Sweet 1/144 Hurricane I (tropical)

KIT #

14105

PRICE:

1,000 in Japan, but I paid $12 at a show

DECALS:

5 (!) versions

REVIEWER:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

Two kits, one in clear plastic!

BACKGROUND

For a brief history and a look in the box, please visit the preview.

 

CONSTRUCTION

For some reason, I decided to build the clear plastic one first. It does make for an interesting experience not being able to see the join areas that well and watching the liquid cement find its way into the various nooks and crannies!

The first thing I did was to paint the interior RAF interior green using Model Master enamels. I then glued the wings together and when the interior was dry, the fuselage halves were glued together trapping the very large prop shaft between them. Then I glued the radiator assembly and set this all aside to dry. Once dry, the seams were sanded, but I really couldn't tell if I got them all or not. A problem when working with clear plastic!

Next step was to glue the wings and tail planes in place. The radiator was then glued to the lower wing. These offered no problems at all and fit quite well. I sanded the seams, but again, couldn't tell if I got them all. This necessitated a trip to the paint shop for a light coat of primer. Once I could see the areas that needed help, I sanded them as needed. No filler was used on this kit at any time as it just wasn't needed. Never thought I'd actually say that, but it's true.  The nose filter was then glued in place as was the proper radio mast, and before I knew it, it was time for some paint.

CAMOUFLAGE

It is a desert Hurricane, so my choices of colors were rather limited, especially on the upper surface. I started by painting the underside of the plane and the gear doors Azure Blue using Aeromaster Acrylics. With that dry, the upper surface was painted Middle Stone, also using Aeromaster, but their enamel paints this time. When all that had dried, I masked off the areas I wanted to keep the lighter color and sprayed Dark Earth on the rest of it. Actually, it is French Brown that I had thought I'd lightened, but it turned out a bit darker than I'd have wanted. Not really a problem as it matched the colors in the instructions, but still not really Dark Earth. '

You are probably wondering why I airbrushed the colors. After all, it is a 1/144 kit and rather small. Yes, I thought about hand brushing the paint, and I'm sure that many of you will do just that. However, I'm not good at hand brushing large areas, finding that I usually make a mess of things. So rather than goof it up, I went through the tedious stages of masking and then airbrushing the colors.   

A BIT MORE WORK

With all the colors in place and dry, the model was returned to the work bench. There, I glued in the gear doors. The doors and landing gear are a single piece, which makes sense in this scale. There are many theories of wheel well colors for Hurricanes. Some state that the wells and inner gear doors are the same color as the underside of the plane. Others go with them being unpainted aluminum. Still others think they should be Interior Green. I went with the unpainted aluminum and so brush painted the wells and gear/gear door insides with Aluminum Metalizer. I also painted the tail wheel strut and wheel hubs this color. The wheels themselves were painted with RLM 66 dark grey. I like that there is a distinct ridge for the wheels. It makes painting the tires much easier. I do wish ALL kit makers would do this, regardless of scale as it really helps a lot

ON TO THE DECALS

Once the plane was on its gear, the areas to get decals were brush painted with Future. This makes the area nice and gloss and helps to cut down on any decal silvering. I chose the first scheme for a 73 Sq Hurricane. It is pretty straight forward with little more than code letters to distinguish itself from the others. In fact, it is the only one on the sheet with a full set, others having abbreviated codes or none at all.

The decals themselves are quite glossy and have a bit of carrier around them that you may wish to remove. I didn't, thinking they would help the decal blend in more, but it really didn't seem to. The fuselage decal with the code letters and roundel is really quite large so that one was put in place first. The rest followed and offered no problems. You are offered red patches to put over the gun ports if you want to use them. They reacted well to Solvaset and are quite opaque, so that none of them disappeared into the background nor did they let the colors behind them show through.

DOING THE LAST BITS

With the decals on and dry, there were more parts still to be added. One was to glue on the wheels. These fit quite well and offered no traumas. The final item was the prop. I painted it as shown in the instructions and then pushed it onto the prop shaft. The shaft is a bit too long and left a rather large gap. The prop was then pried off (be careful) and the shaft had a bit nipped from the end. The prop was then pushed on again and it fit quite well. It was at this time that the kit was given a coat of matte clear using my usual Future and flat base formula.

Last bits were the clear ones. The landing lights were just pushed into place after the back area was painted aluminum. The canopy was masked and spray painted the proper color. A very tedious job as the panes are quite tiny. Before gluing this in place, the cockpit was repainted Interior Green using Testors Model Master enamels. I know it is probably a waste of time as there is nothing there, but it just looks better that way. A final dab of paint for the wing tip lights and that was it!

CONCLUSIONS

This really is an excellent little kit. Yes, it is a bit pricey for the size, but when you look at the detail and realize that you get two kits, you'll find it well worth the cost. I find it interesting that there is being more attention paid to this scale, especially in the production of military models. Sweet has a number of other kits scheduled to join the current Hurricane and MC.200. Eduard has just released a Ju-52 in 1/144 and others are on the way.

The nice things about these small kits is that they are relatively quick builds and you can do a plethora of different camouflage schemes with them. They are also such that it is tough to get a good case of AMS going on them as they really are nearly too small to super-detail! :o)

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