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Trumpeter 1/72 scale Hawker Sea Fury FB. 11

Kit: No. 01631
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Trumpeter,from Stevens International, 856-435-1555
Price: $22.46
Comments: Injection-molded, 90 parts, decals
Pros: Well-executed surface detail; good decals
Cons: Multitude of small parts; no positive landing gear alignment; errors/omissions on painting and marking guide
Issue Published: February 2008
Trumpeter's 1/72 scale Sea Fury is a beauty, with nicely scribed surface detail and decals for two aircraft: one for the plane Lt. Peter "Hoagy" Carmichael flew when credited with downing a MiG-15, the second with colorful markings used in Operation Mariner.

Construction begins with the cockpit, a five-piece affair with adequate detail. There are no belts or harnesses, however. I had to scrape around the locating pins to get a good fit on the fuselage halves.
Trumpeter has you build the model in subassemblies. From experience, I knew I would knock off gear, antenna, pitot tubes, etc. so I left those parts to the very end. I had to correct the molding around the leading edge of the center wing section, which houses openings for guns, gun camera, oil cooler, and air for the cockpit. The molding here wasn't as crisp as on the rest of the kit; filler squared the edges of the openings.

You can build the wings extended or folded. Three hinges per wing provide a solid foundation for the outer wing. This is the only area of the kit that required a lot of sanding and scraping to fit. Again, detail here is certainly sufficient but leaves room for more if you so chose.

Trumpeter molds the launcher stubs and missile body as one piece with separate fins. It was difficult to align those fins with the body, which is slightly larger than a straight pin.

The painting guide is keyed to Gunze Sangyo paints, but it leaves a bit to be desired. It calls for dark sea gray instead of the normal extra dark sea gray, and no equivalent paint is given for sky green. No colors were suggested for the rockets, so I painted mine olive drab with black warheads. Also, remember to paint yellow tips on the prop blades.

Decals were opaque and went on easily without setting solution. Decal No. 10 is suspect: It looks like a squadron patch, not the emergency canopy-release port it's supposed to represent.

Final assembly was more of a challenge than I expected, with the wings and landing gear requiring further work.

My finished model looks great and scales out closely to the real thing. I enjoyed the 30 hours I spent on the it. The book Warpaint Series No.16: Hawker Sea Fury was an invaluable reference.

With the many tiny pieces and amount of fiddling needed to get the wings and gear to sit correctly, I would only recommend this kit for experienced modelers.


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