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neil foster
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Fairey Firefly Mk1 1/48 Special Hobby. Korean war Group build.

December 29, 2020 · in Aviation · · 25 · 2.2K

This is my contribution to the Korean war group build or rather my first contribution as I may well do more , we have plenty of time after all.

The kit is the offering , I picked this kit up some years ago for £30 at a club meet because it fitted in with my FAA interest but somehow never got inspired to build it , all that glazing put me off and so it sat in the "pending" pile until Louis started the group build and out it came.

The kit comes with four options of aircraft to choose from and I picked this one flown by Lt Mortimer of 827 NAS from HMS Triumph from July to September 1950 , this particular aircraft eventually suffered major damage as a result of an unsuccessful landing by Mortimer and was stripped of all usable parts and pushed overboard.

I would say this kit is not a straightforward build like a or modern kit would be but with patience a pleasing result can be achieved , I took around six months to complete it and it is up there (in my opinion) with my better builds, I am glad I took my time rather than rushing it as details like the glazing and the black and white I.D. stripes can make or break a kit like this if not done neatly...

There were quite a few annoying niggles to be overcome along the way that let Special Hobby down I feel as they really don't have to be there for instance the clear parts ,especially the rear compartment are not quite wide enough ,you can get away with it but there is a lip between the clear part and the fuselage side and we all know what happens when you try to man handle clear plastic right? I overcame this mostly by using clamps on the fuselage to squeeze it in a bit while the glue set, secondly the kit comes with missile sets for other versions which are molded neatly in one piece and yet the missiles for this kit have the tail fins molded separately which requires you to remove tiny, fragile pieces from the sprues without losing them to the carpet monster and then somehow attach them neatly to the missile body and then wait while they set only to discover you have glued them to your finger and not the missile ! , I found that some parts which go together are molded on different sprues instead of being together ,O.K. it's not the end of the world but it's just annoying to have to go searching for parts among the sprues which are loaded with parts you don't need for this kit, my last issue is that the propeller blades are molded separately which requires a lot of setting up to get the angle of attack right and to keep them in line in rotation while they set , they could so easily have been molded in one piece. Don't get me wrong all these issues can be overcome because I did, right? and I suppose many of you will be thinking "well that's the hobby " so make your own minds up on that one. There are plenty of good points as well , the moldings are well done and the resin wheel well is nicely cast and fits inside the wing halves with a minimum of shaping , the decals were excellent , they released from the backing paper almost straight away even after the water had gone cold and were thin without being fragile.

All in all if you want a for your Korean war or FAA collection then this is the way to go just take your time and keep the glazing and I.D stripes neat...

As usual you comments are welcome, Neil.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. Hello Neil, @neil-foster
    What a way to end the year ! I have really enjoyed reading your build journal and looking at the photos you posted along the way. You plane looks magnificent.

    I will be using this journal as a guide when I start working on my 1/48 scale Grand Phoenix kit later. I want to sincerely thank you for building this as part of our Korean War group build. There is still plenty of time to start more builds, so if you have some in mind please don't hesitate.

    You did a wonderful job with it, and I enjoyed reading your article. Dad told me that when they were leaving Korea, how he saw numerous vehicles, aircraft and even tanks get shoved overboard... Some were like new. He said it was done more often than we think. It seems to be such a waste, but sadly it happened.

    Thanks again my friend, and I was the first to press the "liked" button. 🙂

    Take care and Happy New Year

  2. You're very welcome Louis , I ran the very first group build on iModeller years ago but I remember how much work and time was involved so well done so far.
    Happy new year pal ,Keep safe , and wear your mask!

    • Neil, @neil-foster
      I didn't know that you were the first... now that's VERY cool ! You're right, this does take some time out of my already busy schedule. I thought I would have a ton of extra time on my hands once I retired... How wrong was I ! Now I wonder how I ever managed to get things taken care of when I was working.

  3. Well done Neil! Looks great. Nice paintwork. The Mk.I certainly has a different look in the post war FAA colors. I just dusted off my Firefly on my BPF shelf this morning. I still have a Mk. V in the stash and hope to build it soon. You can never have too many Fireflies! Happy New Year!

  4. Thanks John , BPF ?, It's a nice looking aircraft ,I don't know why it took me so long to get round to it.

  5. Looks great in this scheme.

  6. Yeah, definitely looks better than the WW2 era camo.
    Thanks for looking and taking the time to comment, take care and keep your mask on !
    Happy new year.

  7. Maybe not straightforward, but you did a great job on this Firefly, Neil.
    Also agree that this scheme looks perfect.

  8. You did an amazing job there, Neil!
    I love the Firefly, your build presents it to all its glory!
    Tackling a Special Hobby kit is not the easiest of tasks and you did it in such a great way.
    Eagerly waiting for your next "Korean War" GB entry!
    Happy new year, my friend.

  9. Thank you for your generous words John,it is always nice to receive praise from a fellow iModdler, happy new year!

  10. Spiros! Happy new year buddy, your right Special Hobby kits are a challenge but worth the effort in the end , my next build for this G.B will be a seafury, Airfix obviously but I have something else in the mix first , you might like it I this space.

  11. Great looking Firefly, Neil, you've got those FAA colours perfect, nicely set off by the invasion stripes, and the canopies look perfect. Definitely liked.

  12. Neil, taking this challenging Special Hobby Firefly and building it with such passion and quality is really "special" in it's own right. Being already a unique air frame in appearance, RN and all is not a common sight. You took this and created an amazing model. The scheme really pops as well. Now which way to go as the Special Hobby kit or the Grand Phoenix kit that Louis is going to tackle. Either way it is quite motivating in building one of these down the road. Well done Neil, wishing you and the family a Happy New Year, thanks for a well written presentation.

    Stay safe!

    • Hey Chuck ,nice to hear from you buddy . I'm looking forward to seeing Louis's Grand Phoenix come together because it has the option to fold the wings which would look cool if he decides to go down that route...
      Keep you and your family safe pal and wear your masks !

      • Neil,
        Funny thing you mentioned the Grand Phoenix kit... It was one of the ones I pulled down from the stash. Stay tuned for it to pop up here one of these days... 🙂 It will definitely get the wings folded.

  13. Fantastic Neil! I guess the reason we don't see so many of these built up is because of the trials the kit put you through - so well done for sticking at it for half a year! Kind of fitting for a plane that could be described as attritional in its many roles. Given its contribution from mid-WW2 you'd have thought these would be more 'popular' - not glamorous enough I guess. All the more credit to you for producing a real beauty! Brilliant paint job and a very precise build - love it!

  14. Hi Paul, yes you're right it's not a glamorous looking bird so it's no surprise we don't see too many of them built up. If you look at the head on shot and imagine one of these bearing down on you all guns blazing ,it looks almost as if it's laughing at you !
    Thanks for looking .

  15. Hello Neil,
    Job well done on this famous aircraft. It surely did its part in the Korean war.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  16. Thanks Dirk, happy new year.

  17. Lovely Firefly! This subject was one of the first I build when I got back into the hobby, and I've been considering doing another now that my skills have "upgraded" a bit!

  18. Nice work on building a not so easy kit, it came out looking great! I also like the paint scheme.

  19. Thanks for looking Bob.

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