Friday, July 23, 2010

The Hawker Hurricane Mk. II in 1/72

Since my observations on the 1/72 Spitfire Mk. V kits has been quite popular, here are my thoughts on the 1/72 Hurricane Mk. IIs.

Academy Hurricane IIc - Great detail, excellent engraved panel lines, and a decent representation of the rear fuselage fabric detail. Sadly the fuselage is way too narrow which ruins the complete look of the finished product. No tropical filter is provided and there are no underwing stores. But for the fuselage error, it would be been the best Hurricane in the scale. Sadly with the error, it cannot be recommended at all.

Airfix Hurricane I/II - An old rivet encrusted kit. No matter what the box says, it can only be built as a Mk. II. The canopy is awful being way too small and there is no way a Merlin would fit in the nose. The Mk I prop is terrible and there is no option for the tropical filter. It does have a nice selection of under wing stores.

Airfix Hurricane IIc - Brand new tooling. The rear fuselage fabic detail is excellent, but that is balanced out by the fuselage scribing being very, shall we say agricultural. The spinner is poor, and the prop blades even worse, being way too short. Something about the fuselage shape is a little off and the horizontal stabs are too small, but at least you can fit a Merlin in the nose. The rudder is also misshapen. It does have a decent cockpit and correct wheel well detail. One added bonus is that it includes Sea Hurricane conversion parts right in the box. I was expected better, but with a replacement prop and rudder looks reasonably like a Hurricane. Very reasonably priced.

Hasegawa Hurricane II family - The Hasegawa kit has a reasonable shape, but the cockpit is a joke, the seat is tiny, and the overlarge spinner is fictional for a World War Two Hurricane. (Though it is correct for a few restored warbirds.) Technically the joint line for the Mk. II nose is in the wrong place, but the overall length is ok. The fabric rear fuselage is way overdone. Some boxes contain the tropical filter. It should be better for the very high price Hasegawa is now asking for the kit.

Heller Hurricane IIc - Old school with raised panel lines. The Heller kit has pretty good shape from the firewall back, but the nose is far to thin for a Merlin. Probably the best Hurricane II prop and spinner in 1/72. Can now be found in a Smer box.

Hobby Boss Hurricane IIc - A simplified Academy clone with the same narrowness issue. It does however contain the tropical filter. As with the Academy kit it cannot be recommended because of the fuselage shape.

Matchbox Hurricane IIc - An old school Matchbox kit. Again, there is no way a Merlin would fit in the nose. This kit was later reissued as Hurricane IId with the under wing gun pods.

Revell Hurricane II family - This kit has been issued as a Hurricane IIb, Hurricane IIc, and a Sea Hurricane. One of my favorite kits. Generally the shape is pretty good, but Revell did not extend the fuselage spine under the canopy. In addition the wing chord is a little too large, but no noticeably so. Good cockpit detail. The spinner and prop are poor, as are the wheels. Something appears to be off with the windscreen. Depending on the boxing you may get under wing bombs, tank, and/or a tropic filter. Good value for the money.

I like the Revell kit the best, because it is the nicest combination of detail and shape for the price. Hasegawa is in a similar league, but much much more money. Pretty much every Hurricane on the market will need a new propeller and spinner which is very frustrating.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to see this review including the AZ models Hurricane(s) and how those compare to the rest of the offerings.

PC said...

I would like to build a sea hurricane for Operation Pedestal but all the kits seem to have the incorrect Propellor boss or spinner. Are there any after market ones suitable?

Jim Bates said...

PC - You are looking for a de Havilland propeller and spinner. In 1/72, both Valiant Wings and Quickboost do such a spinner. (It is also included in the new tool Airfix fabric wing kit.) In 1/48, the spinner is included in the new tool Airfix kit.