|KIT:||Hobbycraft 1/48 Sea Fury|
|KIT #:||HC 1531|
|PRICE:||Currently OOP, but easy to find|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The last of the Royal Navy's single engine piston-powered fighters, the Sea Fury was a development of the superb Tempest fighter that was used in the last years of WWII by the RAF. The Sea Fury was fast, able to carry a decent amount of ordnance and respectable distance and was reliable. So much so that it had a fairly good export market, operating with a number of countries including Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Iraq, Burma and a few others.
The type was heavily used by the Royal Navy in operations over Korea as a fighter-bomber, and on at least one occasion, getting lucky enough to bag a MiG-15. After their military usefulness was over, a number of these aircraft were fortunate enough to become war birds, with others being modified and successfully campaigned as air races, having monstrous four row 'corn cob' radials installed.
This is one of Hobbycraft's first releases. I know that when I built mine back a decade or so ago, I was pretty psyched that this kit had been done. The Sea Fury has always been a favorite of mine as I can attest by the numerous 1/72 Frog kits that I'd built up to that time. It also meant that I could put aside the Falcon kit that I'd bought.
So what comes with this kit? The first thing one notices is that the detailing is pretty good. Nicely engraved panel lines, a reasonable level of detail, and the usual ejector pin marks on gear doors and landing gear struts. The cockpit consists of a tub, seat, instrument panel, and stick. Decals for the instrument panel and consoles. Not real detailed, but adequate. The engine consists of merely an outer ring of cylinders. The close cowling and large spinner prevents any real detail from being seen anyway. Inserts are provided for the exhaust and provide 9 ports per side. I think this is a bit too many and on my kit I replaced them with tubing.
Not much to hang under the wings but options provided are for bombs or drop tanks. I'd have liked to have seen rocket rails land do believe they were offered in other boxings as there are depressions on the inside of the lower wing for them. The canopy is a single piece and rather thick. It also seems a bit oddly shaped, with the canopy portion having scalloped forward sides and really thick plastic on the top of the 'bubble' that distorts things. Get an aftermarket vacuformed one.
Instructions for this 1993 kit are pretty typical of Hobbycraft. No interior color information is provided at all in the six well-drawn construction steps. One does have to determine early if drop tanks or bombs are to be used as there are holes to be opened up for the drop tanks. Decals are for two aircraft. One is the box art plane of 'Hoagy' Carmichael, who shot down a MiG-15 with his 802 Sq aircraft. Korean War ID bands will need to be painted on this one. The second if for a Dutch Navy aircraft from 3 Sq in 1955. Both planes are in Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky. Decals are well printed and should work quite well as most 'black box' Hobbycraft kits have exemplary decal sheets.
Since it is a Hobbycraft kit, it is relatively simple to build and is something that most modelers will have no trouble with. Those who are somewhat new to the hobby or just returning will find these kits to be very nice and building them will help to improve your skills. There are sufficient aftermarket bits to help enhance this one to whatever level you desire.
Picked up for a fraction of its MSRP from a vendor at a contest.
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