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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Friday, 4 July 2014


... impressions.

As even the most basic aero-kit basher will know, Airfix have been doing some good things of recent years. New moulds, new kits, and mostly up there with the best of them, and still at reasonable prices. Top banana! This evening, I emptied out Airfix's Hurricane/Sea Hurricane MkIIc (the intention being to make a long-delayed Fleet Air Arm Sea Hurricane from Operation Torch). So what does it look like?

The nice, strong, top opening box disgorged:

Three sprues that cover a variety of detail differences, including different exhausts (good touch), and the parts to make the Hurricane or Sea Hurricane. The sprue attachments look a little thick and heavy, as indeed they proved to be, but not a great problem. Not shown is a comprehensive decal sheet for three different versions, including an FAA finish, and one for the Far East theatre. I intend to use some after market decals for the US markings, but will use the numerous stencils that come with the kit. There's also a nice transparency set which permits an open cockpit.

One thing that did produce a momentary qualm was this:

To make the Sea Hurricane, it is necessary to remove quite a chunk of the lower fuselage in order to add the arrestor gear. As you can see, however, the fuselage walls are thick, and I was concerned that the plastic would end up cracking as I  hacked out the necessary piece. I need not have worried, as the plastic is reasonably soft, and there were no problems.

Finally, there was this very happy discovery:

The seat and cockpit floor fix to the lower wing assembly, not to the fuselage walls. This is a much better option. I've lost count how many times that I was sure I had everything lined up nicely only to find that when closing the fuselage, the seat did not, in fact, match up on both walls. So, well done Airfix on this bit of kit engineering.

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