A test-shot of the forthcoming 1/32 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb from Revell is inspected by CHRIS CLIFFORD.
Much attention has fallen on Airfix’s new 1/24 Spitfire Mk.IX as it’s just hit the shelves. However, there’s another British World War Two classic in a large scale pending, and that’s the 1/32 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb (04968) from Revell. We’ve been provided with a test-shot (minus decal sheet) by the company and, out of the box, it look as though Revell has done a reasonable job. Let’s dig deeper…
Online comments from modellers on seeing Revell’s initial Facebook post about the kit, showing what appeared to be a built test-shot, questioned two aspects. The first was the supposed lack of wing dihedral – but this was almost certainly due to the angle of view. On mating the outer wing underside sections with the separate centre panel, at least to my eye, there is a dihedral and it appears to be of the appropriate amount. Secondly, I don’t know why Revell’s built model on Facebook lacked outer pairs of .303 machine-guns (a later post shows them in situ on a painted model), but rest assured they are included. The barrels with solid muzzles poke out of the leading edge and have space between them and the wing structure. Also on the starboard leading edge is the gun camera housing (provided as a separate part) and landing light housings on both wings. All the relevant gun cartridge ejection ports are simply moulded as recesses, rather than being ‘open’.
Above: Panel line and fastener engraving on the fuselage halves is finely executed, although the depiction of stretched skin over ribs may not look sharp enough for some modellers.
Above: Delicate engraving continues on the wings; the lower halves have cartridge ejector ports rendered as recesses, rather than being properly open.
Above: The strip panel on the inboard upper wings looks to be of an appropriate depth. Note the raised rivets - and the leading-edge cut-outs for (from left) the group of four .303 guns, the landing light and the outboard pair of .303s.
Above: It's a mixed bag with how sharply the cockpit parts are moulded. This 'floor' frame is rather soft, yet other components such as the foot boards that attach to it, and the side frames, are much more refined.
There are seven grey styrene runners and one clear… the latter carries alternative canopies (open/closed), the windscreen, landing light covers, two styles of gun sights and navigation light covers. It also provides the roof of the undercarriage bay, so you have properly clear windows for the pilot to check his undercarriage position. There are, though, ejector-pin marks on both the undercarriage catch gear panels – and they’ll be trick to eradicate without damaging the surrounding frame detail.
Overall, the engraved panel lines and fasteners are finely rendered, but no rivets have been moulded on the surface, save for a row of raised examples along the outer wing panel lines, around two oval panels next to those lines on the wing underside, and in places on the immediate (top) wing inboard sections. Revell has remembered that the vertical stabiliser is offset to port and it’s moulded as such. The lower leading-edge cover on the vertical fin is defined by panel lines, but on the real aircraft it sits over the top of the fuselage and fin (ie not flush). Here it simply doesn’t stand proud enough.
The panel lines on the wings appear accurate in their placement, and the chordwise strip panel on the upper and lower wing inboard areas look to have the right amount of depth. However, Revell’s depiction of stretched skin over ribs/stringers along the fuselage (and the vertical fin) might arguably look a little soft to some modellers’ eyes.
Above: Certain features are incorporated with the cockpit side frames, but others are separate and need adding. The 'office' will certainly look busy once this sub-assembly is completed.
Above: Revell’s rendering of the instrument panel is accurate and reasonably sharp. Decals are also provided to depict dial detail. Also shown here are the cockpit knock-out door (bottom-left), nose oil deflector ring (top right) and the engine front.
Above: The rear fuselage underside is moulded separately, with a recess for the clear landing light part. Also visible here is the radio mast.
Above: Shown here from left are the front cockpit frame, inboard .303 gun panels and the pilot’s foot boards.
How’s the ‘office’?
Revell has made a creditable attempt to mould the Hurricane’s complex cockpit tubular framework assembly. Two lengthwise frame parts are supplied, along with an engine firewall and an inner frame piece, which has an integral compass mount. Features such as the trim wheel, throttle and the like are moulded on the frames, but other separate details (radiator control flap lever, and more) are supplied to enliven the area further. Four parts go into the pilot’s seat, which in turn fits to an armoured mount incorporating as many pieces. However, there are no moulded seat straps or replication of these in decal form). Also offered is the rudder pedal/footrest arrangement, seat adjustment handle, hydraulic hand pump, a faithfully moulded instrument panel with raised detail, and the starboard knock-out door with its own details, such as the map case. A fuel line part is also provided to run along the starboard side of the cockpit frame.
At this point it’s appropriate to make it known that no engine detail is supplied in Revell’s kit, which may disappoint some modellers… nor is there the facility for any open and equipped gun bays. It seems a shame to have ignored these features considering the large scale. Revell may have been trying to stick to a particular price point and keep the model relatively simple, so it also appeals to less-experienced modellers. The more detail included, the higher the price you’d suppose.
Moving to the front end, there’s a four-part sub-assembly that forms the mounts for the exhausts, but also includes the engine front, forward cowling ring (two styles supplied) and the oil deflector ring. Speaking of exhausts, Revell provides two styles – the original round ejector units and fishtail examples. Both have solid stub ends, so you’d have to drill/carve openings for more realism. The detail is a little soft on both though.
Above: The Mk.IIb’s outer pairings of .303 guns are moulded in separate panels, with circumferential spacing between the barrels and surrounding ports. Note the muzzles are solid so will need drilling.
Above: Fine filter mesh is moulded on the radiator block parts.
Above: Two styles of exhausts are provided – ejector and fishtail – but they are quite softly moulded.
Above: These two components, once joined, fit in the forward fuselage and act as mounts for the exhausts.
Noticeable immediately on dry-fitting the fuselage is the fact that Revell, on this test-shot at least, has shunned traditional ‘pin and hole’ attachment locating devices on the fuselage and wing halves, in favour of ‘side-by-side’ tabs that butt against each other in a tandem fashion. The join of the fuselage halves on dry-fitting is excellent but felt a little weak… but this was done without interior parts (such as the built cockpit and exhaust mounts), which would certainly add rigidity to the process.
As for the undercarriage bays, these are rather good. Well-detailed wall sections combine with the aforementioned clear roof part, an oxygen tank and partial fuel line, actuators and well-defined gear legs. The mainwheels come in halves and have separate outer four-spoke hubs, with plenty of depth. But the main undercarriage doors, while sporting worthy detail, suffer from four ejector-pin marks each. A reasonably well-appointed Dowty oleo-pneumatic tailwheel unit is provided. Before this is fitted, though, the instructions demand that you file 2mm of styrene from the point of the fairing directly in front.
No ice screen is provided for the horizontally split carburettor intake, but the ventral radiator unit is better equipped. This comprises a two-part fairing with integrally moulded rear support struts, a two-piece radiator with delicate mesh screen detail and a separate rear flap with its own actuators.
Above: A wealth of fine moulding is evident on the undercarriage bay walls.
Above: The wing underside centre section, with recess for the radiator unit.
Above and below: The shape of the propeller looks good and note that Revell’s wheels are well moulded, featuring separate four-spoke hubs.
Above: These are the horizontal stabilisers, with a subtle stretched skin effect.
A slightly confusing aspect with the wing construction is that while the relevant instruction diagram shows direct horizontal mating of the centre section and the lower wing outers, this isn’t actually possible. When you try, the join is fouled by a piece of the undercarriage leg recess sitting proud. What you have to do is angle the outer wing upwards first, sit its edge on top of the proud part on the centre section, then simply rotate downwards – so the holed locators meet corresponding pins on the centre part.
See a build article on Airfix's 1/24 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
A definite plus point is that of having separate ailerons, elevators and a rudder… all being formed from halves. Again, though, the effect of stretched skin over ribs might be just a little too subtle for some modellers. Revell also offers the choice of dropped or raised flaps and, if selecting the former, the interior faces look convincing. Note that wingtip navigation lights are moulded as solid ‘pips’, which need to be painted in clear colours (and the surrounds in Interior Green) before the hollow, clear covers are fitted. Likewise, the landing lights are separate pieces to attached and be painted before attachment of the transparent covers.
The propeller comes as a one-piece item so no positioning of single blades is necessary; the prop roots are hollow on the back, with raised portions on the spinner back plate fitting into them. I’m no propeller expert, but Revell seems to have replicated the Rotol three-bladed variable-type constant-speed unit with Schwarz metal blades. I am more than happy to be corrected though!
Above: Proper hinge points are moudled integrally on the separate elevators, which come in halves.
Above: Revell's rending of the flap interiors is notable. Alternative flaps to depict them raised are also provided.
Above: Reasonably sharp moulding is evident on the undercarriage legs.
Above: The undercarriage doors are marred by ejector-pin marks.
As mentioned you can pose the canopy slid back or closed, via alternative components. The one-piece ‘closed’ version can always be used as a mask for the cockpit while the airframe is painted/sprayed. Flat and aerodynamic canopy mirrors are supplied for mounting on top of the windscreen frame. One little detail missed by Revell is that it fails to provide an exhaust anti-dazzle shield for the night-fighter option represented on the decal sheet (which was not available with this test-shot). This overall Night black machine is Z3971/SW-S Samasthans II of 235 Squadron RAF at Hibaldstow, North Lincolnshire, in late 1941. Interestingly, a photograph of this very airframe with others of the unit appears in Philip Birtles’ book Hurricane Squadrons Part One – and all are fitted with the anti-dazzle shield. The other Hurricane, in Dark Earth, Dark Green and Sky is Z3745/NV-B Fort St George Madras Presidency, of 79 Squadron RAF while at Fairwood Common, Swansea, South Wales in July 1941. While the instructions don’t mention the fact, this Mk.IIb was flown by the South African Sqn Ldr David Haysom.
Above: Revell supplies alternative parts for posing the canopy open or closed. Also shown here, at far-right, is the transparent underwing panel... which means you have properly clear undercarriage viewing windows.
The runner diagrams on the instructions have redacted sections, unsurprisingly hinting that the tooling will reappear again with different parts to portray other variants (a Sea Hurricane perhaps?). Revell’s MK.IIb will cost €44.99 when released. No, it’s not as sharply moulded and doesn’t have as much detail as, say, a 1/32 Tamiya kit. If it did, you’d pay twice the price or more – remember that old saying about wanting a Porsche for the price of a Polo? It does apply here to an extent. Hurricane aficionados will probably find fault in Revell’s Hurricane here and there, and question the soft moulding in places. It does offer worthy detail in several areas, but the sharpness varies; this model should look most convincing when completed by a careful builder, though.And I’d be amazed if the aftermarket didn’t supply various bespoke accessories once it’s released, seatbelts being vital in this scale. The kit will be available from all good Revell stockists
Above: While no decal sheet accompanied our test-shot, Revell has supplied a scan of the relevant artwork.