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Classic Airframes 1/48 Hurricane Mk.I Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2005 Manufacturer Classic Airframes
Subject Hawker Hurricane Mk.I Scale 1/48
Kit Number 4103 Primary Media Styrene, Resin
Pros Nice detailing, especially with the resin castings Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


The Hawker Hurricane was one of those pivotal aircraft in the right place at the right time. The aircraft was designed in the mid 1930s at that time in aviation history when airpower was trading in its biplanes for monoplane designs.

The first Hurricanes weren't too much of a stretch from their two-winged cousins as their wings were still fabric covered and built using the same technologies. Metal covered wings would soon follow.

By the time the war in Europe broke out in late 1939, the Hurricane was reaching obsolescence and the Supermarine Spitfire was entering service. With war thrust upon them, the RAF made use of every available air asset, and this included the Hurricane.

In the Battle of Britain, one-on-one, the Hurricane's performance wasn't up to par with the Bf 109. What made the difference in this crucial air war was pure numbers. The Hurricane was available in the thousands and significantly outnumbered the available Spitfires. It also packed a significant punch with its eight Browning .303 machine guns. While the RAF paid a heavy price in attrition, the brave pilots withstood the best that Hermann Goering could throw at them. The Hurricane soldiered on through the remainder of the war with improvements in power and armament, and would equip the air arms of allied forces around the globe.

This is actually a re-issue of the Hurricane Mk.I that Classic Airframes released as kit number 460. This release commemorates the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. While most of the Hurricane Mk.Is had been updated to metal wings by the Battle of Britain, there were still a number of examples that fought with fabric wings.

The kit is nicely executed with nice detailing for the ribbing details in the wings and rear fuselage. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus two fuselage halves. The clear parts are vacuformed, which will make the posing of the canopy open a breeze. You'll definitely want the canopy open as this kit features a nicely detail cockpit.

The cockpit interior starts with the instrument panel and its support framing. The fuselage halves also receive sections of tubular framing molded separately. The pilots seat is mounted to a rear frame that also supports armor plating to protect the pilot from behind.

You are given your choice of propeller: the two-bladed, fixed-pitch Watts Z-38 prop, the three-bladed de Havilland 5/31 prop, or the three-bladed Rotol RMS-7 prop.

Another VERY nice feature in this kit are the tail feathers. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers do not have the rudder and elevators pre-molded into position. The rudder and elevators are separate parts which can be posed as you see fit.

The resin wheel wells are beautifully cast in resin and will need some care trimming the casting block away from the rear to ensure that this part doesn't obstruct the wing assembly. Care will also be required installing the resin landing light fixtures inside the wings and the associated vac covers onto the leading edges.

Another option provided in the kit are resin wing leading edge sections that have the four gun ports in each section. The corresponding portion of the styrene wing must be cut away to install these inserts, but most people would be better off leaving the leading edges alone.

You're also provided your choice of early or late production windscreen/canopy parts, and in typical vac practice, you're given two of each style 'just in case'.

Decals are provided for two examples:

  • Hurricane Mk.I, N2400, US-T, 56 Sqn/11 Group, Kent, 6 Aug 1940
  • Hurricane Mk.I, G-AFKX, Hawker propeller test aircraft, 1939

The color profiles in the kit are printed in black and white, but full-color profiles are available on the Classic Airframes' website.

This is another typically nice release from Classic Airframes. The Hurricane is a favorite of mine and is proof that air battles aren't decided on aircraft performance alone. This kit is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Classic Airframes for this review sample!