Pioneer 2 1/72 Sea Fury T.20 Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||October 2007||Manufacturer||Pioneer 2|
|Subject||Sea Fury T.20||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||4014||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice kit of a rare subject||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$7.95|
The original order, for a two-seat trainer for the very successful FB.11 Sea Fury, came from Iraq and the prototype received the RN serial no. VX818. Hawker had had some considerable experience in adapting single-seat into a two-seater, through their work on the Hurricane, an aircraft again originally ordered by Iraq.
The T.20 is basically the same as the FB.11, but with the obvious addition of a second cockpit. The instructor, sitting in the rear compartment, was able to use a periscope mounted on a tripod between the two cockpits. This enabled him to see the reflector gun-sights over the head of the pupil in the front cockpit.
The T.20 was armed with two cannon, rather than the four of the FB.11 and it did not have an arrestor hook.
The Royal Navy ordered 60 aircraft and production continued alongside the FB.11 from mid 1950 until March 1952. The final T-20 was WG656. Several overseas countries received T.20’s, including Iraq as previously mentioned (2 reduced from the 4 originally ordered), Pakistan (5), Burma (3), Cuba (2).
A significant order was received from West Germany in 1959 after the production line had closed. The Deutsche Lufthart Beratungsdienst ordered 6 T.20. All to be used as target-towing aircraft, plus a further two and one single-seater in 1960. These aircraft often carried underwing fuel tanks, but the periscope was removed. The aircraft were painted bright red overall, with black registration letters. Their fin flash was black, red and yellow outlined in white. This one carries the registration D-CABU under one wing and in smaller letters on the rudder sides in black.
This kit depicts one such German aircraft and also the T.20 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight (WG655), which sadly crashed in mid 1990, the pilot escaping serious injury. This aircraft, with the Eglinton tail code GN was painted silver overall, with yellow training bands over the fuselage and wings. WG655 appears in large black letters under each wing (the actual airframe for WG655 was formerly D-CACU, one of the West German target tugs.)
Pioneer 2 was a model company based in England. This kit was molded in Turkey for them. They were marketed through MMD/Squadron years ago and have since vanished off the market.
The boxart shows a T-20 in the markings, described above for the aircraft of the Royal Navy Historic Flight. It is overall silver, with a black GN on the rudder and the fuselage no. 910, also in black. Royal Navy, WG655 appears below the horizontal tail surfaces in black too. This box art is done by Don Greer, who does most of the cover arts for Squadron’s in Action books on aircraft.
The back of the box has 2 full color illustrations, each a 3-view, of the two marking options possible with the decals in the kit. The Royal Navy Historical Flight aircraft is shown as it was when stationed at Yeovilton in 1989. The aircraft of the West German Air Councelling Service is shown as it appeared in 1961.
The kit comes in an end-opening type box. Inside the box is a cello bag that holds 3 dark green parts trees, the clear canopy part and the decal sheet. The instructions complete the kits contents.
The small instruction sheet consists of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 6 pages.
Page one of the instructions begins with a black and white repeat of the box art, followed by the history of the Hawker T-20 in English.
Spread across pages 2 through 4 are three exploded drawings to use for assembly. There are two profile drawings of the aircraft with and without its undercarriage extended with a question mark next to them, meaning for you to choose which way you want to build it. However, with no stand provided, a wheels up would have to be suspended from the ceiling with string. The kit comes with optional underwing fuel tanks also. The cockpit is pretty sparse inside, as the kit only provides the floor, two seats and a bulkhead that separated the seats. Purists will want to add joy sticks, a dashboard and other items. With the large transparency over this area, what would be inside would be very visible.
The first dark green parts tree holds: the fuselage halves, cockpit floor, instructor and student’s seats and the parts for the periscope (7 parts).
The second dark green parts tree holds: the cowling, the 5-bladed prop and it’s spinner, landing gear legs, main wheels, landing gear doors, the horizontal tail surfaces, tail wheel, bulkhead, pitot tube and the underwing fuel tanks etc. (26 parts) Three parts are excess and not needed to construct this kit.
The third, and last, dark green parts tree holds the upper and lower wing halves. The lower wing is full span, which set the dihedral nicely. The two holes shown in the lower wing piece are the locations for two clear lenses that are on the tree with the cockpit transparency (three parts on that tree)
The decal sheet completes the kits contents. The marks on it already described above.
This is one neat aircraft the detail is all of the engraved type, which will please most modelers. The skill level on the box says “9 to adult”, so this is an easy build. The flaps on wing and tail and the rudder are all molded in. However, the wing and horizontal tail flaps are so deeply etched that they could easily be parted with a razor saw and shown dropped if desired. The cockpit interior definitely needs some attention.
I recommend this kit.