100 Years of the RAF, 56 Squadron mid 1939, Hawker Hurricane Mk I, 1/48 Airfix new tool
This article is part of a series:
- 100 Years of the RAF, 73 Squadron circa 1938 Hawker Hurricane Mk I “early”, Classic Airframes 1/48
- 100 Years of the RAF, 56 Squadron mid 1939, Hawker Hurricane Mk I, 1/48 Airfix new tool
- 100 Years of the RAF, No. 264 Squadron, circa July 1940, Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, England 1/48 Airfix BP Defiant
This one should have been posted last night as a part of the 1930’s decade… but I didn’t get around to posting it.
I had a lot of fun building this one. It’s the new tool Airfix Hurricane, and it is a really sweet kit to build. The fit is fantastic and it comes right out of the box with some serious options.
You have the choice of building it with open gun bays, and the control surfaces are position able. The cockpit is built up as a part of the wing center and it has tubing frame work just like it’s full scale counterpart.
There are also some extra parts inside the box that will allow you to build a Sea Hurricane version with an arrestor hook, and there’s even a “Vokes” filter included should you decide to build up a “Tropicalized” version.
This is a great kit, and I can see myself building up a few more. If your thinking about buying one of these stop it ! Go out and get one instead… you’ll be glad you did…
This one was built right from the box. The only extra was a set of aftermarket decals from Iliad Design that covered “Pre War” Hurricanes. These worked pretty well. But I did have one problem with the RAF roundels. Mine were not perfectly in register, and they had a small white semi circular “ghost ring” along the edge.
Luckily for me, the Group Build Host (and good friend of mine), Paul Barber came to the rescue and had some of the correct size in his decal stash. Paul being the gentleman he is, sent them to me so that I could finish this build properly. Paul you rock buddy !
If I had this one to build over again, the only addition I would use is to add a set of seat belt harness straps. Other than that it’s good to go as is right out of the box.
This Hurricane was finished using Model Master enamels. This plane has a unique set of colors that were used on the underside. The underside of the nose and the rear half of the fuselage were painted using “Aluminum Dope” color. The Port side wing was finished in Black which was often referred to as “Night”. The Port side wing was painted in White. This was the typical camouflage scheme used by the RAF during 1939.
Mine is painted up to represent a machine from 56 Squadron. 56 Squadron started out during the “Great War” where they served with distinction. The unit had many “Aces” and caused the demise of the German Ace Werner Voss in his Fokker Triplane.
The unit claimed over 400 enemy aircraft as being destroyed, out of control, or “driven down”, with Voss being one of them. Some of the more famous names of the pilots were James McCudden, Arthur Rhys-Davis, Keith Muspratt, Richard Mayberry, and even Albert Ball ! Definitely some “A” list pilots.
The unit remained in service during the inter war years. The unit flew a variety of fighters during these years. Sopwith Snipes, Gloster Grebe, Armstrong Whitworth Siskin and even the Gloster Gladiator was among the types flown.
The Squadron moved to various places and finally settled in at North Weald in October of 1927.
56 Squadron turned in their Gladiators in May of 1938, when they transitioned into the Hurricane Mk I’s.
The Squadron suffered their first casualties of WW2 on September 6th, 1939, in what became known as the “Battle of Barking Creek. This was a friendly fire incident.
Two pilots were shot down, with one pilot named P/O Montague Hulton-Harrop, was killed. This young man was the very first casualty suffered by the RAF in defense of the UK during the Second World War. It’s not friendly fire when it’s incoming !
Even though the unit remained based in England, they participated in the Battle of France. Several small units were sent to France for short instances. They ended the campaign by covering the Dunkirk evacuation.
During the beginning of the Battle of Britain, the unit remained at RAF North Weald. They saw their first action during the Battle of Britain on 31st of July 1940. However on September 1st, 1940, they moved to RAF Boscomb Down.
56 Squadron was one of the few units that remained in Southern England during the Battle of Britain. During this time they were credited with 59 victories.
Later in March of 1942, 56 Squadron was the first unit to receive the all new Hawker Typhoon. The early “Tiffies” had numerous problems and 56 Squadron helped work out the bugs. The work done by the Squadron helped to turn the Typhoon into a dependable and lethal weapon.
They ended up flying Hawker Tempests in June 1944. With the Tempests, they were assigned with protection flights against the V-1 flying bombs. They scored between 70 and 77 “buzz bombs” as knocked down.
Today 56 Squadron is still in service… and reportedly flying the Typhoon FGR.4 until just recently. A fitting length of service that spans the entire 100 Years of the RAF.
My hat’s off to 56 Squadron.
This model was built along with the Classic Airframes early Mk I. Here’s a link to the build journal should you decide to have a look at what went into this build.
Thanks go out to Paul Barber for hosting this outstanding Group Build, and to those who supported me along the way with various comments and suggestions.
As always, Comments are encouraged.