Not too long ago, I had a thought. And that thought quickly turned into an effort.
Contributor-funded, contributor-selected kit reviews.
How’s it work? Simple. Contributors donate into the Review Fund and select the kits to be reviewed. Then I review them, with an exhaustive focus on how – and how well – they build.
These are full, naked builds. No aftermarket. No filler. No paint. Nothing for the plastic to hide behind.
The first kit selected? Fly’s 1/32 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIc.
While this review is primarily video-based, I figured it deserves a home here on the blog, as well. A single point to link back to, considering the review is spread across several videos.
Read on to get a sense of what I made of the kit, and be sure to check out the videos for a truly in-depth look.
Part I: Introduction
The first video in the series lays the groundwork for what’s to come, and provides a quick tour of what Fly provides in the box.
The real standout of this kit is the stunning level of surface detail on the wings, and to a lesser extent the fuselage.
The acetate gauges for the instrument panel are appreciated, the resin cannons and tires are nicely rendered, and the marking options are a good deal more interesting than the “usual” RAF schemes.
The Hurricane also has plenty of “limited run” hallmarks. Relatively thick plastic. Lots of seams and microflash to clean up. Very little in the way of alignment aids. Soft detail on many of the smaller parts.
Part II: Cockpit
The second video marks the real start of the build review, beginning with the opening stages of the cockpit.
Here, the limited run-esque nature of the Fly kit becomes immediately apparent, with soft detail and a lack of alignment aids on major cockpit parts.
My biggest gripe at this stage, aside from annoyances with the instructions, is the decision to render the control yoke in plastic rather than resin. It’s a focal point in the cockpit, and could certainly benefit from the upgraded detail that’s possible with resin casting.
Part III: Cockpit, Again
Cockpit work carries into Part III, with the rest of the tube frame being built out. Many of the annoyances from Part II persist and even build in Part III. Fit remains vague, detail soft. The instructions go from frustration to outright betrayal as steps require you to violate the laws of space-time to follow them in order.
If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone taking on this kit, it would be this: DO NOT TRUST THE INSTRUCTIONS OR THEY WILL FUCK YOU.
Part IV: Instrument Panel
Before diving into the fuselage, it’s worth taking a brief interlude to tackle the photo-etch and acetate instrument panel.
The acetate gauges are certainly appreciated, and the PE panel bits are at least tolerable, though I’d have preferred something with more relief to it. I would also have preferred that the instructions accurately reflect the panel we’re dealing with – it would make placement of different PE detail parts a lot easier.
Part V: Fuselage
It’s time to get the fuselage together!
In this portion, the cockpit proves a challenge to fit between the two “shelves” on the sidewalls – likely a combination of kit vagueness and user error.
The instrument panel, to, proves frustrating, with no backing plastic. Basically, you get to fix it in place along the razor’s edge of the PE.
Fortunately, the main fuselage halves do go together quite well.
Part VI: Wings
The wings of the Hurricane are a tricky affair, with five parts that need to come together.
Installing alignment aids proves a big help in getting things to go together, but some cleanup and shaving is definitely necessary, and even then, the top wingroot cleanup doesn’t look fun at all.
Part VII: Wrapping Up
There are plenty of finishing bits to the Hurricane, and they vary from sloppy (antenna mast) to annoying (the mounting collar on the prop spinner) to rather pleasant (the fit of the cannons and tires).
Part VIII: Final Thoughts
Ultimately, would I recommend the Hurricane?
Well, I think that depends on two things.
The first is whether or not the Hurricane, as a subject, blows your skirt up.
And the second is the kind of modeler you are – or rather, where your preferences happen to fall.
Does your favorite part of modeling come before you lay down primer, or after?
If you lean more toward the pre-primer parts, get a kick out of scratchbuilding and bringing kits to heel, you may love the shit out of the Hurricane.
But…if you lean more toward painting and markings and weathering…if the build is more of a means to that end for you, well, you may want to pass on this one.
For me, personally, I know that my preferences lie more toward the latter.
And so for me (again, personally), this kit is a nope.