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iModeler Review: Arma Hobby 1/48 Hurricane Mk. IIc

June 8, 2023 · in Reviews · · 26 · 5.1K

During my recent visit to Warsaw Modeling Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting , and examining their brand-new scale Hurrricane Mk. IIc kit. The company has generously given me access to sample sprues together with the instruction booklet, decal sheet, resin accessories plus an assembled test kit for this review. The actual production batch is set for release within only days from this writing. Let's delve into what this new kit has to offer!

Arma Hobby has already established itself as a kit manufacturer that is highly regarded among the 1/72 scale fans. Their kits combined levels of detail previously not heard of in this scale with high-quality building experience. Now expanding into the 1/48 scale, the becomes Arma Hobby's second release in this scale, following the PZL P.11c that was released some two years ago. While the P.11c is a great kit in its own right, it was perhaps a way to explore the company's way forward in this larger scale. The Hurricane is Arma Hobby's first 1/48 kit that is intended to appeal to a wide international audience.


Arma Hobby 1/48 Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc, cat. no 40004
  • Injection-moulded kit
  • Self-adhesive masks for canopy
  • Decal sheet with 3 marking options
  • Retail price 45 EUR

First impressions

Upon first look, one thing becomes immediately apparent: this is not an up-scaled 1/72 Hurricane kit from the same company. This new kit is - well, brand new, and designed from the outset to take full advantage of the plastic medium in this larger scale.

The kit contains 3 sprues in grey plastic, one in clear, color instruction booklet, a sheet of canopy masks, and a sheet of decals with markings for 3 aircraft. Pre-ordered kits will also include a set of 3d-printed resin accessories, which were also provided for this review, but I've chosen to omit them as they're not part of the standard kit.

What I found particularly helpful during this review was a test model. This was assembled from pre-production sprues using only thin liquid glue, no filler or sanding, and provided a lot of insight into the qualities of the finished product. Arma Hobby asked me to point out that production sprues are injected with higher pressure so are a bit finer and smoother in detail.

I have included additional high-resolution photos of the model in the gallery below so that you can use them to assess the finished product on your own.

Judging from the earlier Arma Hobby releases, I'd expect the quality of the kit to be excellent, with no flash or moulding flaws. The larger parts are moulded with a satin finish.

Surface detail

The main parts of the kit feature a very minute surface detail comprising recessed panel lines, raised and countersunk rivets, raised bolts and fasteners as appropriate. Interestingly, countersank rivets are used in areas where flush riveting was used on the real airframe, such as the forward area of the wings. Raised rivets on the model are rendered in those places where standard raised rivets were used on a real Hurricane. Coincidentally, this arrangement will make the assembly of the wings easy without the risk of loosing rivet detail while sanding the seams.

The rivet detail is so petite that you'd be pushed hard to see the difference between the raised and recessed rivets with a naked eye, and initially I was only able to distinguish between them by drawing a tip of my finger across the surface to feel which detail is raised.

There's also a lot of variation to surface features, which makes the kit interesting to look at, and invites closer scrutiny. All this detail will look great under a layer of wash on the finished model.

Fabric surfaces

A prominent feature of a Hurricane, and one that used to be difficult to kit manufacturers is the fabric-covered rear fuselage. I'm pleased to say that Arma Hobby has it... well, covered :). The area looks convincing to the eye, and attention to detail shows again by means of slightly protruding longerons. These items aren't easy to spot on a real aircraft, but I've checked - they're there!

Fabric-covered control surfaces are rendered just as nicely. I even discovered a row of tiny water-draining holes at the trailing edge of the ailerons... can't remember seeing them rendered on any other kit in this scale.

The trailing edges of control surfaces and the trim tabs are commendably fine.

Canopy & cockpit

The canopy parts are clear and commendably thin. There are two canopy hoods provided, one for open and one for closed hood positions. The open hood fits tightly over the fuselage ridge, seemingly without adding any undue height.

The cockpit interior (difficult to show in a photo) is complete with tubular fuselage framing, floor skids, pilot seat, rear armored plate, various controls, stick and rudder. Decals are provided for the control panel and the seat belts.

Forward fuselage

The forward fuselage of the kit is split conventionally. The fish-tail exhausts are solid (and wouldn't be easy to mould hollow as their cross-section is tiny indeed). An oil collector ring is provided behind the propeller, and this view gives an idea about the kit's rendition of the 'bullet' Rotol propeller that was used on the Hurricane Mk II and Mk IV.

Wing root fit

I'll let the picture do the talking. Judging by the apparent fit of the test kit, I'm expecting the best with regard to fit of the main components.

The lower fuselage area has been provided a separate part. This will preserve fabric detail and cleverly conceal the lower fuselage joint(s).

Undercarriage

The wheel well area is a joy to behold. Internal detail is in abundance here.

Seeing the assembled undercarriage prompted a "wow" from this reviewer…

And let's also mention the minute detail on the tire...

The tires in the kit are weighted and come in two halves, but as the tires had a smooth running surface, preserving detail during assembly shouldn't be an issue. No resin replacement wheels should be needed even for the most demanding builder.

Wings & armament

The wings feature clear parts for position and landing lights, and a separate part for a cine camera in the starboard wing. The ailerons and flaps are moulded solid with the main wing. A selection of drop tanks or bombs is provided.

Two sets of cannon are provided, with different arrangements of the recoil springs.

Instructions, decals and masks

The instructions are printed in color on high-quality glossy paper. Textual instructions are bilingual, Polish and English. The construction diagrams appear clear and are well laid-out. I'm sure you'll like them - see the photo gallery below to review the contents of the instruction booklet.

The canopy masks are pre-cut from yellow kabuki tape and should come most handy for this type of canopy.

The decals are clearly printed and in register. Markings include:

  1. Night Intruder BE 581 JX-E, No. 1 Sqn RAF, Tangmere, May 1942, pilot F/Lt Kuttelwascher
  2. Z 3152 FM-A, No. 257 Sqn RAF, Coltishall, May 1941, flown by S/Ldr Stanford Tuck
  3. LF 644 WC-D, No. 309 (Polish) Sqn, Drem, May-July 1944

The verdict

Arma Hobby's 1/48 Hurricane IIc has been long in the waiting, but now it's here - and what a kit it is. I was very impressed by all the detail, the riveting and the thoughtful breakdown of the kit - but even more so by the obsessive attention paid by the kit's designers to render even the smallest detail of the real airplane. Quality-wise, this kit is all there with the latest Eduard releases. If possible, it oozes even more joyous, unrestrained passion for modeling.

Yes I'm getting a bit emotional here, but I do feel that is one of these new kits that belong to the future, and that will eventually make all those beautiful Tamiya kits in your stash feel… bland.

Emotions aside, this kit provides a modern basis for a 1/48 Mk. II Hawker Hurricane - and it does so in a spectacular fashion.

Reader reactions:
30  Awesome 4  2  1 

19 additional images. Click to enlarge.


26 responses

  1. This looks an amazing kit, Martin. A kit belonging to the future indeed!
    Thanks for the superb write-up, an awesome review!

  2. Nice looking kit!

  3. This is a wonderful kit, Martin @editor
    Thanks for sharing us this information, definitely a kit added to my wanted list.

  4. Editor (@editor)
    Thanks for this very comprehensive review. The photos speak for themselves. This looks like the very best kit I have seen of the Hurricane yet... and just when I thought my wallet was safe. 😉

    I can see myself with a few of these in the future when they make it over here to our side of the pond.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  5. I enjoyed building the newish Airfix kit and the 90s era Hasegawa kit but I will say that Arma's got them both beat on surface details.

    I look forward to getting my hands on one once I am finished with their 1/72 kits.

    • @dbdlee The "new Airfix" Hurricane Mk. I are excellent kits. I haven't built one, but I have compared the sprues with what I've seen from Arma Hobby. The rivet & bolt detail makes all the difference. Some of the engineering choices are similar between the two kits. Another observation is that the Airfix kit is markedly more complex because it features completely furnished gun bays, separate ailerons etc. Even though the modeler is free to leave the gun bays out if desired, the kit itself does not speak "simplicity". I'll be eager to see how Arma's trademark "building experience" compares.

  6. Excellent! Anyone giving Eduard a bit of competition is welcome to join in. Although E is great on detail I found their kits fiddly, so a different mindset for engineering the kits is most welcome. Hurricane Mk II Tropical might be in the line in the future?

    • Good point @stellan. In 1/48 scale, Eduard have set the trend of bringing mainstream kits to a new level, expressed particularly by external rivet & panel detail (IIRC that trend started for good with their Spitfire Mk. IX of 2013, meaning 8 years ago). This also made Eduard to a big player in the hobby. Arma Hobby was a company to bring the same trend down to 1/72 scale. As a brand they are still small, but already firmly on the map. In 1/32 scale, I'd say that the most influential company of the same period were Wingnut Wings. Right now, that same trend is also pursued by other new kids on the block - Ukrainian Wingsy Kits and Clear Prop coming to mind. Mind you, all of these companies are turning out quality injection-moulded kits - no shortruns.

      I think the next frontier for these model makers is about building experience, which is perhaps even more difficult to design than accurate surface detail. I agree that Eduard's record in that respect has been uneven, and I'm happy to see that Arma puts it front and centre of their product philosophy. In that department (and 1/48 scale), Tamiya is still the one to beat.

      • Tamiya, in deed. Tamiya is not always the most detailed but number of parts to clean up and cool sub assemblies on private YT channels or glossy magazines are not everything. For some modelers the detailing is everything, for others it is the end result that counts. Tamiya is top of the heap when it comes to build friendly kits but it comes at a price, they obviously can sell no matter what price they put on the tag, though. Why so? Well, you can ALWAYS count on Mr T to churn out absolute crackers that will build up to perfect models with sometimes no glue and in the end it looks perfect.

  7. Nice review Martin and many thanks for sharing. And wouldn't you know just when I've been trying to reduce my stash this comes along. "Honey have you heard about the new Hurricane kit."

  8. Nice review. Now I want one…bad.

  9. Such a great review Martin. The photos say it all, giving us a superb look at a really sharp Hurricane.
    It looks like the top speed has just gone up by 30 MPH! Having just completed the Airfix Sea Hurricane, I must say that I enjoyed it immensely. The detail on this offering though, appears to me to eclipse the Airfix kit, which is nevertheless excellent. Given the under-fuselage treatment, might we expect a Sea Hurricane version ?

  10. I'm not one for the subject, particularly, but it is great to see news like this in the hobby. I've been tempted by their 72nd kits (even though that's not my scale) so it just might not be too long before I'm building an Arma kit after all, though. 😉

    Also, and my primary reason for replying, a thank you for taking the time to put this review together to share with us. I really enjoy this kind of content on the site.

  11. Nice one. I only joined this site because of this review so there you go.

    Back in after stopping modelling in 89 and it’s mind boggling.

    I have the Italeri/Tamiya Mk1 to build but this one (on order) is a must...and with Polish markings too (obviously👍❤️).

    I wish other manufacturers would look and learn, and do better with some of the more iconic subjects.

    I am currently building the Italeri Bell 47 and having worked on the Sioux AH1 for several years...it’s glacial, it will never look right, depressing, but it’s all there is in 1:48😢.

    Great review of an amazing looking jewel. I have their PZL 11c as well for the “Polish” hall😎

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  12. Yep, some offerings these days are almost too good to let me loose on while others are still pedalling tired old moulds of real classics that deserve better. The DH Beaver AL1 for example ❤️. I am exe AAC and more recently worked with these old troopers for a few years. Army Aviation, the greatest story never told😢

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  13. Just when I'm trying to work my way through my present stash; along comes this beauty. Arma's model seems to have a degree of elegance about it which is not apparent on my previous builds. A bit less chunky perhaps.
    Anyway, I'm impressed & as soon as I find a stockist in Australia, I will grab one. Thanks for the review & all the photos; they will be a great help.

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