, but there are some renders of the included resin parts and other items supplied in this HI-TECH boxing. Lifting the lid is difficult due to the tight fit, but once off, you’ll see EIGHT sprues of medium grey styrene, packed into a single clear sleeve, ONE sprue of clear parts that is packed into a separate sleeve, and a cardboard bridge that has TWO bags of resin stapled to it, plus a package with the masks, decals and photo-etch parts. A large colour-printed instruction manual lies at the bottom of the box. SPRUE A Only two parts here, but pretty key ones; both fuselage halves. As Special Hobby have future plans for releasing the Mk.6 and Tempest II, the nose is moulded separately, allowing this tooling to be good for all versions. The kit shows just how far this company have come in the last years, with regards to both moulding, tooling and detailing. You would be hard pressed to differentiate the Tempest from a kit made by a whole multitude of more mainstream manufacturers out there, such as Hasegawa, Revell, Airfix etc. Surface detailing is excellent, with restrained, even rows of rivets, and lots of extremely fine panel lining and port/panel access plates. Edges are sharp where the wing will meet the fuselage etc. and the parts have a nicely polished finish to them that wouldn’t look out of place on a Tamiya release. The rudder is separately moulded, and where the nose cowl parts will fit, the forward fuselage has a moulded bulkhead that will provide rigidity to the proceedings. Internally, those high standards of detail are also evident, with stringer and former representation being both refined and sharp, and with associated rivet detail included. Only one ejector pin mark exists in this area, and this is on the area adjacent to the instrument panel. As no other detail is in the vicinity, removing this will be easy. Some detail is also included around the area of the retractable tail wheel, using the same level of refinement seen in the cockpit area. Note also that this model has locating pins too, unlike some of the other less mainstream model kits. I have to say here too that Special Hobby is NOT a Limited-Run company, but fully mainstream. SPRUE B Wings, glorious wings. These are supplied as a single span lower part, and upper port and starboard panels. Note that the inboard leading edge is a separate part, accommodating the future kits that will have intakes in these places. I have to say that each time I take a look at this kit, I like it more and more. Surface detail is commensurate with that of the fuselage, incorporating full rivet detail (plus double rows, where applicable), finely engraved panel lines, fastener detail, access panels and nicely shaped cannon blisters. All control surfaces are integrally moulded, so can’t be posed without taking a saw to the model. Ailerons are moulded along with very fine actuator arms that really do look very good. Cannon shell ejection chutes are also finely moulded. One thing I like here are the tabs that protrude from the upper panels, and provide a support for the wing to fuselage connection. Actually, there is another purpose for those tabs. If you flip the wing parts over, you will see they form the roof of the main gear wells. These areas contain rib and stringer detail, along with rivets, and this will be detailed further with various rods, pistons etc. All of this will be framed by the gear bay walls that are supplied as separate parts that will be fitted into the recessed area in the upper wing panel. Cannon fairings are separate parts too, and the wing has a small bulkhead within that stops them from being inserted too far within. SPRUE C You will be able to pose the elevators dynamically, as these are moulded separately to the stabilisers. All parts here are the traditional upper and lower halves, and external detail is of the same high standard that we have seen so far, including rivet and fastener detail and trim tab actuators/actuator fairings. Other parts included here are for external drop-tanks and bomb bodies. Bomb fins are separately moulded. Bombs and tanks are moulded as halves also, and with the latter, you will of course need to reinstate any panel line detail that may be lost from seam eradication. The fuel filler cap is nicely engraved, but I think the detail to the rear of this is supposed to represent a pipe, and is instead moulded as a fillet. If this is the case, cut away and replace with a little length of bent, rigid wire. SPRUE D This sprue looks very Eduard-ish in design, with its large radius corners. Here we have the fabric covered rudder, complete with its rib tape detail and metal trim tab. This is the only fabric covered area on the Tempest, and I do like the representation here. The multiple undercarriage door parts are just beautiful…both inside and out, with some great detail there, and no pesky ejection pin marks to worry about. Small tags have instead been placed externally to the main doors, and these just require snipping off, followed by a quick swipe of a sanding stick. Et voila! Other parts here include the upper, chin intake wall and the bomb release fairings. SPRUE E For the first time, the instructions show parts here that won’t be used on this build. Here, that is for a second set of propeller blades. Engine cowl halves are moulded here, as are a number of parts that form the flap section and intake outlet to the rear of the main intake. The exhaust attachment boxes can be found here, and these will just glue internally. A two-part spinner is included, with the back-plate including channels that will precisely angle the propeller blades. There is a little flash on the spinner, but nothing to be concerned about. One thing to note is that the fuselage decking to the rear of the pilot, is included here as a separate part. That’s a nice touch as there is a lot of detail in this area, and removing a seam would have been a pain in the arse. Other notable parts here are the upper and lower parts for the wing leading edge inboard areas, where future kits will have the intakes attached. SPRUE H Quite a few parts here are shown as not for use on this release. These include two sets of balloon tyres, several intake parts, leading edge intake parts, and also a seat back etc. What can be used here are the various undercarriage parts, including well detail, walls and the struts, pistons and rods themselves. Looking at how refined much of the detail is here, I’m going to stick my neck out and say it’s Tamiya-esque. Simply gorgeous details that you’ll bury away in those gear bays. Even the sprung-loaded rods look very authentic and filigree. I am particularly impressed with the gear struts and the detail definition here. Please be careful with the removal of parts from this sprue, as so many of the landing gear parts have some very fine detail protrusions. If in doubt, use a razor saw. Note also the forward cockpit bulkhead and the armoured frame onto which pilot’s seat will fit. SPRUE I A small sprue, but one with perhaps more parts on it than any other. One area that features heavily here is the cockpit. For me, a nicely detailed cockpit is the very heart of a satisfying project, and this cockpit it certainly better than most I’ve seen in quite a long time. Two detailed tubular side frames are adorned with various fixing plates and panels and brackets, and there are numerous console parts, throttle, spacers, torsion rods and linkages etc. The main instrument panel is moulded in three parts; central panel and two angled panels that fit to its sides. Be careful here as there are two different sets of side panels. The instructions clearly show what you should not use. Here you will also find the canopy rails and three different types of joystick grip, although none of these are shown as for use, with resin parts favouring these all along the way. Presumably these, like the seat and other parts, will be used in any future, standard boxing that isn’t classed as ‘HI-TECH’. The plastic parts are actually still very nice, as are the cannon fairings that will also be ditched in favour of the resin extras here. Again, watch out for the numerous parts that won’t be used here, and there are a fair few of them. SPRUE J The last grey styrene sprue. Another bulkhead is supplied here, for the rear of the cockpit, and the exhausts are included as halves. It’s a little disappointing that Special Hobby didn’t include the resin ones they now sell, as part of this HI-TECH offering. I would’ve preferred those to the cockpit seat, for instance. It will take some careful seam removal work on these parts. More wheel well parts are found here, as well as the three-part assembly for the tail wheel, again with some very nice structural detail included. More unused seat parts can be found, so some nice parts for the spares box. Several intake parts are moulded here, as are the bomb sway braces and fins and tail wheel strut. The most obvious part though, the radial engine of the Centaurus, is just there to tease us for the future release. SPRUE K This is the clear sprue, and on my sample, the windscreen has broken free from the runner. It still looks ok to me though. Thankfully, the main hood is still attached. A number of other parts here are drop tank fairings that I think were made from clear acetate or similar. Nice to see these, and they’ll certainly show off that wire modification I mentioned earlier, for the drop tank itself. Finally, note the various wingtip, fuselage, tail and wing-underside lenses for the various lights that were fitted to the Tempest. Clarity is very good, but a little scuffing on my main hood means that I will need to polish it away. Plastic Summary This kit is almost flash and seam free, with nice tight sprue gate points that are generally well placed so as not to cause problems. I can’t see any sink marks either, except for a couple on the reverse of a part, so they don’t count. Ejector pin marks; there’s only two I can see that need removal, and that will take just a few minutes. Plastic quality is excellent, and the quality of the mouldings are very high quality. Resin parts Two bags of parts are supplied here, and these are cast in dark grey resin. These include: Seat Two sizes of main gear wheels (weighted) Anti-shimmy tail wheel Cockpit components (tread boards, pedals, throttle quadrant/levers, control stick/grip, seat, trim wheel, internal windscreen frame) Cannon fairings These parts are also very high standard, with fine detailing. On my sample, the tread boards are slightly warped and will need a dip in hot water, and a stem has broken from the windscreen internal frame. This is an easy fix, fortunately. Casting blocks will generally be easy to remove too, and there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises here. Photo Etch Only a small fret here that includes parts for the fabric seat belts, control grip trigger, whip aerial and mount plate etc. This small stainless fret also contains a small notch that you need to align on the ailerons, and use as a scribing template for the small trim tabs. Seatbelts These are produced by HGW, from their microfiber material, and should need no introduction. Being laser-cut and pre-printed, all you need to do is to snip and assemble. Just remember to peel the backing paper from them first! Masks A small sheet of vinyl masks is included, for the canopy, lights and wheel hubs. These are sharply cut and exhibit no shrinkage. Decals THREE sheets are supplied here, printed by Eduard. The largest contains roundels and fin flashes. Peeling off the protective sheet does seem to have removed some of the very tiniest of specks of ink from them, but this is so small that it probably won’t be noticeable when they are applied. A slightly smaller sheet holds he various serials, codes, emblems, kill markings, and instrument dials for the cockpit. The latter is printed in banks of instruments, and I would be tempted to punch these out to remove their carrier film. Their definition is excellent and they can certainly be used without having to resort to an aftermarket product. The last sheet is mainly stencils, plus the rivet banding for the drop tank acetate covers. Printing is excellent throughout, with minimal carrier film, solid colour and perfect register. The schemes offered are: JN751, R-B, No.150 Wing, flown by Wng. Cdr. Roland Prosper ‘Bee’ Beamont, RAF Castle Camps, April 1944 SN129, SA-M, No.486 (NZ) Sqn. RAF, flown by Sqn.Ldr. C.J.Sheddan, Fassberg, Germany, May 1945 SN228, EDM, No.122 Wing RAF, flown by Wg. Cdr. Evan Dall Mackie, Fassberg, Germany, May 1945 NV724, JF-E, No.3 Sqn. RAF, flown by Pierre Clostermann, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 1945 NV994, JF-E No.3 Sqn. RAF, flown by Pierre Clostermann, Hopsten, Germany, April 1945 Instructions This is printed in a glossy A-4 format, similar to that of Eduard, with a profile on the front page, and a history of the type given in both English and Czech. There are then over two pages dedicated to a parts map, which is useful for knowing the parts not to use, and then we are into the construction. A series of excellent line drawings are annotated with splashes of colour to signify paint and other nomenclature, such as drilling and mask use etc. Illustrations are very clear, and should present no problems. Colour call-outs are supplied throughout construction and refer to both Gunze and Alclad II paints, and the last pages of the manual are given over to the 5 schemes, with each being shown in all 4 planforms. Conclusion This is the kit I’ve been waiting for, for what seems like years! Was it worth that wait though? Absolutely. In fact, this has far surpassed what I even expected this to turn out like. The kit is thoughtfully designed throughout and beautifully recreated in plastic, resin and metal, with good wing loadout options (although the manual tells you that it was really only the fuel tanks that were generally carried during the war), and some seriously eye-catching detail. This is also a very full box of parts and will provide the modeller with a seriously interesting build that will, in my opinion, blow the PCM opposition straight out of the water. I can’t wait to start snipping away at this one. Watch for it in a future issue of Military Illustrated Modeller. Recommended? Damn right!! My sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the review sample seen here. To purchase direct, click THIS link.
  4. Evenin' all, I recently started the new 1/32 Special Hobby Tempest MK.V for publication in Military Illustrated Modeller, but thought I'd post an annotated build of it here too. This one will be finished as JN751 (R- , the mount of Wing Commander Roland Beamont. The kit itself has five different schemes, but this one is the only one that has any invasion stripes, so I really couldn't not do it The model will be entirely out of box except for a little lead wire in the wheel bays. The kit is supplied with resin and PE parts as a Hi-Tech edition, and some nice HGW seatbelts too. Check out my review of the kit HERE. Special Hobby did a great job of the wheel bays, with all parts being superbly detailed and offering just as much detail as that of the Tamiya Spit. My only gripe is that they ask you to build the wells into the recesses on the lower wing part. I think that could be a risky practice as those structures need to line up exactly around the edges of the detail moulded onto the ceiling detail of the upper wing panels. I opted to build the well walls on these parts instead. It also allows me to complete the wells fully (including painting) before gluing the wings together, including the various struts and wiring that I added from lead wire. Otherwise, it would've been a little trickier. Chin intake detail is also real nice, and here you can see a number of the parts. Note that the nose is a separate part to facilitate other versions of the Tempest kit, such as the Tempest II with Centaurus engine. Boxes inside each half aid the fitting of the exhausts. The only ejector pin marks that needed dealing with, anywhere, are two in the cockpit area. I painted some Tamiya Thin Cement over them and immediately added some Vallejo Plastic putty. This was sanded down with the use of a fibreglass pen before being finished with sanding sticks. More later!
  5. 1:32 Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIc Fly Model Catalogue # 32012 Available from Fly Model for around £30 The venerable Hawker Hurricane was the very last in a generation of fighter designs that could trace its roots back to the machines that fought in the skies during the Great War. Whilst countries such as Germany were taking advantage of newer, all metal, stressed skin designs, Hawker soldiered on with its hybrid of both old and new. Designed by Sydney Camm, the prototype machine first flew in late 1935, before eventually seeing active service in late 1937. Originally designed to carry only four machine guns, this design was soon modified to carry the eight guns that were stipulated in an amended Air Ministry specification that was written around the new fighter design. Photos by author There is no doubt that the Hurricane was a robust machine with its tubular framed fuselage with wooden formers and doped linen covering. Initial machines also had fabric covered wings. With its wide track undercarriage, thick wing and forgiving flight characteristics, the Hurricane was a favourite amongst its pilots, despite being overshadowed by the more glamourous Spitfire. It was a solid gun platform, and gained a higher kill ratio than the Spitfire, having been assigned the bomber streams as their specific targets. During its career, the Hurricane gained a metal sheathed wing, variable pitch 3-blade propeller to replace the fixed pitch, two blade Rotol, and numerous other changes were made to it for the purposes of low level bombing, tropical operations, and also for operation from aircraft carriers. A four-gun Hispano cannon installation also graced many machines. By the end of production in 1944, over 14,000 machines had ben built. The era of the timber and metal fighter was now over, but the Hurricane left a legacy that still rings chimes with today’s generation of aircraft enthusiasts. When it comes to 1:32 Hawker Hurricane kits, the modeller hasn’t had much in the way of real choice. There has been half a dozen or so boxings of the old Revell kit that was first released in the early 1970’s, followed by three more releases from Pacific Coast, covering the Mk.I versions (including rag wing version). I have heard modellers say that they wish that Fly Model’s releases had covered the Mk.I also, but in light of the PCM kits, it would seem a pointless task for an initial foray. I don’t know if they plan that in future, but I can say that we will see more than one new Hurricane version being released, after these initial two kits. Jeroen Peters will review the Tropical Hurricane in the near future. For now though, let us take a first look at this brand new tool kit from Fly. The kit With Fly Models kits, you expect to do a little extra work. Whilst Fly’s finesse of detail improves with every release, you will need to clean up a little more flash here and there, and spend more time preparing parts. For me, that’s no big deal. I recently built their Wessex kit for Military Illustrated Modeller, and even with the clean up, it was probably one of the most enjoyable and engaging models I’ve built in many years. The kit itself comes in an attractive box that carries an evocative image of a Mk.IIc flying over the white cliffs of Dover, sporting a later grey/green camouflage scheme, and operating with a Polish RAF squadron. On the side of the box, you’ll see no less than SIX schemes that are provided for this release. As this kit is a multimedia affair, the sprue count is quite modest, with just four sprues included, moulded in a tan-coloured styrene, and a single clear sprue. Whilst the latter is packed into a small ziplock wallet to protect it, the remainder are to be found in a single, clear bag. Whilst these parts are quite loosely packed, no parts have suffered damage. Also in this bag is another ziplock wallet, containing numerous resin parts, produced by Artillery, as with other Fly Model releases. Another sleeve contains a colour painting guide, stencil guide, three decal sheets, instruction manual, acetate instrument sheet, and two frets of photo-etch parts. Sprue A First of all, you need to know the moulded parts have no numbers on the sprues. You will need to refer to the numbered parts plan on the instruction manual. First World problems, eh? This sprue contains both fuselage halves, undercarriage struts and actuators, cockpit door and radiator flap. The fuselage is a full-length moulding, sans rudder, and the external is really very nice. I noticed a new finesse with the Wessex, and this continues with this release. The forward fuselage consists of various panels, finely scribed, and containing Dzus fastener detail. Looking at my reference photos, a few extra rivets could be added in key areas, using Archer rivet decals, maintaining the raised rivet theme of the Hurricane. Two spots on the upper, forward cowl indicate where the cowl bulges will need to fit, so no ambiguity there. But what of the stringer and fabric detail? Well, I think it’s superbly represented, without any unrealistic hard edges. I think Fly tackled this very well. The same applies to the vertical fin, with its ribs and wooden covered leading edge. I quite like the access panels on the rear fuselage, with their fastener detail, and also the metal fairings that extend around the edge of the stabiliser position. Internally, the Hurricane doesn’t have too much in the way of detail, with this being almost exclusively supplied by a multitude of plastic, resin and PE parts, with resin being perhaps the predominant media in this area. We’ll look at the resin parts in a short while. Note that the model has no locating pins anywhere. This is very typical of this type of kit, and I’ve never found a problem with a lack of these. Here you can see the detail for the cockpit door and undercarriage parts. Whilst the undercarriage looks properly proportioned and has the key elements, I would perhaps enhance these further with tape strips and lead wire. Sprue B Wing panels. That is all you will find here, and these are moulded as traditional upper and lower panels, but the lower centre section is a separate part that we’ll look at soon. Now, you will notice something that you don’t usually see on models these days, and that is the numerous rows of raised, domed rivets, instead of the usual divot that tends to be cheaper to tool for mass moulding. It’s not all raised rivets though, as an effort has been made to replicate the countersunk style also, and again, I think Fly have done a great job here, and it certainly sets it apart from contemporary kits. A number of other surface details exist, such as filler ports, fasteners, and other plating such as the stiffening plate on the upper wing. The wings look quite agricultural, as befits the design of the Hurricane. Note that the ailerons are integrally moulded to the wings, and to pose them dynamically would take extra work, and seem quite pointless. I would maybe run a very fine razor saw down each side of the aileron, to make it look a little more ‘separate’ to the wing. Underneath the wing, the same standard of detail can be seen, with only the cannon shell chute ports needing opening up before construction. Where these outer wing panels meet the centre panel, the joint will be obscured by the application of a PE reinforcement strip, mimicking the one that was fitted to the actual machine. Landing flaps are also integrally moulded, and if you want to pose these, you will have your work cut out, and the need of some scratch-building skills. Sprue C We have a real mish-mash here, with the underside wing centre section taking prominent position. This has easy to locate positions for the main radiator, scoop intake and also three indents for the underside lights. Two spinners are also included, a short sharp one, and a longer, blunted one. It is the latter that will be used here. Four identical prop blades are included, of which only three will be used. I’m quite impressed with the shape of these, and they look right, compared with period photos of the Hurricane. Despite the wings not having posable control surfaces, the rudder and elevators are moulded separately, allowing the modeller to incorporate some dynamic into their build. Again, these are superbly represented, with rib structure and delicately engraved trim tabs. Construction is typical for these, with the surfaces being supplied as halves. A few interior parts have crept onto this sprue, with both main sidewall frames being found here, as well as the tubular base. These will need a little clean-up before assembly, to add a little extra refinement. I actually consider, with short-run kits, that what you get is a starting point for your own additional details, but Fly seem to have the interior of the Hurricane looking excellent, built right out of box. A few other parts are moulded here, such as the tail wheel fork, aerial mast, forward cockpit bulkhead, pitot, seat mounting bars etc. Sprue D First up, the parts that you will not be using here, and these include an alternative spinner backplate and some thinner, needle-type prop blades. Fly obviously has other plans to release further versions of this kit, and I certainly welcome seeing those. Two versions of intake scoop are also supplied, so you will need to check your references before committing to attach either one. Both scoops will also need drilling out to open up the intake area, as these aren’t moulded with any recess due to the nature of the tooling of this kit. As with the Wessex, Fly have incorporated all the parts into this kit that are destined for the other versions. Here, that means that the tropical intake is also included. Useful if you wanted to build a tropical machine, but can only find this release. Of course, you would need to source your own decals, possibly aftermarket, if you went that route. Rudder pedals and control stick are included here, and look a little basic. With some extra work, these could be made to look good, or perhaps see if you can source one of the parts from Grey Matter, depending on whether they are pertinent to a Mk.IIc, having been designed for a Mk.I. Fly have supplied the radiator unit as halves, with a separate cooler flap that can be posed. Internal grilles are a photo-etch composite, with several parts for each of the two grilles. The main undercarriage doors can be found here, with lovely internal and external detail, such as raised rivets, plus the traditional style stabilisers that fit to the fuselage via a tab. For fitting the resin exhausts, there are some plastic plates that fit internally within the cowl, providing a mounting point for the exhausts. Also moulded here are the four Hispano cannon barrels, with their recoil springs. As Fly provide these as alternative resin parts, I think you’d be nuts to use the styrene ones, but if you aren’t comfortable with resin (in which case, why buy this kit?!), then the option is there to use those parts. Clear Sprue This contains thirteen parts, and I have to say that Fly are getting much better with their transparencies. The windscreen and sliding hood have excellent visibility with no annoying texture to be seen. However, the piece of armoured glass that fits within the windscreen, does have a slight texture to it. As this part is totally flat, it will be easy to remove that and polish the part to a good sheen with better transparency. This can then be fitted within the main windscreen with a drop of Klear, so as not to cause any distortion or fogging. Other parts include wingtip and landing light lenses, and the covers for the wing leading edge lights. Resin Parts There are 21 parts here, cast in medium grey resin. The most obvious, and largest part is the main undercarriage bay. All that needs adding to this is a part from Sprue C (pipework), and you have a part ready to fit to the model. There is an area of casting block on top of the well, but I’m unsure whether you would need to grind this away. Just check to see if it fits before gluing it to the wing itself. A set of four Hispano cannon barrels with recoil springs, are also included, and look far better than the styrene ones supplied on Sprue D. Two nice main Dunlop tyres are also included here, but I think some work would be needed to restore any tread detail when the casting blocks are removed. That remains to be seen. Of course, the tail wheel is also included, but none of the wheels are supplied as ‘weighted’. Two rather nice sets of exhaust manifolds are supplied, as is a pilot seat that just requires the casting block and protective resin webs removing. For the wing leading edge light areas, there are two resin internal frame/rib parts that look very fragile. Care should most definitely be taken here, and lastly, a casting block containing numerous parts, mainly for the cockpit, but also including a leading edge camera port and rear view mirror. Resin casting, by Artillery, is first rate, and certainly can’t be faulted. Photo-Etch Parts and Acetate Two frets are included with this kit, with numerous cockpit detail parts, such as the two-part instrument panel, armoured head rest, optional night-fighter exhaust anti-glare plates, radiator elements, pilot tread plates, and also the wing reinforcement plates that will fit along the joint between the lower, outer wing panels, and the centre section. A very nice touch indeed! A single acetate sheet is printed with instruments, and is to be placed to the rear of the photo-etch panel. You will need to paint the reverse of this in white paint, prior to installation, so as to highlight the ink printing of the gauges. Decals and Schemes I do very much like Fly’s inclusion of a separate colour scheme sheet, clearly showing all six schemes in all the main plan formats. Decal placement is clearly marked out, and colours are indicated with reference to both Humbrol and AK-Interactive codes. A separate sheet is included, dealing solely with stencil position. THREE decal sheets are included. The main one contains the individual scheme markings, along with common elements, such as fin flashes and roundels. Two smaller sheets are dedicated to stencils, and Fly have been pretty thorough here. The reason for two stencil sheets is that one of them concerns the night-fighter machine. Printing appears to be excellent, with sharp, authentic colour, and importantly, everything looks to be in perfect register. The decals are thin, and have minimal carrier film. The schemes are: Hurricane Mk.IIc, BE581, JX-E, No.1 Sqdn, flown by F/Lt. Karel Kuttelwascher (early camo version) Hurricane Mk.IIc, BE581, JX-E, No.1 Sqdn, flown by F/Lt. Karel Kuttelwascher (late camo version) Hurricane Mk.IIc, BE500, LK-A, No.87 Sqdn, RAF Cawnpore, flown by Sqn/Ldr. Dennis Smallwood Hurricane Mk.IIc, BD936, ZY-S, No.247 Sqdn. RAF Hurricane Mk.IIc, LF345, ZA-P, Post war (1946) Hurricane Mk.IIc, LF630, WC-S, No.309 Polish Fighter-Reconnaissance Squadron, RAF Instruction Manual This manual is common to both this and the Trop release (soon to be reviewed by Jeroen). It’s a glossy 20-page booklet that starts with that parts plan that you will need to refer too. When it comes to clear, resin and PE parts, each of these is assigned a colour that is easily identified during the constructional sequences. It only takes a few moments to get used to it. Construction drawings are clear and easy to follow, and I can’t really see any ambiguity during the build. Now, there are no colour references supplied for parts during the build, but if you flick to the last three pages of the manual, all colour reference you need, is to be found here, with colour drawings for the cockpit, gear bays, radiator, cannon, exhausts etc. Conclusion I have to admit a fondness for Fly model kits, having now built their Ba 349, Ar 234, and Wessex. I have also seen an improvement as time has gone by, and this kit is every bit as good as the recent Wessex release that has had such good press. Of course, you really don’t have any other option if you want to build a Mk.IIc machine, but that’s no problem when you have a release that is as good as this. Moulding is every bit as good as it should be for these non-mainstream releases, and the resin and photo-etch are excellent, as are the comprehensive decal sheets. Add to that the cost of this model, currently retailing at around £30, then you certainly have a kit that is cheaper to buy than the Mk.I from PCM, and certainly easier to find that those older releases. What are you waiting for? Get one now, as the Sea Hurricane will then be calling your name, and further Hurricane releases! A beautiful kit of one of the RAF’s most iconic machines. Most highly recommended My sincere thanks to Fly Model for the review sample seen here. To buy directly, click THIS link. ........BUT WAIT! 1:32 Hurricane aftermarket sets Fly Model See article for code and price As well as the two brand new Hurricane kits that LSM has received, Fly have also packed a few extras into the boxes for us to look at. It’s sure good to see Fly make a few extras, tailored of course to give us a little extra choice, but without the added, unnecessary cost of putting them in the kit box to start with. Here we go! Version 2 guns (suitable for Mk.IIc and Mk.IIc Trop) Catalogue # arta 001 Price: around £1.50 Buy HERE This block, on first inspection, looks to be identical to the resin guns that are supplied in the kit. Closer inspection shows that the recoil springs are located differently. There were two formats for the Hispano recoil springs, with presumably the most common being supplied in the kit, but this set allows you to build your model with these very specific barrels. You will need to check your references though. All four barrels are cast on a single, medium grey block, and as will all Artillery resin castings, the quality is superb. This set is supplied in a small re-sealable sleeve that is packed into a small and rigid box. Hurricane Canopy Mk.I & Mk.II (for all Fly kits) Catalogue # arta 002 Price: around £2.00 Buy HERE I suppose that a vac part does actually represent something that is more of a scale thickness when it comes to the glass panels. Quite how that is accounted for in the frames, especially when you pose it opened, is another question. However, this optional part is formed as a single piece, and would need to be sliced if you wanted to pose it in an open position. Production is excellent, with exceptional clarity for a vac, and sharp framing lines. Certainly an option to look at, that with a little extra internal frame work, would look really good. Again, this is packed into a re-sealable sleeve, and then popped into a small, rigid box. Hurricane Mask Set, for Mk.IIc and Mk.IIc Trop Catalogue # NWAM0027 Price: around £4.00 Buy HERE These masks, like Eduards’ sets, are sharply cut into a sheet of Kabuki masking material, and are produced by New Ware. Parts are included for the individual canopy panes, as well as the wheels/hubs, wing leading edge lights, wingtip lights, and underside lamp lenses. Production looks superb. These are packed into a ziplock wallet, with an instruction sheet that shows what each part is, and where it goes. For me, a real useful release! Hurricane Markings Mask set, for kit #32012 Catalogue # artm 32001 Price: around £4.00 Buy HERE Masks are being increasingly more popular in our hobby, so if you want an alternative to decals for the main markings, you’d normally need to order a custom set of markings. For this, and the Trop version, Artillery have again teamed up with Fly, producing a complete set of vinyl masks as an alternative and direct replacement for the main kit decals. This is sharply cut onto a sheet of very thin, clear vinyl that peels from a paper backing sheet. What I can’t find though are any pieces of blank vinyl that you would use for transporting these masks to the model itself, although vinyl masking material can no doubt be bought in small quantities, maybe even from Artillery themselves. Providing these have a good level of adhesion, especially on the raised rivet surfaces, then these will indeed provide a very welcome alternative to decals. There really is nothing quite like looking at markings that have been airbrushed instead of using decals. It’s the ultimate in reality. Also, these masks are only £4.00, which is quite extraordinary, and again, if the material is good, then these represent superb value for money. Conclusion I’m very pleased to see some options now being released at the same time as the kit, allowing you to do some proper project planning. The items here represent great value for money, and you should really think about adding a few to your online shopping cart. My sincere thanks to Fly Model for the samples seen here.
  6. 1:24 Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B Airfix Catalogue # A19002 Available from Airfix for £99.99 If anything could be classed as a 'main event' at a model show, then the test shot sprues for the 1:24 Airfix Hawker Typhoon which were on show atScale Model World 2013, Telford, in November last year, certainly is the epitome of that statement. You would have had serious difficulty in getting anywhere near the plastic, such was the continual throng of modellers crowding out the Airfix stall. Some perseverance and the occasional rigid elbow eventually got our website team in to get the all-important photos. This looked to be a model like no other. Yes, Airfix are the original stalwarts of 1:24 model aircraft, with their last release, the Mosquito, being released in late 2009. However, something was very different with this new kit. In fact, something that I'm pretty sure hasn't been seen on an injection-moulded kit before. That difference was the stressed metal surface that this model sported. Yes, something that we see on practically all metal skinned aircraft, now reproduced with amazing authenticity on a plastic model kit. The Typhoon was a large and heavy fighter plane, and in 1:24, it really is no shrinking violet. It also has a very large box in order to accommodate the rakes of plastic within. I quite like the design of Airfix's packaging. It's got great artwork that harkens back to the time when this was a big selling point for us when we were young. It's extremely bold and almost shouts 'buy me' at you as soon as you see it, and the glossy gorgeousness also carries the four varied schemes on one edge. The back of the box not only carries those 4 scheme profiles again, but also superbly realistic digital renders, in heavy weathering. You also get a potted history of the Typhoon and a map of operational Typhoon bases in June/July 1944. There are also some impressive CAD renders of the model too. Lifting that substantial lid does immediately blow away any idea about this being a sturdy looking box. It simply isn't. In fact, it's quite flimsy and twists easily. There are no separators in there either, as you get in some Trumpeter releases, so the sprues are free to bang around a little. Several parts had come adrift from my sprues, but were thankfully undamaged. Sprues aren't all individually packaged, with many sharing their tough polythene bags. These are sealed up using heat. I'm not a fan of sprues being bagged in multiples, but the packers have had the good sense in ensuring that those external surfaces are facing away from each other. I don't know if that's by accident or design, but it pleases me. Of course, the clear sprues are separate. Inside their bags, these are wrapped in foam, and within that, what looks like kitchen/toilet tissue paper. As well as the two clear sprues, there are SIXTEEN others, all moulded in light grey styrene, and these are generally packed in bags containing two each. There was never any doubt that this was going to be a complex kit to look at, so we'll do our sprue-by-sprue and see what this kit offers the builder, who no doubt will want to see all those details that they either saw at Telford SMW2013, and those little touches which do so promise to set this kit above all others in its class. Many sprues in this release are quite narrow, but also long. That's a little quirky, and I suppose makes them a little easier to package into this behemoth of a box. It makes the photos a little awkward, so we'll have to compensate with many close-up shots. SPRUE A Airfix has apparently designed this model so that it more or less constructs in the same manner as did the real aircraft. I'm not going to approve or disprove that statement, but the construction sequences are quite unusual and may seem to back that up. We'll look at the sequence at the end of the sprues evaluation. That construction does start with the cockpit and wing spar joint assembly, and this sprue contains more than a few of those key, initial components. The most obvious parts here are the tubular sidewalls for the cockpit. These sure give a sense of scale to proceedings. Airfix have properly captured the impression of the various tubes being riveted, plated and bolted together. Definition of that detail is generally excellent, but like many parts on this sprue, there is a little flash here and there, and more annoyingly, there are a few seam lines that will need paring before you start. Another thing I notice on this model generally are the number of very visible ejector pin marks. The side frames do suffer from these, but they have been placed on the exterior side of them, so won't be seen when the model is assembled. I am reliably informed that the majority of these marks are designed not be seen when the model is built, despite the beautiful levels of detail existing around these anomalies. Another example of this are the marks on the forward bulkhead/firewall. There are no marks to be seen on the engine bay side of this superbly detailed part (resplendent in wiring, connector points, raised rivets etc), but the reverse does have pin marks. The upper two will be hidden by the two-part fuel tank, and the lower will be in the shadows of the foot well. There are two short, sub wing spars on this sprue, and pin marks exist on one face of them. These are mated to the larger main spar, so I can say that Airfix do seem to have thought this out with the modeller in mind. That oil tank assembly is a little odd, with it being literally sliced in half. Having said that, the seam will be easy to remove due to no other detail causing you a headache here. Other parts on this sprue include the oval bulkhead to the rear of the cockpit (with integral tubular braces and excellent connection point detail). Other parts on this sprue are the footboards, rudder pedal bar, and various other cockpit parts; both major and minor. This kit also supplies a pilot, and the forward and back parts of his torso/legs are moulded here. The arms and head are separate. Airfix have designed their pilot so he properly interacts with the control column etc, and his feet do indeed reach the pedals! Seatbelts are spread between this sprue and sprue L, and look very reasonable. I would still opt for an HGW set though. SPRUE B I think the reason for long, narrow sprues is clearly defined here when we see the two key wing spars for the Typhoon. They are long! In fact, each measures approximately 330mm (over 13 inches), and these aren't even the full span of this model kit. There are clear connection points on here that tie in with the addition of the cockpit module, and even though I keep harkening to the detail levels, I really need to. Those spars are a combination of strut, plate, tube and rivet, and they look incredibly realistic. Under a coat of Alclad, and with an oil wash, they will no doubt look indiscernible from the real thing. If you like to see a well-moulded and highly detailed instrument panel, then the one Airfix provide will not disappoint you. Despite being almost a 'triptych', this areas is moulded as a single piece, with nicely raised bevel detail, and switches/selectors etc. Those instrument faces are moulded as holes, so the glazed section can fit to this from the rear. There has been some criticism of the depth of those clear lenses, so if you wish to use the Airfix approach, you could actually grind them down a fraction and re-polish them. This is where I really do begin to question why they included a clear part at all. Individual decals are supplied for this kit, and unlike the Tamiya approach where they are printed face side down, these are standard in approach, meaning they sit ON TOP of the glass, and not below it. Unless I'm missing something, that part didn't need to be clear. I'd apply the decals to the instrument faces, once that rear plate has been installed. A drop of Micro Crystal Clear will then replicate the lens. Perhaps at this juncture, it's a good time to mention the excellent Airscale set of instrument decals that are available, including Typhoon-specific cockpit placards. This set is designed specifically for this release. This sprue is another myriad of internal cockpit parts, including sidewall panels and integral cabling, control consoles, quadrants, seat parts and numerous other tubular framing parts. Again, a little flash will need to be removed here and there, and some seam lines paring down too. SPRUE C Onto a nice, large sprue now. Apart from a set of neatly moulded, weighted wheels with a little simplified hub detail, this sprue more or less contains the parts for the massively powerful 24-cylinder Napier Sabre engine. If you so choose, you can build this with an optional miniature electric motor tucked away within (bought separately), and there are various options available to the modeller when it comes to displaying the engine itself. These are highlighted in the first pages of the manual. For me, I feel it sacrilege to not show the engine when complete. The kit allows you to model the engine with the electric motor completely hidden within, and not affecting the finished result, or you can opt to just cowl the area over and not show the engine at all. As you'll imagine, the engine itself isn't a quick build in itself, and this highly detailed area of construction contains around 60 to 70 parts, but my very quick estimation. The Napier was quite unusual in appearance, and those ignition distribution conduits and their associated leads are neatly moulded too. A little flash again, and some seams will most definitely need to be removed too. There is some very neat slide-moulding trickery on the separate exhaust stubs too, with each one having a neatly hollow end, as well as weld seams. As well as the engine and ancillary parts, you will find some very fragile-looking plumbing here too. . Needless to say, flash is present, and those infernal seams, but the latter aren't really too bad here. Just take your time when it comes to shaving them away. Dual packing of sprues didn't pay off here as one connector hose has broken away from the sprue. SPRUE D A real mish-mash of parts here. Undercarriage doors are provided as an external plate, with a separate interior section that has tabs that locate into the slots on the undercarriage legs. A very small sink mark can be seen on the exterior of one door, and that will need to be filled and sanded back. Of course, one of the most characteristic parts of the Typhoon design was the enormous chin intake. This is broken down into several parts, as is the actual exterior cowl (on another sprue). There are also a couple of optional intake parts for the forward section of the intake. One is a simple framework that sits in front of the filter, and the other is a plate grille. There are actually two types of the latter on the sprue, but I can't see any use mentioned of the plainer part. The rest of the sprue is taken up with yet more sections of plumbing, and also parts for the main undercarriage/tail wheel, including various actuators and tanks that reside in the main gear bays. Looking at the sprues and the instructions, I really would be hard-pressed to see what else you'd need to add, maybe apart from the odd section of lead wire. Remarkable. SPRUE E Only one part here, but it is, er, pretty important! For the first time, we see something containing that rather impressive stressed metal skin; the lower bottom wing panel. Depending on how you intend to display your model will then depend on which holes you need to open up from within this part. Stage 90 (yes, 90!!!) graphically shows which holes are intended for the various tanks and ordnance. If you fit the electric motor, then you will need to open up another hole. This is also true if you decide to mount on a stand. I can't understand why Airfix didn't include the stand as standard. It used to be in the other 1:24 releases. For those of you that saw the test sprues at SMW2013, you were no doubt awestruck by that stressed metal rendition. Some of you will have seen photos on other forums etc., and I imagine you felt that same way. To have the parts here in hand, and experience it again has certainly not dulled those first impressions. This is a seriously nice piece of design work, impressively carried off at the tooling and moulding stage. The surface is resplendent in various bumps and bulges, subtly accommodated between various riveted lines. The whole effect is extremely authentic, and hopefully will set a bench mark, not just for Airfix, but also their competitors. Other surface detail is no less nice. The rivets, which divots, are very small and just right to my eye. Panel lines are superbly neat and narrow, and not at all too deep, and numerous screwed and riveted plates are perfectly executed. Cartridge ejection chutes are also moulded 'open', and the Hispano cannon fairings are separate entities. There is a little flash present again, around the internal opening of the gear bays, and also in the landing flap areas. Nothing at all to worry about, and I imagine you could remove it in less than a minute. SPRUE F This sprue mostly concerns itself with the wing interior detail, including the gun bay areas. Airfix has designed this model so that the lower wing panel (Sprue E) is attached to the completed cockpit and engine section. On top of this, you now add the various internal wing spars and ribs, forming the wheel bays and gun bays. Detail across these is astounding, with riveted plates, wiring, and even the leather grommet in the spar, through which the Hispano pass. You have a real sense that the designer was extremely passionate about his work here, because if a lot of this was missing, you'd still be impressed with the result. Other detail on the spars includes strut sections with domed rivets, and even a pouch/wallet item in the wheel bay area. When the spars and ribs are added, a ground plate is then added to the gun bays, consisting of structural elements and mounts for the cannon. Those cannon are very impressive in their sheer size, but unusually, the muzzles aren't hollow moulded! I can't understand why at all, and certainly not in a release of this importance. You can of course drill them out yourself, or wait until Master Model release a set of replacement barrels with recoil springs. The latter are moulded in situ here and look as good as you can expect to get them. After all, they will mostly be enclosed with the fairings anyway. Those cannon fairings are moulded as halves. That in itself doesn't sound like an issue, but Airfix have moulded the shape within so that it fits the recoil spring. That would normally means that you would have to attach them to the model and then remove the seams. On a big model, it can be awkward. I suggest opening the interior up a little and building them off the model. You can then slide them into position when the seams are history. Other parts on this sprue include the ammunition boxes and separate belt feeds and rear spars which form the face onto which you will add the flaps etc. SPRUE G There are THREE spinner options available here, including those for both three and four blade propellers. Two back-plates are separately moulded to cater to these, with internal face detail. You'll be hard-pressed to see it when assembled though! Hubs for both types of prop are supplied as front and back parts too, but this is nothing unusual for a large-scale model. A third of this sprue is taken over with various fuel tanks, including the wing leading edge tanks. All tanks are two part affairs, and seams will be easy to remove. Of course, filler cap detail is there the rib-capping strip that fits over the main wing tank. The real drying shame is that you won't see any of this detail except through the odd chink in detail within the gun and wheel bays. Still, you will know it's there, and that's what counts in my book. The remainder of sprue parts are taken over with the bomb bodies, external fuel tanks and the rocket mounting rails. Bombs and tanks are moulded as halves, and you will need to take care when removing the seams on the tanks, due to raised detail that gets in the way of a clean joint. SPRUE H This model comes with two types of tail-plane. Firstly, the standard chord tail-plane is of course present, but also the later, wider chord type that is commonly referred to as the 'Tempest tail-plane'. Normally, this sort of inclusion would have been very difficult to implement in kit form due to the difference required for the fuselage slot. The difference here is that Airfix has designed the vertical fin and lower section to be separate parts. On this sprue, you will find the parts of the fin that will allow you to attach the original, short-chord tail-plane. I am reliably informed that the fin section fits effortlessly to the fuselage. That lower wing section, as I mentioned, wasn't full span. Here we have the lower, outboard sections of the wings, which appear to attach along a panel line. These are tabbed to aid alignment, and of course, that delicious stressed skin is very evident. A wing spar which extends past the centre section of the wing also gives the tip addition some rigidity. As the upper wing is pretty skeletal, Airfix have chosen to adopt a better system of representing the roof of the main gear bays instead of simply moulding it to the inside of the upper wing panels. This gives a far better representation for the modeller, allowing perhaps a little extra wire etc. to be added before the wing is closed up. There are wiring boxes and wiring itself on these parts, accompanying the wing structure detail. As well as the multipart gun bay covers which also exhibit that stressed skin relief, a second set of main gear bay doors are provided, as single parts, allowing the modeller to pose his model 'wheels up' with no problem.