Airfix 1/48 Sea Fury FB.11 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2019||Manufacturer||Airfix|
|Subject||Sea Fury FB.11||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||6105||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice detail||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$32.98|
Hawker's Sea Fury was originally developed as the Fury for the Royal Air Force with work started in 1943. As the design was a lighter-weight follow-on to the Tempest, it showed great promise for both the RAF and the Royal Navy. While the RAF cancelled their procurement as World War II was coming to an end, the Royal Navy continued the navalized variant designated Sea Fury. The Sea Fury was one of the fastest propeller-driven fighters ever produced and was sought after by a number of Commonwealth and allied nations after the war. Had the war continued, the RAF 'Fury' would have been a formidable match against the latest German piston and turbine designs. The Sea Fury remains one of the best air racers today, standing strong against other types that have been highly modified.
It is hard to believe that in all of the decades after its introduction, the only kits of the Sea Fury in 1/48th scale have been the minimalist Hobbycraft Canada and the 'close enough for government work' Trumpeter kits. Of the two options, I have found more modelers preferred the Hobbycraft kit coupled with the Cooper Details resin corrections. The best kit of the Sea Fury remains with Fisher Model's 1/32 Sea Fury (as well as their Air Racer variant kits).
Last year, Airfix announced a new-tool Sea Fury kit to fill that void in 1/48 scale and the kit is now appearing on store shelves here in the colonies. As with other kits in their mid-range series, this Sea Fury kit is a nice balance between detail and ease of assembly. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on five parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. Among the features and option in this kit:
- Beautifully detailed cockpit
- Main spar on fuselage bulkhead to provide solid wing/fuselage joint as well as set dihedral
- Positionable canopy
- Detailed main landing gear and wells
- Positionable landing gear
- Positionable wings
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable elevators
- Positionable rudder
- Optional RATO pack
Among the external stores options
- Three types of external tanks
- Two types of bombs for bomb load
- Loaded rocket rails
The kit provides marking options for two subjects:
- FB.11, WJ236, 801 NAS, R/155, HMS Glory, 1952
- FB.11, VR930, 802 NAS, Q/110, RNAS Eglinton, 1948
The instructions are also noteworthy as they use CAD drawings for parts placement and shade parts installed in the previous step in red for better situational awareness.
One sign of a kit's viability is what the aftermarket world thinks of the basic kit, especially of a subject as beloved as the Sea Fury. In this case, Roy Sutherland is a Sea Fury lover and was behind the extensive correction sets for the Hobbycraft Sea Fury kits. Under his new banner of Barracuda Studios, Roy has offered several new sets, one to correct the fit problems with the Airfix cowling, one to super-detail the cockpit (the stock cockpit lacks a gunsight, pilot restraints, and other smaller details), as well as resin block-tread tires to replace the tire halves in the kit. They also offer a different tire tread option as well as brass landing gear struts should you want to add those options. Since any good kit out there has a resin cockpit set produced for it, many folks will be happy with the stock cockpit (and aftermarket pilot restraints), so the real 'correction' is to offset the fiddly multi-part cowling in the stock kit.
If you're a Sea Fury fan, this kit is another excellent release from Airfix and will make an excellent addition to your quarter-scale flight line.