Revell 1/72 Soviet spotter Hurricane IIB
|PRICE:||Currently around $9.00 MSRP|
The Hawker Hurricane, one of the two fighters responsible for saving the population of England from the inconvenience of having to take Berlitz Conversational German 101, was one of the most famous British fighters of World War II, eclipsed only by the Spitfire due to its slightly better performance. Hurricanes were used in England, France, the Middle East, Yugoslavia, Finland, Australia, the Netherlands East Indies, Turkey, and numerous other places. Significant numbers, apparently all Mk. II’s, were sent to the Soviet Union, where they were used effectively against German targets throughout the war. A number of Soviet Hurricanes were converted to two seat configuration, both as trainers and as high speed observation and liaison aircraft. Although few Hurricanes were converted to two seat format by the British, primarily for export to Persia, most of the two seaters were converted by the Russians from standard Hurricane II airframes. Few photos exist of these, but I have seen color profiles on the Wings Pallette website, and photos of models converted on the Modeling the VVS website, a site devoted to modeling Soviet aircraft.
This conversion could be done with any of the good Mk. II kits on the market today, including Revell-Germany, Hasegawa, and Academy. For this particular conversion, I used the Revell kit, mainly because it was already a Mk. IIB version with machine gun armament. From the drawings, I could not tell whether or not the wing armament had been retained, although the drawing shows the shell ejector outlets underneath the wings. The conversion consisted mainly of cutting down the rear fuselage to install a second cockpit, adding interior detail and the armament, and the usual painting. Although I can’t prove it, the position of the machine gun in the rear cockpit implies that the rear seat faced to the rear, so I positioned it accordingly. I am aware of a resin kit of one of these conversions, but have not seen it. It seems, however, that since this is such a simple conversion of a standard kit, doing a resin conversion kit doesn’t really make much sense, as this one is so easy.
There isn’t really much to be done otherwise, as this is an excellent kit that goes together very easily. In fact, it is at least equal to the other two kits in accuracy and detail, and is very well engineered for quick and trouble-free assembly. The forward cockpit has adequate detail, and the wheel wells are nicely done. All I had to do was check a couple of photos of Hurricanes with the panels off to ascertain the internal structure, and add the interior detail with plastic card and rod. A simple machine gun mount was installed after painting, and a “Lewis” type 7.7 mm. machine gun from the spares box finished the job.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I did some guesswork here, as most Soviet Hurricanes operated in RAF camouflage at first. Basically, they just replaced the RAF roundels with Russian stars, most often even leaving the RAF serials in place. Later, as they went in for overhaul, or were repaired after battle damage, they were repainted in standard VVS colors. This one appears to be RAF dark green and earth brown over some sort of sky blue. A little weathering over the “sand and spinach” paint scheme finished the job, and the result was a very nice little model of a seldom seen variant of this famous aircraft.
This is an excellent kit, and is very adaptable to this kind of conversion. Try one. It is a lot of fun, and creates a unique model for your collection. Note that the same conversion could also be done using either the Hasegawa or Academy Mk. II, but if you are using cannon-armed variants, a little more work in the wing area will be required.
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