SET Cutting Edge 1/48 Sea Fury interior and exterior detailing sets
SET # 48346/48360
PRICE: $17.99/19.99 (when new)
REVIEWER: Andy Garcia
NOTES: Resin for the Hobbycraft kit.
Company now out of business


 This is a product review of the Cutting Edge resin set CEC48346 Sea Fury Super Detailed Cockpit and CEC48360 Sea Fury Exterior. Why would I be looking at resin sets that were released in 2002?

We now have a better plastic kit for the Sea Fury in 1/48th scale. Unfortunately, Trumpeter once again, as they did with the P-40B may have fallen short in its implementation of the cockpit of its Sea Fury. The rest of the kit is nice, but definitely too expensive for what you get. There are no etched metal or other components I could determine that would warrant its current MSRP. If the MSRP was in the $25.00 range I would be building a dozen of these Trumpeter kits out of a desire to model the many colorful schemes available. Since the current MSRP price in the USA is $ 54.95 and the accuracy is not what it should be at that price point, I think I will stop with two Trumpeter Sea Fury’s until they go on sale at a price I can justify (hint $ 25.00).

When I started to build the Trumpeter Sea Fury Kit I remembered my building experience of the Hobbycraft Sea Fury kit in the mid 1980’s. At that time I was very pleased to see a kit of an aircraft I really wanted to build. I bought about ten of them. After building three I stopped and felt it was a nice model but a bit too simple in its detail so I set the rest aside in the stash.

At an IPMS NATS, in Ohio in the 1990’s, Meteor had a large sales section and I cleaned my wallet out buying decals and resin. I never regretted it! There was no Sea Fury resin from them at that time but the quality and subject matter were so good I continued to pick up many of their resin and decal releases thereafter. As new releases came out I tried to buy them even if I had no immediate plan to build one.

Now we come to 2008. Meteor Productions abruptly closes and Trumpeter releases its Sea Fury. My first reaction is the MSRP discourages me from getting any of Trumpeters Sea Fury’s.  Tom Cleaver and others review the kit and they are uniformly positive. None call it a Kit of The Year but that is OK so despite the price I decide to get one – I really like the Sea Fury!

When I built the Hobbycraft kits I remembered  just like my experience with the FW-190A from all the other manufacturers, the cockpit is so small and tight you don’t see much anyway. If I were building the FW-190’s today a pair of Eduard color etch seat belts and maybe a few etched bits found on a zoom release would suffice. At the time I built the Hobbycraft I took the route of a basic OOB which was OK. At that time I rationalized “Maybe keeping the cockpit closed will make it “easier to clean” when I dust the kits.

Father’s Day 2008 is near and I ask son number 2 of three for the perfect gift – a 1/48th scale Trumpeter Sea Fury with two Carpena Decals that I had been interested in for some time. He is a wonderful son as are his two brothers but he gives Dad what he really wants – the Sea Fury and Decals.  During the next week I search the internet for photos, and builds, and color guides for the Sea Fury. Among the material is an old review of the Meteor Productions, Cutting Edge 1/48th scale Resin Sea Fury cockpit. How did I miss this gem? 

One week later I decide the Trumpeter Sea Fury will be started. On a beautiful summer morning as I enjoyed a conversation with my wife and watched her prepare a breakfast for the table of young men and one getting older plastic modeler Dad I remembered – maybe there is the CE Sea Fury resin in one of the Hobbycraft boxes?   I can’t wait to look. I politely interrupt son number one, recently returned from Afghanistan. He is making the most of his one month block leave, a nice reward for 16 months in the Afghan mountains and I go into the basement model shrine. I find the Hobbycraft section, go to row two, section three, and open the Sea Fury box. This is my day! Not only is there the Cutting Edge resin cockpit but also the Sea Fury Detailing Set! They are quickly transferred into the Trumpeter Sea Fury box and taken to the breakfast table. My polite family ignores my opening of the CE packages and close examination of the resin parts without comment. Breakfast arrives; I clear the decks of resin bits and eat with a smile on my face. Life is good.   I have both CE Resin sets and they look great!

Once the meal cleanup is done I get down to business. I realize the Cutting Edge resin is very well made. The Cockpit master pattern was made by Roy Sutherland and the Exterior Detailing Set pattern by Kerry Carlyle and both were released in 2002. They are beauties. The MSRP stickers are a surprise. At the time I remember feeling they were a bit expensive so only one set of each was purchased. Today I look at the white metal and flawless resin and realize they were properly priced. I hate to think what they may fetch on E-bay today. The cockpit set sticker price is $ 17.99 and the Exterior Detailing set was $ 19.99. I now realize the thought of investing $38.00 of resin into a $ 15.00 kit did not make sense when a nice Monogram, Tamiya or Hasegawa kit was a better build so I just bought one set of each.

I realized the additional value today of my CE Sea Fury resin is to see if they fit into the Trumpeter release and secondarily if they could be used as a yardstick to more closely look at the accuracy of the contents of the Trumpeter release.

Some additional insight can be obtained from the CE construction notes which may prove or dispel some urban legends, now that Meteor has ceased doing business. The set notes it is a significant improvement to the old Cooper Details set, adding and correcting many details to the original set designed by Roy Sutherland, which was quite good for its time. The Cooper set was acquired by Hawkeye Designs, which also released that set. Meteor now owns the rights to that set and all other Hawkeye Designs sets and were pleased to offer a much improved and “accurized” product.

 Working from the nose back the Trumpeter Sea Fury nose appeared too short and blunt when compared to the CE set. I realized the CE set had an extra segment to work with the engine front on the Hobbycraft kit. Look at the picture and you will see a small difference. It is not enough to trouble me.

 The landing gear compares well. The white metal CE parts are beautifully cast. Trumpeter did a nice job on their injection molded landing gear parts. The Trumpeter wheel well is too simplified. The photo shows there is a small difference in the distance between landing gear.  The Trumpeter tires (or tyres if you prefer) have the radial tread which is lost when you clean the sprue connections. All the resin alternatives use the diamond tread.  Also, the Trumpeter tires are much smaller than the CE and True Details resin tires and has flat wheel hub detail when compared to the resin bits.

The Trumpeter cockpit appears to be too flat and is very similar to the flattened look of the Trumpeter P-40B cockpit. If you don’t open up the canopy it’s not a big deal. If you like to open up the pit and detail it, take a look at the comparison photos to make your decision if the Trumpeter cockpit works for you. My initial take is the Trumpeter cockpit is far too simple for a kit in the $ 55.00 price range. I look forward to a Squadron True Details, Pavla, Blackbox or Aires resin cockpit ASAP to fix this. Even some nice Eduard color etched may not help with this one if you are trying to build an accurate Sea Fury. I am going to attempt to use the CE cockpit with the Trumpeter kit. The CE cockpit is an order of magnitude better than the Trumpeter cockpit in all respects. The gunsights for example when compared leaves no doubt the Meteor set is amazing and Trumpeter sadly disappoints in the area of cockpit accuracy.

The last item I compared were the wing tanks. There were two sizes for the Sea Fury. A smaller 45 gallon size and the larger 90 gallon ferry size (see page 18 Squadron Pubs Sea Fury In Action #1117). Most photos show the smaller tank in use. The 90 gallon size comes with the Trumpeter kit. I prefer the smaller tank but you now have a choice of two.

There was no provision for the wing folding mechanism in the CE sets since this was not an obvious feature of the Hobbycraft kit. I am pleased Trumpeter added this to their release. Some etched and resin aftermarket would add to the final result of a Trumpeter kit with folded wings in a nice way. OOB it may be OK for some modelers looking for a 1/48th scale Sea Fury but I look forward to some better resin bits because the shortcomings are noticeable. I want to build a folding wing Sea Fury kit but maybe not until the resin aftermarket offers something.



The Meteor Productions Cutting Edge resin sets are both highly recommended (and currently VERY expensive. Ed). They will enhance the Trumpeter kit but are not a drop fit. If you still have some Hobbycraft kits in the stash this pair of resin sets will absolutely improve the kit and be far better than what a OOB Trumpeter build will produce. I am moving ahead with using most of the Cutting Edge Resin on the Trumpeter kit. 

 Andy Garcia
July 2008

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