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Signal Sea Fury Racer

Fisher Model and Pattern 1/32 Signal Sea Fury Racer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2008 Manufacturer Fisher Model and Pattern
Subject Hawker Signal Sea Fury Racer Scale 1/32
Kit Number 3205 Primary Media Resin/PE/Brass
Pros Another magnificent resin release - no casting blocks, no pinholes, near-perfect fit! Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $195.00

First Look

Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer
Signal Sea Fury Racer

As the Fleet Air Arm was separated from the RAF, they sought their own fighter to be compatible with carrier operations. Current production designs were adapted into such as the Supermarine Seafire. While a capable fighter, the narrow landing gear was not ideal for arresting about a pitching and rolling carrier deck.

The Hawker Company had produced a wide array of hard-working and durable for the RAF prior to, and during the Second World War. One design under consideration was a lightweight fighter designated Fury. Hawker offered a navalized version that would become the Sea Fury. The aircraft was powered by the Centaurus radial engine rated at 2480 horsepower.

While the Sea Fury entered service too late for World War II, it did see combat over Korea as well as conducting operations in the Suez crisis. While the Sea Fury would be the Royal Navy's last piston fighter, the Sea Fury would soldier on in a variety of international air forces and can still be found at airshows or as one of the most popular air racers.

One of the more colorful air racing Sea Furies has been on the racing circuit since the 1960s - the Signal Sea Fury. This aircraft, also called 'Miss Merced', has been through several owners and mishaps in its racing career, and was last seen at Kenosha WI in 2004.

Paul Fisher has returned with another beauty. You'll recall that he produced the best Sea Fury kit in any scale, the Royal Navy's FB.11 (reviewed here). This time he has done a few interesting twists and turns on this kit to render the Signal Sea Fury.

Like the original release, this kit features a beautiful hollow-cast fuselage. The casting workmanship is exquisite! What is new here is that wing. Earlier in its career, the Signal Sea Fury had its wings clipped. This detail has been replicated here, with about 6.5 scale feet of wing (and corresponding ailerons) trimmed. What is really new is that this is a one-piece wing.

You'll recall from the previous Sea Fury that the wing had a separate lower panel to cover the wheel wells and replicate the hollow wheel well interior. While that approach was fine, it was one more thing that had to be fitted, filled, and filed. Now this and future releases will have the one-piece wing to make the assembly even easier.

The cockpit was designed by Roy Sutherland of Cooper Details (and the chief designer for 21st Century Toys). Since the Sea Fury is a favorite of Roy's, the cockpit detailing is some of the best I've seen. The resin parts are augmented by photo-etch and instruments are printed on acetate or paper. I have the paper version and I like them!

The five-bladed propeller comes with a jig to help set the angle and pitch of the blades when placed on the spinner hub. This is a very nice touch!

The engine looks a little simple until you remember that when the spinner and prop sit in front of the small opening in the cowling, you won't be seeing much in there anyway.

The rudder is molded integral with the vertical stabilizer, whilst the ailerons and elevators are provided separately.

Landing gear is cast in brass which will ensure that your resin model will have rugged legs to stand upon. The detailing is very nice and with the two-piece wheel hubs and separate resin tires, painting and assembly will be a breeze.

Another new detail in this kit is the canopy. This aircraft in its early racing career had a small bubbly canopy which is replicated with a resin canopy frame and vacuformed bubble canopy. Two canopies are provided along with a resin master to make more if you need them.

As this is an air racer, all of the military equipment was stripped out of the airframe to lighten the aircraft, though I'm sure the thought of guns has crossed the mind of her racing pilots once in a while...

The decals are produced by none other than Zotz Decals, so your flame patterns and markings are looking nice!

This is another fine work from Fisher Model of the Signal Sea Fury in her early configuration. The aircraft has more recently been restored with its stock canopy and windscreen plus stock outer wing panels (unclipped). However, the aircraft has also been re-engined with an R3350 turning what appears to be a Skyraider four-bladed propeller.

If you're looking for a colorful air racer to brighten up your scale flightline, this is the bird you've been waiting for. These Sea Fury kits still remain the best in any scale!

This kit is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Fisher Model and Pattern for this review sample!

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