100 Years of the RAF, 73 Squadron circa 1938 Hawker Hurricane Mk I “early”, Classic Airframes 1/48
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
The time is upon us to reveal our 1930’s aircraft from the RAF. This is my first reveal from the 100 Years of the RAF Group Build. I have two more to go from this decade.
This model is the older Classic Airframes kit in 1/48 scale, and it was painted using Model Master enamels. The elevators were dropped, and the rudder controls were mounted a little off center. Other than some aftermarket decals, this is an out of the box build.
If you want to build up an early cloth covered wing version of the Hurricane then this is the only game in town as of now.
The early Hurricanes had a cloth covered wing as the most obvious distinguishing feature.
However there were some other things that I’ll point out to you that were only found on the earliest versions.
To begin with is the keel that would normally be present under the fuselage. Going from memory it was added to increase the stability starting with the 77th airframe. Here’s a closer look at what I’m talking about. The rudder was also shorter on these early planes.
The early Hurricanes had “kidney” style exhaust.
And a two blade Watts propeller was used. They also used a “Ring and Bead” style gun sight.
A Venturi was also used,
And the windscreen was not armored.
These early Hurricanes also used a post style antennae mast. This was changed later during the production run.
When Hawker started producing the Hurricanes, several things were carried over from the previously built biplanes from the company. One such thing was the “Aluminum Dope” finish that was seen on the underside of the aircraft.
I used a set of aftermarket decals by Iliad Design entitled “Pre-War Hurricanes”. These worked very well on this particular model.
This plane was built to represent a machine from No.73 Squadron and it uses the “B” camouflage pattern. It is serial number L1568.
Luckily I was able to find several original era photos of these early Hurricanes. They confirmed what the decals indicated on the instructions.
This is a picture of Hurricane serial number L1582. It was built approximately 14 planes after the aircraft depicted with my model kit.
Here’s another Early Hurricane. Unfortunately most of the Serial Number is not visible in this photo. This one is Serial Number L15 ?
This is a picture of serial number ?83. It most likely is L1583 judging by the features found in the photo. This particular plane has a later style exhaust added, which usually happened later.
Here’s another photo showing early Hurricane Mk I’s lined up for inspection.
It is a kit produced by a limited run manufacturer, so if you are planning on building one, I highly recommend taking your time with the fit and cleaning up of the parts. Shown in this picture below is L1550 and L1559. These planes were produced a few airframes before the model I built.
Here’s a picture that also shows L1559 in the fore ground. If you look a little closer you will see that this machine has a different camouflage pattern than the other planes.
Lastly, I found this picture that shows one “nosed over”. I included this picture as it shows the cloth wing very well.
Later on they developed a metal wing to replace this fabric covered wing. This was done to increase performance and add strength.
The new style metal wing was often used as a replacement for the fabric covered wing when the plane underwent service at a Maintenance Unit, or was repaired after damage. The new all metal wing was designed to be interchangeable with the early cloth covered wing.
The Hurricane was often portrayed not as glamorous as the Spitfire. However, it was available in numbers and did the job when it was needed. It had some very good fire power at the time it was introduced. The first versions had 8 .303 caliber machine guns mounted in the wings. Four on each side. this was considered satisfactory until combat and encounters with the cannon armed Bf-109 “Emils” came on scene…
Here’s a link to the build journal:
It covers the building of two Hurricanes. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did the build. This kit went together very well for me. Hardly any filler was used. The resin bits that were provided were very nicely cast. The hardest thing to do was remove the pouring block from the landing gear bay which was a large chunk of resin.
Please have a look at it, and as always,
“Comments are Encouraged”