|PRICE:||$ 32.95 SRP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Hawker Sea Fury is a British fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Hawker Aircraft. It was the last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, and one of the fastest production single reciprocating engine aircraft ever built.Developed during the Second World War, the Sea Fury entered service two years after the war ended. It proved to be a popular aircraft with a number of overseas militaries, and was used during the Korean War in the early 1950s, as well as against the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.
The Sea Fury's development was formally initiated in 1943 in response to a wartime requirement of the RAF, thus the aircraft was initially named Fury. As the Second World War drew to a close, the RAF cancelled their order for the aircraft; however, the Royal Navy saw the type as a suitable carrier aircraft to replace a range of increasingly obsolete or poorly suited aircraft being operated by the Fleet Air Arm. Development of the Sea Fury proceeded, and the type began entering operational service in 1947.
The Sea Fury has many design similarities to Hawker's preceding Tempest fighter, having originated from a requirement for a "Light Tempest Fighter"; both the Sea Fury's wings and fuselage originate from the Tempest but were significantly modified. Production Sea Furies were fitted with the powerful Bristol Centaurus engine, and armed with four wing-mounted Hispano Vcannons. While originally developed as a pure aerial fighter aircraft, the definitive Sea Fury FB 11 was a fighter-bomber, the design having been found suitable for this mission as well.
The Sea Fury attracted international orders as both a carrier and land-based aircraft; it was operated by countries including Australia, Burma, Canada, Cuba, Egypt, West Germany, Iraq, and Pakistan. The type acquitted itself well in the Korean War, fighting effectively even against the MiG-15 jet fighter. Although the Sea Fury was retired by the majority of its military operators in the late 1950s in favour of jet-propelled aircraft, a considerable number of aircraft saw subsequent use in the civil sector, and several remain airworthy in the 21st century as heritage and racing aircraft.
Ever since being purchased by Hornby, Airfix has been on a steady production schedule of producing new kits in various scales. They have been concentrating on aircraft, which is probably their main money maker so they can be excused for leaving the armor, ship and other modelers behind in this regard.
They also seem to know what will sell, especially at home so it is not surprising that the majority of their new tool kits have been of British subjects. Such is the case for the recent Sea Fury release in 1/48. Though there have been several 1/48 Sea Fury releases over the years, all of them have come under scrutiny and derision for having some sort of glitch here and there. It is the lot of many modelers that they are always looking for improvements over what was, even though what was will still make into a perfectly acceptable (to most) model when done. So we now have a new tool 1/48 Sea Fury that raises the detail bar and is making a lot of modelers happy as a result.
The kit provides the usual cockpit tub with front and rear bulkhead detail along with the expected rudder pedals, control stick, separate seat and nice detailing on the side consoles and instrument panel. There are six dial decals to place on the main panel. Separate sidewalls incorporating some framing is also provided for you.
It almost seems that one could, with a bit of wiggling, install the cockpit after the fuselage halves are assembled, but most will go with the flow and install this along with a nice wing spar and tail gear well. There is a separate main gear well that will be placed in the lower wing center section and one will have to decide on opening some holes in this area as well. This center section is then attached to the fuselage before moving on to the engine and cowling.
Apparently the cowling/exhaust is lacking in detail as there are already aftermarket replacements from Barracuda Resin. The engine is just a front face as much of it will be hidden by the large spinner.
The kit offers separate control surfaces and all the flight surfaces can be modeled at some other position besides neutral. Most period photos of this plane without the wings folded, show these surfaces in the neutral position. The kit does provide the option to fold the wings as well so there are separate construction steps for this feature. If one wants to include the rockets, the lower outer wing sections will need to have the mounting holes for those opened.
Landing gear are nicely done and you have separate gear door pieces if you want to display your plane in flight. As you might have guessed, you have a few underwing stores options including drop tanks, bombs and rockets. There is also a RATO pack option if you wish to install this item. One does need to plan for whatever will be carried on the underside fairly early in the build. Finally, there is a separate windscreen and canopy provided and clear bits are supplied for the wingtip lights.
Instructions are quite good and are also quite large. The usual Humbrol only paint references are provided. Markings are for two extra dark sea grey over sky options. One is the box art plane as operated during the Korean war with 801 Squadron off the HMS Glory. The other is an earlier camouflage with a lower upper/lower color demarcation line as with 802 Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton. Decals are nicely printed and you are provided a complete stencil suite. Apparently the 801 Squadron plane had its lower wing serial numbers overpainted in Sky so that the folded wings would not stand out on the carrier deck. Sort of silly if you ask me as the ship's wake would tell you where the boat is, but anyway, you are provided those and the standard black ones. One nice thing about this option is that there are no black and white bands to paint as the norm on Korean War RN aircraft.
The SRP on this kit is a bit higher than on the recent Hurricanes and Spitfires, but then again, it is a larger aircraft and the kit has more bits thanks to all the stores and the folding wing option. Those who like the Sea Fury will not be disappointed by this one and there are sufficient aftermarket bits already on the market for this one to please those who want even more.
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If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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