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Hasegawa 1/72 scale Hurricane Mk.I "Battle of Britain"

Kit: No. AP38
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Hasegawa, distributed by Marco Polo Import Inc., 532 S.
Coralridge Place, City of Industry, CA 91746
Price: $15.98
Comments: Injection molded, 36 parts (1 vinyl), decals.

THE HAWKER HURRICANE was a direct descendant of the Fury biplane, the result of discussions of a "Fury monoplane" between its designer, Sydney Camm, and the Royal Air Force. It was the RAF's first monoplane fighter. Fittingly, as the Fury had been the first British aircraft to exceed 200 mph, the Hurricane was the first to exceed 300 mph. In the Battle of Britain, Hurricanes shot down more aircraft than all other defenses, including the vaunted Spitfire.

Hasegawa's new "Hurri" is molded in light gray plastic with petite, recessed panel lines and near-perfect fit. The cowling ahead of the fire wall is molded in left and right halves with a separate lower panel. Most parts fit together on panel lines, which minimizes fit problems.

Like other recent Hasegawa kits in this scale, the cockpit interior is basic. The seat measures a mere 12" wide and has a prominent ejector-pin mark in the middle. A floor, stick, and instrument panel are included, but there is no side-wall detail. I glued the seat to the floor and this assembly to the right fuselage half, but when I closed the fuselage, the seat ended up off-center. I recommend slipping the seat (or a substitute) through the cockpit opening after the fuselage is assembled.

The fuselage halves fit perfectly, but be careful cleaning up the sprue-attachment points on the aft fuselage among the longeron structure lines. Applying liquid cement to the seams from the inside (through the opening for the wing) eliminates cleanup in this detailed area, too.

To achieve the best fit of the ventral coolant radiator, attach the scoop first and then add the aft radiator body. The carburetor scoop is supposed to be split at its aft edge, so don't mistake this for a flaw. I like the design of the separate exhausts, which makes painting easier.

The tail wheel molded to the left fuselage half is the "knuckle" type found on the Mk.II (a sign of more Hurricanes to come), but the kit provides a separate sprue with a Mk.I assembly.

Ejector-pin marks mar the wheels, so take your time to fill and sand them smooth. I carefully sanded the mating surfaces around the wing-root trailing edge to achieve a snug fit. The forward cowling fit to the rest of the fuselage with a minimum of sanding. Fitting the petite drag braces to the main landing gear struts is tricky; be sure to use the correct part number as the left and right ones are "handed" to fit.

The separate blades and spinner parts trap a vinyl grommet inside the assembly. This allows you to press fit the prop to the fuselage, yet permits you to remove it easily.

I used Gunze Sangyo Aqueous paints for the day-fighter scheme of dark earth, dark green, and sky. The instructions give only codes for these paints and Mr. Color enamels. By the way, the code given for the enamel "330" is also good for the aqueous color (H330, British dark green). I used Alclad shade "O" for the gear struts and wheel wells, and applied a wash of dark oil paints to the recessed panel lines.

Hasegawa provides markings for Robert Sanford Tuck's machine from No. 257 Squadron, and for Arthur Clowes' No. 1 Squadron aircraft. I chose the latter, and the decals went on fine with a little setting solution. There is a partial set of stenciling including the prominent W/T (wireless telegraphy) marks; these indicated that the adjacent structure was electrically bonded to the airframe, not that there was an antenna or radio inside. Also provided are red decals for the protective pre-sortie tape covering the wing machine guns -- a nice touch.

The one-piece canopy has two small tabs molded to the inside rear area; I assume these were made to fit into the canopy tracks, but they're too far forward to do so and hindered the fit. I sanded them off, polished out the scratches, and the canopy fit like a glove.

The landing-light lens covers are too thick and detract from the overall appearance of the kit. I substituted small circles of aluminum foil for the lights and cellophane tape for the lenses.

According to the dimensions in the old Profile on the Hurricane (No. 111), the kit measures three scale inches shy in span and right on the money in length. But most important, the finished model portrays the Hurricane's chunky-but-lethal lines.

This is an outstanding kit that practically falls together. I spent less than 12 hours on my Hurricane, most of it painting and decaling. I recommend Hasegawa's Hurricane to modelers of all experience levels.

Walt Fink


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