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John Healy
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1/48 Hawker Hurricane IIB.

September 21, 2022 · in Aviation · · 42 · 1.1K

This is the excellent kit of 1990s vintage. I've wanted to do this particular for some time and finally got the opportunity when I found this IIB on the vendor tables at a show back in June.

BE171 belonged to 17 Squadron which was sent to Rangoon in early 1942 after the Japanese attack in the Far East. The aircraft flew a brutal route across Africa and South Asia to get there and was extremely weathered.

BE171 is usually depicted in the Dark Earth/Middle Stone desert scheme. Model Alliance depicts the plane in the rarely used “tropical land scheme” of Dark Green/Middle Stone. Which was it?

Most likely, it was neither of the above schemes. Instead, it was probably a faded and worn “temperate land scheme” a/c featuring Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky Blue. I found a pretty good thread over at Britmodeller about 17 and 67 Squadron Hurricanes at Rangoon. Wing Commander Stone is quoted as stating the first three aircraft arrived in desert colors. BE171 was the fourth. Tonal photographic evidence also supports Temperate Land Scheme over the desert scheme. Tropical Land Scheme is a remote possibility but there is no proof it was ever applied to any Hurricanes. The idea that it was seems to come from a typo in a mid-1941 Air Ministry document.

The other unusual feature of this plane is use of Type A1 roundels on the top wings. These were apparently applied in Rangoon to 17 and 67 Sq. planes because they were sharing the field with the American AVG 3rd Squadron and it was a visual feature to help American pilots recognize the Hurricanes as friendlies.

The kit itself built smoothly. Paints are lightened Xtracolor Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky Blue which I mixed from Humbrol 23 and 14. The decals are the aforementioned Model Alliance items.

Thanks for looking and have a great day!

Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

42 responses

  1. Excellent job! I find the paint job to be quite exquisite!

  2. Fantastic work and great research on the aircraft. An absolute beaut!

  3. For me, there’s something about the Hurricane, and other Hawker designs for that matter, and you’ve really captured that look beautifully, nice one.

  4. A wonderful result, John!
    Loved your careful and systematic approach regarding the specific bird's color shades!

  5. Excellent Hurricane, John @j-healy
    Very nice scheme and your thoughts about the fading colors are very plausible.
    Great weathering as well.

  6. Great info on the paint/markings. I'm very into the Burma fighting right now, almost done with an AVG Shark.
    Some tough fighting went on there. But Stone and Carey showed how it was done.
    Great job on the Hurri. The exhaust staining and fading look perfect. Nothing wrong with that Hasegawa.

    • Thanks, Bill. Yes it’s a fascinating theater. I’m in the middle of a Hawk now too. Then on to the Dutch now that the CW-21/22 is out from Dorawings.

      • My rotten kid got a CW-21 and didn't get one for me. Buy 'em books, send 'em to school...

        • It's a nice kit. I got one started, an will finish building it up as a trainer from a nearby airfield that trained Navy and Marine pilots during the War. I found a few cool pictures of the SNC-1's flying out of Green Cove Springs. Go for it... You will like it.

  7. @j-healy, That is a fantastic Hurricane John! Beautiful work my friend! 👍

  8. looks realy good!

  9. Great build and paintwork, and nice subtle weathering. High marks!

  10. I love it John , you did a fantastic job on this beauty , I've got to build a Hurricane someday soon...if it comes out half as good as yours I'll be pleased.

  11. Very nice John👍🏼 Thanks for sharing!

  12. Finding a Hasegawa Hurricane kit on the shelf of a LHS is like spotting Big Foot. A rare mythical kit. I don't think Hasegawa has done a pressing in years. You can get them on E-bay or at the vendors tables, I think the demand is still there. Regardless, if you can find one there worth while picking up.

    Some strong work John. I've never met a Hurricane I didn't like.

    Two thumbs up.

  13. Nice work on the model, @j-healy, and excellent research work, to result in an interesting model from a little-known period of history.

  14. Great looking plane, John (@j-healy). Interesting story and research. I recently read an interesting story about the Hurricane IIDs that were used as tank busters in North Africa. I want to build the IID, as well as a couple of others. Camo is really well done.

  15. Great work and research John!

  16. Beautifully executed from the research to the finish line. Bravo, John.

  17. Very nice Hurricane build especially from a more obscure unit/theater of operations.

  18. John, @j-healy
    Thanks for sharing this one with us. I especially enjoyed reading your article about Rangoon and the AVG 3rd Squadron. There's always something new to learn, and for me, that's at least half of the fun of building.
    Many years ago I got to meet an AVG pilot named Dick Rossi. At the time I was working on duty, and I got a call on the radio from the Chief asking me to meet up with him at Red Lobster... Normally it's not good to have the Boss calling for you. I knew I hadn't done anything wrong, but it was still a bit concerning...

    So I arrive at the restaurant a few minutes later and I walked up to the table, where our Police Chief was sitting down with an elderly gentleman sitting across the table from him. I was introduced, and then my Chief said "This is Dick Rossi, and he flew in WW2. Do you know of him, or have you heard of him before ?". (or something like that)

    My response was "Yes Sir I do know who he is ! He flew P-40's with the AVG in China. And he's an ace.". When I said that, the older gentleman had a great big smile on his face. So did my Chief, who said "See ? I told you that he would know who you are right away. He's really into history, especially the WW2 stuff and airplanes.".

    Dick Rossi extended his hand out for a hand shake, which I gladly shook and told him something like "Thank you Sir for your service.". Next I was asked to join them at the table for lunch.

    As I was sitting down, my radio went off and I was alerted for a call by dispatch, so I didn't get to stay... But it sure was a nice encounter. He seemed like a good man. By the time I had cleared the call and returned to the restaurant, they had finished lunch and left, so I missed my chance.

    Now I do have a set of decals for several AVG P-40's from the 1st Squadron, and I have several 1/48 Airfix P-40's started with full intentions of building up one as a plane flown by Pappy Boyington, and one by Dick Rossi, both of whom are included in the Eagle Edition decal set.

    Among other projects I also have a pair of FAA Hellcats underway. My interests in this region of the conflict have grown considerably. Now about those 1/48 scale Special Hobby, Classic Airframes and Tamiya Buffalo's in the stash... Hmmm 😉

    I definitely clicked the like button.

  19. Well done, John. Like the finish work.

  20. This one looks great. You did excellent work on this Hurricane. I’ve got a couple Hasegawa Hurricanes I hope to start one in the not too distant future, yours is good inspiration.

  21. G’day John (@j-healy),

    This is an airccraft that I have wanted to build ever since I read “Hurricanes Over Burma” by an Australian pilot M.C. “Bush” Cotion. It also contains the memoirs of “Bunny” Stone.

    I’m interested in your conclusion on the camouflage colours, particularly the Sky Blue.

    I found one of these kits on e-bay earlier in the year and am looking for decals.

    I’ll use your excellent build as a reference when I do.

    Liked very much.

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