Hasegawa 1/48 Hurricane Mk.IID
KIT #: 09052 (Jt52)
PRICE: 2200 yen SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1998 limited edition boxing

The Hurricane Mk IID was a Mk IIB (this was the fighter-bomber version with two wing racks) conversion armed with two 40 mm (1.57 in) anti-tank autocannons in a gondola-style pod, one under each wing and a single Browning machine gun in each wing loaded with tracers for aiming purposes. The first aircraft flew on 18 September 1941 and deliveries started in 1942. Serial built aircraft had additional armour for the pilot, radiator and engine, and were armed with a Rolls-Royce gun with 12 rounds, later changed to the 40 mm (1.57 in) Vickers S gun with 15 rounds. The outer wing attachments were strengthened so that 4G could be pulled at a weight of 8,540 lb (3,874 kg). The weight of guns and armour protection marginally impacted the aircraft's performance. These Hurricanes were nicknamed "Flying Can Openers", perhaps a play on the No. 6 Squadron's logo which flew the Hurricane starting in 1941.

6 Squadron RAF is one of the longer serving units in the RAF having formed in 1914. It currently flies the Typhoon having been the last unit to fly the Jaguar. It was also the first to operate the Phantom FGR.2, flying that type for five years before transferring to the Jaguar.

Though it has been quite a while since Hasegawa did a Hurricane limited edition, back in 1998 they were on a roll and produced this Hurricane IID boxing. As you read in the history section, the Hurricane II was a tad longer than the Hurricane I and while I don't know if they got this part right or not, they do provide a separate nose section that could take this into consideration.

The cockpit is actually quite well done with side frame work and open floor, seat, armor plating, control stick, rudder pedals and instrument panel. Various controls are molded into the framework and on the inside of the fuselage halves.

The wheel well is separate and is added prior to the assembly of the one piece lower and two upper wing halves. A carb intake section fits into the lower wing. On the lower wing is a coolant radiator that gets and front and rear detail piece before the two piece housing with rear radiator flap actuating arms. The front of the wing has inserts for the guns on the leading edge and this kit provides the one gun per side insert appropriate for this version. There is also a landing light and lens for each side. In addition to the different leading edge insert, the two gun pods are also provided. These are two pieces with a one-piece housing and separate barrel.

Landing gear are nicely molded and look suitably complex with additional retraction mechanisms in the wheel well. Additional bits are the Volkes filter for under the nose, a more pointed spinner with Rotol prob and separate wing tip lights. The canopy is a single piece so those wanting it open will have to cut it or replace it. Exhaust fit from the outside.

Kit markings are for two planes, both with 6 Squadron RAF. One is the box art plane while the other has later insignia and just an aircraft number on the fuselage. Both are in the desert scheme of dark earth, middlestone and azure blue. The azure blue shows as needing mixed as apparently Gunze does not carry that shade. The decals are nicely printed and include an instrument and side panel decal as well as the wing walk areas.

First thing I did was to clean up all the interior components and the landing gear bits and paint them aluminum. Then I started assembling the wings. There are two inserts that fit into the leading edge and they are a tight fit. They also don't fit perfectly so you'll need to either apply filler or sand things down a bit. It was while doing this that I assembled the gun pods and realized I hadn't opened the holes in the wing for them. No way to fix that now so I cut off the pins and set these aside for later installation.

Back at the interior, I painted the inside of the cockpit British interior green then added some of the various bits to the inside and painted some of the details black as stated in the instructions. With the framework part already painted, I began to assemble the interior bits. I had painted the armor plating section interior green as shown in several restorations. After assembling and painting the seat, I installed Eduard's Sutton harness. Once that was all together, the control stick, rudder pedals and instrument panel bits were glued in. I had to bend down the supports to the instrument panel until they would fit into the holes in the floor. Once it was assembled, I glued into one half of the fuselage and taped on the other half until the glue dried. Then the other fuselage half was attached and I attended to the seams.

The wing was the next part to glue into place. This actually fit rather well aside from the lower wing/fuselage join, which has a rather large gap. Fixing that required sanding away a lot of the fabric effect, but much of that was replaced using a round file. The tailplanes were attached and then I glued on the canopy after masking it. The radiator bits were painted aluminum and given a wash once they were attached. I glued the housing parts then painted the insides aluminum and glued those in place. There are a pair of rear coolant door actuating rods that are a bit tricky to get into place. The sand filter was attached next and then I glued on the gun pods. This seemed like a good time to apply some paint so I stuffed the wheel wells with tissue and headed to the paint shop.

For this kit I went the acrylic route as I didn't have any enamels in the require shades. The underside Azure Blue was painted with Pollyscale and once dry, was masked off. For the upper colors I used Agama Middlestone and Dark Earth. First the Middlestone and I have to say it looked rather dark. Next I hand sprayed the Dark Earth pattern. This was rather frustrating as I was constantly cleaning the tip, the main reason I prefer enamels. I'm not sure if at this stage of the war masks would have been used or even if the Middlestone would not have been applied locally. Anyway, it looks nice enough and so there it is. One of the positive features of acrylics is that any brush touch up later will generally not be noticeable as a different shade, a situation that often happens when using enamels.

With the paints in place, I attached the landing gear. I had forgotten to cut a slice out of the ventral strake so the later tail wheel could be uses so I did that prior to gluing on the tail wheel. The main gear is suitably complex with four pieces per side. Once dry it is quite sturdy. The engine gearbox piece was glued on and I then gave the airframe a coat or two of clear acrylic gloss in preparation for markings.

Aftermarket sheets for the IID are few and far between and this left the kit markings. I chose the box art scheme and applied the markings. I had issues with the decals silvering, despite applying them to a gloss surface and pressing them in place.

When those were on, I attached things like the gear doors, radio mast, foot step and pitot as well as the small sight on the nose. The airframe was then given a coat of clear matte using Future and Tamiya flat base mix. I then attached the various clear pieces like wing tip lights (which don't fit very well), landing light covers (after gluing in the lights) and an upper and lower fuselage lens. Then I removed the masking and added exhaust stain using pastels. The final act was the push on the prop.


I thought that with all the current mania over the new Airfix Hurricane I release, it might be worthwhile to look at the other major offering. To be sure, the Airfix kit has the benefit of 20 years of advancements in the hobby, but really, it is not a quantum leap, just one of providing a bit more detail. I found the Hasegawa kit to be a fairly easy build as things go and it certainly adds a variant that was not already in the collection. I really do not have the penchant for WWII RAF types as others, so I find that this kit meets my requirements as much as any other. There is nothing 'horribly wrong' with it according to the boffins so is still worth the time put into building it. If you are one who cannot stomach having something 'old and outdated' in your stash, rather than trash your Hasegawa Hurricanes in favor of the Airfix offering, send them to me! I'll give them a nice home.


August 2015

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