Fairey Firefly Mk1 1/48 Special Hobby. Korean war Group build.
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 Special Hobby 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 Tamiya or modern Airfix 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 Firefly 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.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.