Airfix 1/72 Lockheed Hudson I




$1.00 in the 60's


One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The Lockheed Hudson is a military derivative of the Lockheed Model 14 airliner. It is also the first US aircraft to see operational service with the RAF during WWII. Though later developed as the A-29 and PBO for US services, it was with the RAF that the Lockheed twin earned all of its fame. An initial order for 200 aircraft was placed in 1938 and created a storm of controversy in the British government. It was considered inappropriate to purchase aircraft that were not British made, but this foresight was later proven to be a wise choice as not only was the UK unable to build sufficient types to meet all its needs, but the Hudson proved to be a most wise choice as it was much superior to the Avro Ansons that it replaced.

The initial mission of the Hudson was as an instrument trainer, but with the start of the war it was soon pressed into service for coastal patrol, anti-submarine duty and general reconnaissance. In fact, it was to a Hudson that the U-570 surrendered after taking a pounding from depth bombs in August of 1941. This was the first time a U-boat had been captured by the RAF. It was a Hudson that was the first to carry airborne intercept radar and the first to sink an enemy ship using rocket projectiles. The type also saw service in every theater of operations though as the war progressed it was replaced by even more capable types.



The Hudson I kit is in every way a classic Airfix kit. It has all the qualities of a 1960's model, including separate (and hopefully moveable) control surfaces and the usual myriad of rivets. Of course, all detailing is raised other than the door and other hatches. It also has very thick transparencies and a rather bland cockpit with no cabin interior whatsoever. However, this does not detract from the kit as the transparencies are so thick that one really cannot see much in there anyway!

Other features are a rotating upper fuselage turret in which the guns are designed to elevate. If you are like I was when I built this kit (way back when), none, or very few, of these things actually worked. Guess this was due to the huge amounts of glue that was used!

The instructions consist of two exploded views with a long explanation of what to do listed below. No interior colors whatsoever are listed in the construction section. On the camouflage four-view, the exterior colors of Dark Earth, Dark Green and Light Gray are listed. On a small section below that are a listing of those things to be painted black and yellow, but all are outside colors. The small decal sheet has markings for the box art plane from 206 Squadron RAF. These have been so badly yellowed over the past three or four decades that they are impossible to use so I have not shown them. Anyone actually building this kit would be digging in the spare decals box for replacements. Not too much of a chore as most Hudsons were basic codes and insignia.



I'd hesitate to recommend this kit to a beginner, but I built it when I was one so perhaps I should. In reality, it will take someone who is relatively skilled in model building to make this into a decent model. The fit is undoubtedly not perfect and I'm sure that there will be problems that will cause most modern modelers to either toss it or put it on the long term build pile. However, this is what many of us grew up on and for all their problems, they did lead us on to what is a very rewarding hobby.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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