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Hurricane Mk.I Trop Kit

Italeri 1/48 Hurricane Mk.I Trop Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2017 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Hurricane Mk.I Trop Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2768 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice details and options Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $41.99

First Look

Hurricane Mk.I Trop Kit
Hurricane Mk.I Trop Kit
Hurricane Mk.I Trop Kit
Hurricane Mk.I Trop Kit

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.

Italeri has reissued their 1/48 Hurricane Mk.I kit, this time with the addition of the distinctive carburetor air filter for 'tropical' (dusty/sandy) environments. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one fret of photo-etched details. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nice cockpit with photo-eched Sutton harness for the pilot's restraints
  • Optional photo-etched instrument panel overlay which uses the instrument panel decal for instruments
  • Positionable canopy
  • Positionable entry door
  • Positionable cowling panels
  • Nicely detailed Rolls Royce Merlin engine
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable rudder
  • Weighted main wheels
  • Positionable landing gear

The instructions are nicely illustrated and will make this a straightforward build. You'll note that the kit is modular to facilitate the mix of parts to render different variants of the Hurricane including the leading edge inserts for the eight .303 machine gun holes used on this version. The surface detailing is quite nice with the fabric effect of the fuselage surface quite nicely done.

Markings are provided for six subjects including:

  • Hurricane Mk.I Trop, W9266, 274 Sqn, RAF, Gerawla, Egypt, 1941, as flown by Flt Lt Dudley Honor
  • Hurricane Mk.I Trop, Z4189, L, 74 Sqn, RAF, Malta, 1942
  • Hurricane Mk.I Trop, Z2404, GL-P, 185 Sqn, RAF, Hal Far, Malta, 1941
  • Hurricane Mk.I Trop, 73 Sqn, RAF, Western Desert, 1941
  • Hurricane Mk.I Trop, V7524, TP-S, 73 Sqn, El Adam, Libya, 1941
  • Hurricane Mk.I Trop, 289, A, 3 Sqn, SAAF, Abyssinia, 1941

The decal sheet also provides a nice set of airframe stencils and every marking is in sharp and in register (printed by Cartograf).

While we haven't had the opportunity to build this kit yet, it is my understanding that the only thing to watch for is a possible wing/fuselage joint gap which can be filled with thin strips of styrene.

This is a nice kit from Italeri and is one of the better Hurricane options available in this scale.

My sincere thanks to Italeri USA for this review sample!