PCM 1/32 Hurricane II
Greymatter Hurricane II conversion sets used.
The Hurricane II with the uprated Merlin XX engine appeared in the fall of 1940, just in time for a few Mk.IIa aircraft to participate in the closing events of the Battle of Britain.
The uprated engine, which was equipped with a two-stage supercharger that increased performance above 18,000 feet, increase power to 1,280 h.p. and provided a useful increase in power at both lower and higher altitudes. The new engine required a modified cowling with extended overall length by four inches. A new, larger radiator with a different housing that was deeper and wider than that of the Mk.I was also necessary. A new Rotol propeller with a more streamlined spinner was also introduced, creating what pilots and crew called the “long nose Hurricane.”
The Mk.IIa carried the standard armament of eight .303 machine guns. In October 1940, the “Mk.II Series II” appeared with armament increased to twelve machine guns, with two additional weapons in each wing outboard of the landing lights. In April 1941, this version was re-designated the Mk.IIb. The Mk.IIb also introduced a different tailwheel, with a levered-suspension leg with a torque link, to cater to the increased weight.
A limited number of Mk.IIb airframes were also modified to Sea Hurricane configuration and saw service aboard RN carriers with the Fleet Air Arm in 1942 in the Mediterranean, most prominently during the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa.
Pacific Coast Models first released their Hurricane I kits, with both the earlier “rag wing” and later “metal wing” versions as separate kits, in 2010. While the kits are “fiddly” and not for the neophyte, in the hands of an experienced modeler they make up into excellent models.
Greymatter Figures had previously released resin conversion sets (formerly done by Wolfpack), to allow conversion of the ancient Revell Hurricane I to a Hurricane II. Fortunately, these parts also fit the newer and far superior PCM kit, and allow a modeler to create a Hurricane IIa, IIb and IIc, depending on which sets are used. Set GMA3212 _”Mk. IIa/b/c Conversion,” has the different nose cowling in a piece of solid resin, a resin cockpit that is better-detailed than the PCM kit, a resin seat, the different fishtail exhausts, the different radiator and housing, and the different tail wheel, and the later Rotol propeller, as well as the 4 20mm cannon barrels for the “c” version. GMA3203 is a resin wheel well set, which is not really necessary with the PCM kit, since that kit has a resin wheel well that is sufficient, though the Grey Matter set has finer detail.
A modeler who is making the Mk. IIc conversion with the PCM kit will have to fill in the surface detail for the four-gun wing bay, and source the cannon fairing bulges and the cannon fairings. If you have the Revell kit that was “modified” to a Mk.IIc, you can cut those parts off the wing. The recent re-release of the Revell kit also has good decals, which add to the possible markings options that can be produced with the PCM decal sheet.
I opted for a Mk.IIb primarily because I did not want to go to the effort of converting the wing for the cannons of the Mk.IIc. I also used the tropic filter from the old Revell kit, which is accurate in shape and fit the resin nose. Greymatter also has a resin filter if you need it.
I started by cutting off the forward cowling of the fuselage halves. I then assembled the fuselage halves and the lower rear part. After cutting the resin nose off its molding block, I attached it to the fuselage. I then took the lower one-piece wing and modified its forward center section so it would attach cleanly with the different nose part.
I painted and
assembled the Greymatter cockpit, and installed it in the fuselage.
I used the PCM photoetch instrument panel, though the resin panel in the
Greymatter set would also look good if AirScale instrument decals were used.
Having learned the secret of assembling the PCM kit wing and fuselage, I attached the upper wing halves to the fuselage, so I could work the wing-fuselage joint to get it as clean as possible with a minimum of filling and sanding, which loses the surface detail. I then attached the PCM resin wheel well to the lower wing, and the landing lights in the upper wings, and attached the lower wing to the fuselage and upper wings. There is some difference in the cutouts for the four machine guns in the leading edge, as well as the landing lights. I cut and trimmed these so they were aligned, and installed the machine gun ports. I had to sand down the wingtips to align properly, and smooth the wing leading edge.
I then attached the horizontal stabilizers, filling and sanding smooth the gaps in the joints.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The model was painted with
Xtracrylix RAF Dark Earth, Middle Stone and Azure Blue, applied freehand.
I used the later C underwing
decals, C.1 fuselage decals and fin flash from a 1/32 Spitfire decal sheet, then
used the stencils from the PCM kit and the Revell decal sheet.
I “dinged” the model with a silver Sharpie and a silver Prismacolor pencil, then applied heavy exhaust staining with Tamiya Sky Grey, German Grey and NATO black to simulate the staining that resulted from the lean engine mixtures used in the desert. I attached the landing light covers and canopy.
It would really be nice if Pacific Coast Models were to extend their series of Hurricanes to the Mk.IIs, but in the absence of that option a modeler with experience doing resin conversions and assembling limited-run plastic kits should be able to use the Greymatter sets to create a late-model Hurricane without any insurmountable difficulty.
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