Airfix 1/48 Hawker Fury
Having supplied some 275 Fury’s to the Royal Air Force, Hawkers tried to encourage overseas orders by offering the airframe with a variety of foreign in line and radial engines.
Three Furies were ordered by Spain in 1935, it being intended to produce another 50 under licence. The Spanish variant had a cantilever undercarriage design with Dowty internally sprung wheels, similar to that used on the Gladiator and was powered by a 612 hp (457 kW) Hispano Suiza 12Xbr engine, reaching a speed of 234 mph (377 km/h).
The three Furies were delivered without armament on 11 July 1936, just before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. They were taken into service by the Spanish Republican Air Force, being fitted with machine guns salvaged from crashed aircraft.
One Spanish Fury was shot down by the escorting Fiat CR.32 flown by Sgt Presel whilst attacking a Junkers Ju-52 bomber. In the dogfight the Fury, piloted by Sergeant Félix Urtubi Ercilla, suffered an engine failure (it is not clear if this was due to fuel starvation or fail in propeller synchronization). The Fury made an emergency landing with no damage for the aircraft. Presel's CR.32 also had fuel problems was forced to land in Portugal.
The Fury was exhibited as a Nationalist trophy in Badajoz and flew with them until the end of war.
Last year I saw an advert for a pair of 1/48 scale Hawker Fury models for silly money. I bought the pair (one Airfix one Lifelike) and my original plan was to use the wings to make a Hawker Nimrod. Then I saw an advert for an incomplete 1/48 scale Likelike Gloster Gladiator. For a long time I have fancied making a Spanish Civil War Fury with a Gladiator type undercarriage and a Persian Fury with a Bristol Mercury radial engine. A quick check showed that these parts were in the Gladiators box so these three kits would form the basis of two models.
The first task was to modify the engine exhaust stubs from the evenly spaced Rolls-Royce Kestrel stubs to the paired stubs on the Hispano Suiza. I modified the Airfix kit as the exhausts are moulder as separate parts and all I had to do was scratch build the new exhausts and file out the existing recess to take them.
Next I opened up holes in the lower fuselage to take the ends of the Lifelike kits Gladiator undercarriage. A simple jig was used to check the alignment. After that the kit pretty much fell together, Airfix’s Fury is a nice pleasant build.
Note: I suspect that the under fuselage radiator may have been altered but without details I left mine as per the original model.
|COLORS & MARKINGS
Who knows, the finish was based on a couple of grainy black and white photographs? The underside was painted RLM 76 (White Blue) and the top sides Tamiya Colour Acrylic Paints (Dessert Yellow. Yellow Green and Dark. Went to Spain last week and they did not shoot me so must be right!!
Surplus RAF decals were sprayed black for the discs, decal sheet was painted and cut for the stripes and the numbers came from the spares box.
A nice simple modification of an interesting aircraft.
Best references from old Profile Publication and Internet
12 October 2023
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