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Special Hobby 1/72 scale Hawker Sea Fury FB.Mk.11

Kit: No. SH 72073
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Special Hobby, available from Squadron Mail Order, 972-
242-8663, www.squadron.com
Price: $23
Comments: Multimedia, 48 parts (41 injection-molded, 5 resin, 2 vacuumformed), decals
Pros: Good fit, easy to build, accurate shapes, well-printed decals
Cons: Scattered blemishes and sink marks, tail wheel mislocated, some details missing, pylons for wing tanks must be recontoured, small parts too thick
A direct descendant of the RAF's Tempest and interim Fury design, the Sea Fury arrived too late to see service in World War II. It went on to serve admirably in the Korean Conflict, and many were exported by the UK.

Special Hobby's kit is molded in dark-gray plastic with recessed panel lines and nice detail throughout. Resin parts include the cockpit assembly, spinner, and main wheel-well insert. Two vacuum-formed canopies are provided in the event one is damaged during construction.

The kit fits together well but has a few shortcomings. The cockpit, engine face, and tail wheel well must be sandwiched inside the fuselage, and the locating devices aren't precise. No glare shield or gun sight was provided for the cockpit.

Small parts like the tail wheel doors, hook, pitot tube, and boarding step had to be thinned down. I also sanded the prop blades to a thinner contour. Putty was needed to fair the lower wing to the fuselage and to fill some sink marks on the rudder and horizontal stabilizers.

The landing gear is petite and nicely done, but the main-gear drag braces are missing. Retraction arms are provided for the main-gear inner wheel doors, but only the outer main-gear doors have interior detail. Special Hobby incorrectly placed the hole for the tail-wheel strut at the forward end of the bay; it should be at the rear end.

The excellent Aviprint decals provide a choice of two Royal Navy and one Royal Netherlands Navy aircraft. I chose the Sea Fury flown by Lt. P. "Hoagie" Carmichael, who shot down a North Korean MiG. The "Korea stripes" must be painted since no decals are given for them. All of the decals snuggled down nicely.

I had trouble filing and fitting the vacuum-formed canopy to its compound-curved recess on the fuselage. I finally took the easy way out by cutting it in two and posing it open. Noting the incorrect contour of the drop-tank pylons, I opted to leave them off the model.

I enjoyed building Special Hobby's Sea Fury. It's accurate and captures the fighter's bulldog-like stance. I spent only 15 hours building it, but a beginner might have a little difficulty with the resin and vacuum-formed parts.

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