Hawker Sea Fury in 1/72 scale 
Trumpeter and Special Hobby (MPM) kits


1/72 scale Hawker Seafury Trumpeter and Special Hobby kits: modelling report 
kit review / Building report

Hawker had developed some excellent aircraft at the end of the war and using experiences with the Hawker Tempest, a carrier based aircraft called the Fury was developed. Eventually as the war was over, only a navy version was further pursued. 
After the second world war jet fighters started to emerge but for carrier operations and tests were ongoing with DeHavilland Sea Venom prototype. But one thought that reliable propeller aircraft were required, so a version of the Fury called the Sea Fury seemed welcome as other prop aircraft were tried like Blackburn Skua, Fairey Fulmar, Hellcat and Corsairs did not meet the needs. 

In 1945 the Sea Fury was further tested and eventually selected for use by both the FAA but also by numerous other airforces like those in Australia, Netherlands, Canada. For land based use also Pakistan, Germany, Germany, Burma and even Cuba and Iraq used Sea Furies. In the Korean war also the Sea Fury was used. 

(See references for more info..)

LOOK HERE FOR A 1/32 SEA FURY


Special Hobby (MPM) issued nice new 1/72 kits of the Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 in 2006. It was a vast improvement over the old FROG kit available and short run HighPlanes before that period.

Special Hobby issued a new kit and in 2008 also Trumpeter..surprised modellers with their 1/72 scale Sea Fury FB.11 kit. Both kits were purchased, so this building report how to build these and improve while moving along. The Trumpeter kit has much crisper and finer parts than the Special Hobby kit, which is somewhere between short-run and todays standards' injection moulded kits, but the latter kit has the better decals. Looking at scale accuracy they both have their faults although how they look is OK. 




Trumpeter kit
This kit has about 90 parts in full plastic. The detailling is very good with nice parts. You have the option to fold the outher wings and there is adequate detail. The shape of the canopy could be better and there is a seam on the canopy that needs polishing. 
The cockpit details are good enough for this scale and typically on real Sea Furies cockpit interiors were black so little is to be seen. The propeller shape could be better but the prop can be used. 

This Sea Fury would be finished as a British FAA 802 squadron FB.mk 11 as operated from HMS Ocean in 1952. 
 

Assembly was done rather straight forward. 

The cockpit is black and small, so the cockpit from the kit was used. It was painted "coal" black and some details drybrushed. If you want to super detail, see the 1/32 build for ideas.

The rest of the assembly gave no problems and I opted to have the wings folded (the Special Hobby kit would have the straight wings). 

After assembly and some minor filler, the overall model was given a coat of light grey with the airbrush to checks for any flaws. These were corrected as needed. 

The choosen scheme has very attractive striping for recognization and the scheme comprises:
- Extra dark sea grey (WEM paint ACRN02 or Humbrol 123);
- Sky (WEM ACRN01 or Humbrol 90). 
The Sky is also covered a large part of the fuselage in this scheme.

Starting with the Sky, the model was than masked of and the Extra Dark Sea Grey applied. Masking was done with Tamiya tape and next the white of the stripes followed by black was applied.

The horizontal stabilizer was glued on and some filling done with white glue to fill the tiny gaps. It was smoothed with a wet finger. 

The Trumpeter kit decals seem OK but are not. The schemes do not seem accurate with some other errors:
- the black-white striping does not match the kit contours; you will have to spray them;
- the roundels are 1 mm in diameter too small, this can be noticed; (use replacements such as from Xtradecal);
- for the no.1831 squadron scheme, the yellow stripe on the prophub could not be verified;
- the letter style could be wrong;

The decals are very thin, so take care! I did not really use the Trumpeter decals and used mostly the better Special Hobby decals on the Trumpeter kit as well,  representing a British FAA 802 squadron FB.mk 11 as operated from HMS Ocean in 1952. 

Unfortunately on both kits, the smaller airframe stencilling is missing on the decal sheets. I used some paint using a toothpick to apply them. On both kits, I also added two walkways at the root area on both fuselage sides; these were made from black sprayed decal cut to size.

The decals went on without problems.

The striping is some work but worthwhile. 

After decal application, it was time for adding the details and finishing the rest of the model. 

The gearlegs are too far apart and should be positioned 1 mm each more inboard. Also, they  are about 2 mm too short in length. I solved this by using a piece of plastic tube; it was used to create a fixation point and to "extend" the gearleg . 
Close the small gap next to the legs created in the bays with white glue. (not yet seen here)

Some extra details were added with fuse wire and sprue as well. I painted the bays white and the insides of the doors white as well. 

The propeller is not totally convincing in this kit but good enough. The tips were sprayed yellow on and later masked off.

Finishing:
- The wing fold mechanism is in the kit; I had to trim some parts for a better fit. The fold mechanism was painted white with some metallic details. 
- the wing tip navigation lights are in the kit. I painted their inside surfaces. 
- the rockets in the kits are not as accurate as those in the Trumpeter Wyvern kit; if you have some left overs, use these instead. 
- the tailhook is 5 mm too long, so shorten its length
- the outboard canon barrels part A39 in the leading edge protrute a bit form the edge; the inboard ones are inside the wing.
- a small gun sight was added on the instrument cover, from etched metal from the spared box.

Next the model was given an overall varnish coat with Johnson Clear/Pledge.

For both Trumpeter and Special Hobby kits I used a FALCON vacuform canopy set to improve the rear sliding canopies; you will see that the rear curve is different. The forward canopy is the Falcon better one. 

....
Some details in the canopy area. Note the small added gun sight. As noted, a FALCON vacuform canopy was used.

OK, there the Trumpeter model is....

A metal needle was used as a pitottube on the left wing leading edge. The step below the trailing edge is seen extended here as well. 

Note the outboard protruting canon barrels. 


NOTE: later, a small radio antenna was added on the spine aft of the canopy (not seen on pictures).

Below a comparison of the Trumpeter Sea Fury and the much larger Trumpeter Wyvern, both in 1/72 scale.


Special Hobby
This kit needs more work than the Trumpeter, starting with removal of the kit parts from their sprues. 

The kit has about 45 parts with plastic and with some resin details and includes two vacuformed canopies (one spare). The canopy shape could be better though. You get also two types of tailplanes and rudders. Stores comprise only the droptank. Also the option to fold the wing is in the kit. If you want a "straight" wing you will need some work with filler. 

Carefully cut loose about 1 mm clear from each part and trim and sand. You will need filler on all areas. 

In the kit there are some resin parts as well for cockpit and wheel bay. Two canopies are provided (see note later). 


overview of the parts. Two types of rudders are in the kit. 

The Special Hobby kit decals are fine and nicely printed but need a correction:
- the 802 sqn "0" number marking on the tail is not the correct style. I simply reduced its height, which makes it look better.

Let us start with the build......

Simple follow the kit instructions. The hole in the aft gearbay part 19 should be at the rear end! So drill a new hole for the tail leg. I also drilled a hole below the cockpit in the left fuselage side where there is an inspection panel. 

I was not sure about the engine part A5. Above you see the deeper part in the kit and the Trumpeter cowling. I made sure that the propellers and the cowls would look similar, so dry fit the prop hub to ensure the looks are the same! I had to move the Special Hobby part more forward in the engine cowl. 

Assembly needs some extra work and filler in areas. At the wing root particularly work was needed and fitting the horizontal stabilizers.

After this was all done, a light grey primer coat was sprayed on. 

Note the lack of wheel bay detail despite this part being in resin. This will trigger some extra detailling work!


I wanted as a Dutch modeller a Dutch naval air service (MLD) Sea Fury in the collection. 
In the Special Hobby kit also MLD Sea Fury decals are also provided. These are fine with the correct and typical style lettering on Dutch Sea Furies. These letterings varied by the way on many Dutch Sea Furies in the course of their use. 

This book was well used in modelling the MLD Sea Fury:
Hawker Sea Fury, camouflage and markings, by Geldhof and Boerman, Dutch Profile ; 

During a deployment of Dutch Sea Furies to the UK, a right wing on a particular plane was damaged. It was decided to swop this with a British FAA Sea Fury wing. This particular plane was MLD Sea Fury coded "10-9" with British roundels on the right wing. 

    the real one... note the shining on the cowling

This plane was be a nice subject for this model. It meant that I had to hand paint the "9" as I could not find the correct number style in my decals "left over" box. The FAA roundels came from the kit and for the Dutch roundels I used a slightly better Dutch Decal set. 

Unfortunately on both kits, the smaller airframe stencilling is missing on the decal sheets. I used some white paint using a toothpick to apply them. On both kits, I also added two walkways at the root area on both fuselage sides; these were made from black sprayed decal cut to size.

For the picked scheme, the colours are standard:
- Extra dark sea grey (WEM paint ACRN02 or Humbrol 123);
- Sky (WEM ACRN01 or Humbrol 90). 

The Sky demarcation line is at the lower fuselage in this scheme.

Starting with some dark grey lines sprayed to suggest some depth at panels (pre-shading), next the Sky was sprayed on. The model was than masked of and the Extra Dark Sea Grey applied. Masking was done with Tamiya tape. 

A covering plate was needed aft of the seat below the sliding canopy. This was made from card. 


You will see the pre-shading a bit here at the lower surfaces 

 

The model was given a shiny coat of Johnson Future (Pledge) before decal application. The decals was added as the model could be handled easier at this stage. 

View on surfaces with no details added yet to the wheel bays.

Finishing:
- add the rest of the kit parts....
- add gun barrels (see notes above)...
- the tail hook is a bit too long.
- at the wingtips small notches were cut out for the anti collision lights, painted and filled with some Microscale Kleer transparant. 
- on the main gear doors sometimes tiny fairings are seen on some Sea Furies; check your references but on this particular  plane these were not present. 


- Add undercarriage details with some extra tubing and retraction devices. 
- Add the retraction links, these are not in the kit!


The venting grills got a wash of dark paint.

Propeller, which looks a bit better than that of the Trumpeter kit. 

- A metal pitot tube from a needle was put in place as well. 
- the external wing fuel tanks needed some white glue a their mating surfaces to close the gap. It was painted Sky when dry. 

The overal model now got a coat of protecting Johnson Future to get an overall nice shine.

The canopy and prop was installed and as noted before, a FALCON vacuform canopy was used.

NOTE: later, a small radio antenna was added on the spine aft of the canopy (not seen on pictures).

The Special Hobby kit result.....


A special Dutch Naval Air Service MLD Sea Fury is now in the collection

 

REFERENCES:

IPMS Nederland real Sea Fury  info pages...
 


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Created this page April 24, 2009