I've been having a bit of fun over on the Britmodeller forum, taking part in the Classic Airfix group build. I'd already built the Fairey Rotodyne, but I realised I still had a couple of other classic kits that met the rules. They were also relatively simple builds that wouldn't take that long.
I decided to dig out one of the kits and see what I could do in a weekend, like the olden days.
This boxing dates from the late 1980s, but the kit has a 1978 date moulded in one of the wings. As is my wont, and interest in things 1940, I decided to go with after market decals rather than the somewhat aged ones in the box.
With so few parts this model won't take long to put together. I joked it ought to be built by tea time, and painted by bed time! Of its time, there are raised panel lines, and bare-bones internal detailing.
The original intention, back in the 1990s, was to build this kit for a museum diorama - which, sadly, fell through - and I had acquired various detailing and upgrading parts to upgrade an otherwise fairly basic model. The PE is from Eduard, but is intended for a Hasegawa Hurricane kit. I still intended to use as much of it as would fit. The vacuum formed canopy will definitely be used, as it can be posed in the open position.
First of all, I had a go to see if the PE wheel well fitted the Airfix underwing. The answer, sadly, was no. Rather than waste time boxing things in for an area that's very unlikely to be seen under normal circumstances, I decided to leave the wells as the kit designers intended, just painted black.
I had slightly better luck with the cockpit detailing. Some parts definitely needed chopping down and altering here and there, but at least there is something showing in the office.
The seat made from the PE parts. I went cross-eyed a couple of times, but it turned out okay in the end.
The seat after mods to allow it to fit in the Airfix cockpit, plus the PE instrument panel with added reflector sight and compass. I never use the clear printed parts in these detailing sets. At 1/72nd scale, and lost inside a cockpit, you never will see anything.
The main components assembled, a bit after tea time! I decided to chop off the elevators so they could be repositioned. The propeller still spins, which is a major achievement for me!
The modular construction allowed for test fitting the wings to the fuselage. This revealed a gap along the upper wing roots - the only major gaps I encountered on this kit. I worked out that gluing some 10 thou styrene sheet along the wing roots of the fuselage would fill the gap.
Here's the result. There's still a small gap on the port wing, soon dealt with by a tiny smear of filler. This kit had very little flash, and the parts fitted together very neatly. A little sanding here and there, and a little filler here and there, and that was it.
I drilled out the rear of each landing light transparency to simulate a bulb. Again, fit was good, needing only a gentle buff along the leading edges to tidy things up. I also fitted the main undercarriage and radiator parts.
I used the PE to add a radiator flap, and the etched grille parts were fitted inside the radiator housing. The PE also includes the stirrup step, which I must remember to fit when I'm nearly finished. I needed a little filler round the rear of the wing roots.
In the spirit of a Saturday afternoon build, although it was by now Sunday, I elected to brush paint my Hurricane. I used Xtracrylix colours for the camo colours, and Humbrol 90 Sky acrylic underneath, in several light coats. This was followed by a coat of Humbrol Clear for the transfers and to protect the paint from handling damage.
The transfers came from an Xtradecal set for Battle of Britain fighters. P3707 NN-A of No 310 (Czech) Squadron, RAF Duxford, October 1940. I think it was being flown by Flt Lt Josef Maly, but crashed because of a mid-air collision.
I let the transfers dry overnight, and did another quick brushed coat of Clear to seal them this morning. Then I got up to the paint shop to airbrush some matt enamel varnish over the airframe. This has miraculously hidden all the brush marks the gloss coats revealed! Anyway, still to do are the canopy, prop yellow tips, and some mild weathering.
While I really appreciate the level of detail provided in the current generation of kits, I do find the sheer quantity of parts can make a build drag at times. If building is what you enjoy, then that's great. However, there are times when harking back to simpler times can be just as rewarding.
I'll try and get this Hurricane completed and photographed over the next couple of days. I've got a Spitfire and Whirlwind of similar vintage to build soon!