Airfix Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 1/48, GiNA, DFC,VC Ft Lt. Nicolson 1940
Flt Lt. Nicolson was at 17,000 ft patrolling near Southampton when he noticed a flight of Ju-88’s and started down to engage when he was struck by 4 cannon shells that damaged his left eye,left foot and the gravity tank which caused a fire to start in the cockpit. Time to bail, but wait there is the Me-110 that hit him, he struggles back to take control despite the fire, engaged the 110 and destroying it. In the meantime he has suffered more serious burns to his hands, arms and body. He struggles to get out and bail out of the burning Hurricane. Hands badly burned yet managed to pull the cord on his parachute. And to add to his misery, a member of the Home guard thinking he was a German pilot coming in shot at him and wounding both of his legs. For his courage and despite his aircraft was on fire and could’ve easily died from the result of that, showed his gallantry and disregard to his own life to continue to fight and destroy the enemy. Flight Lieutenant Eric James Brindley Nicolson received the Victoria Cross, the only pilot in the RAF to receive the highest award in the Battle of Britain campaign.
Eric James Brindley Nicolson was born 29 April 1917 at Hampstead, London, England. He attended a private school in Kent. Before joining the RAF in 1936, he had been working as an experimental engineer at Sir Henry’s Ricardo Engine Patents Ltd, in West Sussex. In Dec 1936 he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer. After flight training, P/O Nicolson was assigned to No.72 squadron at RAF Church Fenton from 1937 to May 1940. In 1939 he was promoted to Flight Officer. Also married Muriel Caroline Kendall in the same year. On 15 May 1940, F/O was re assigned to No.249 Squadron at RAF Leconfield. Where he was the acting flight commander. After the action on 16 August, F/O Nicolson was promoted to Flight Lieutenant while re habilitating at Princess Mary Hospital. After convalescencing at Torquay Devon, he was then promoted to Squadron Leader in January 1941. In February 1941, Nicolson returned to duty with operational training unit No.54. September of 1941 Nicolson was given command of No.1549 Flight at RAF Hibaldstow, a night fighter unit flying the Douglas P-70 Havoc. His next assignment was as a staff officer at Headquarters 293 Wing, Royal Air Force, Alipore, West Bengal, India. After yet another staff officer billet, Squadron Leader Nicolson was given command of No.27 Sqdn, a Mosquito unit at Agartala in North east India. On 11 August 1944 , “Nick” Nicolson was promoted to Wing Commander and was assigned 3rd Tactical Air Force Headquarters in the Comilla Cantonment in East Bengal. On 2 May 1945, while as an observer aboard a RAF Consolidated B-24, 2 engines had caught fire, Wing Commander Nicolson lost his life while the pilot ditched the B-24 in the Bay of Bengal where only 2 crew members of the flight survived.
The inspiration to this build was when starting work on the Revell Typhoon for the 100 year RAF Anniversary Group build back in 2017. Wanted to do something different other than the normal tactical grey paint scheme. So while reading up on the Typhoon and watching a video as the plane flew with a Spitfire. It occurred to me that the scheme was actually of a Hurricane not a Spit. So did some more research and found the story on the pilot and his adventure that fateful day. It was already too late to build the Hurricane for the GB. In the meantime I started looking around for the markings for this particular Hurricane. There weren’t any, at first to be found. In the meantime I had already decided to use the new mold Airfix Hurricane Mk.1. Really I just wanted a reason to build any new mold Airfix kits that were coming out and have yet to build one. After about a year searching and pretty much resigned to maybe just cobble the squadron codes after seeing other Hurricanes in the same time period used by No.249 squadron, Then I found the Avieology incredible Hurricane set of decals. The sheet had their best data and research on GNA. Now I had everything in place to build it.
Well it is everything I expected and read about. The kit is excellent, a bit of a challenge but a nice challenge not the type to fuss, fight, aggravate type challenge. It fits very well, but you do need to be patient in building it. Being that this was my first new mold of any kind from Airfix that I have attempted I followed every step on the instruction sheet. In this kit everything is tied in from step 1, you skip your screwed. I used Eduard’s PE zoom set, and thankfully the tolerances of the PE bits did not interfere with the fitment of the kit parts. Which there is very little wiggle room. I held my breath getting past the framework of the cockpit. It is so flimsy yet resilient with a lot of handling involved in just getting it fully assembled and into the fuselage with out messing something up like the alignment.
The decals are from Avieology which contains several other Hurricanes to build and I will. Aeromaster War Bird Color Sky was used for the under surfaces. Gunze RAF Dark Green and Dark Earth is used for the type surface for RAF Type “B” scheme. Vallejo Aluminum and Steel for the natural metal parts. Airfix really did good on one of their own home grown aircraft in the Hurricane, I enjoyed the build, this is my 2nd Hurricane the other is the Hasegawa still pretty good Mk.IIIc that I built when it first came out in the mid 90’s. The Airfix kit is better. Can’t wait to build my next new mold Airfix kit, I know they are not all this good but you know thats the fun of it all.
40 additional images. Click to enlarge.