Special Hobby 1/48 Fairey Firefly FR.1 – HMS Triumph 1950

  • 21 posts
  • Last reply 2 months, 3 weeks ago
Viewing 1 - 15 of 21 posts
  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    The 13th carrier group was perhaps the most obsolete of any FAA carrier group in June 1950, still equipped with 12 Seafire 47s of 800 Squadron and 12 Fairey Firefly FR.1s of WW2 vintage. In fact, photos show that some of the Fireflies still carried World War II camouflage! Nevertheless, the air group became crucially important over the next two and a half months, providing air support to the outnumbered UN forces in the Korean peninsula in the face of the all-out North Korean invasion. The strike made with the Valley Forge air group against Pyongyang on July 3-4, a week after the outbreak of war, was perhaps the most important mission flown in the entire war, since the surprise appearance of American and British aircraft where they were not expected caused Stalin to cancel his decision to provide full air support for the North Koreans; had he done so, the war would have been over by mid August, with forcible reunification of the peninsula by the North and the UN forces forced to evacuate.

    This is the Special Hobby kit, which provides decals for four different Air Group 13 Fireflies, including one of the WW2-marked aircraft. The kit is well-researched.

    It’s a Special Hobby limited-run kit, with all that means. Lots of test fitting three times before gluing once, putty and filler over all joints and seams. However, the Special Hobby Firefly series (FR.1 FR. IV, FR. 5, AS.6-7) are very accurate (certainly far moreso than the collection of scrap plastic masquerading as “Fireflyish” released by Trumpeter which is wrong in so many ways there’s not room here to list them all). This one will be done with the Barracuda Studios vacuform canopies. Those are advertised as fitting the Grand Phoenix and AZ kits, but they also fit the Special Hobby kits and really improve things.

    Photos here are initial assembly through puttying and filling the assembled model. Also a photo of Air Group 13 aircraft aboard HMS Triumph.

    10 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    That’s a really nice choice, Tom.
    The Firefly is such a cool looking plane and the Special Hobby seems to capture that look.
    Nice cockpit.
    A mini putty queen she is???
    Waiting for your next instalment!

  • George Williams said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    Fairey Firefly, now that’s what I call an excellent alliteration. Great addition to this group build.

  • Jordyn Collier said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    I’ve always thought this plane was an odd one. I’m excited to see this play out.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    More progress. The putty and Mr. Surfacer sanded down, then the vacuform rear canopy installed and the vacuform windshield in the front cockpit. Had to apply some Tamiya putty and then Mr. Surfacer to the area immediately behind the rear canopy to smooth out an “edge” that appeared.

    Ready to mask and take to the paint shop.

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    Looking really nice as it progresses, Tom @tcinla.
    Have you used cyano to attach the vac transparencies?
    Those underwing PEs are the rocket supporting plates, or something like that?

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Painted, using my mixed Tamiya colors for Extra Dark Sea Grey, Dark Slate Grey and Sky. Going to use the one good thing from the godawful Trumpeter kit, the decals for the black/white ID stripes. If for some reason they screw up, then it becomes a 1770 Squadron airplane in the Far Eastern Fleet, fall 1944.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    @fiveten – yes, I used cyano to attach the vac canopies after dipping them in future to protect them from the vapors and fogging.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    Thanks for the Future tip, Tom @tcinla!
    Camo looks great!

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Well, I thought I was going to start with decals, and planned to use the black/white stripe decals from the otherwise-worthless Trumpeter kit. Turns out there is nothing worthwhile in that kit! The decals folded up like the proverbial cheap suit while still on the backing in the water, and an attempt to get them to loosen and “float right”, which is often the solution, resulted in them tearing.

    Sooo… I masked off the areas, painted white, masked off the areas, painted black, and now I have the stripes. I like a WW2 airplane with Korean stripes – sort of symbolizes the “scratchbuilt force” that met the initial attack.

    The Trumpeter kit is around the same price as the Special Hobby kit. Outside of probably being somewhat easier to assemble, the Trumpeter kit has no other value. The fuselage is too narrow, the horizontal stabilizers are completely wrong, as is the rudder. In fact, all the details demonstrate the Trumpeter “D-minus team” must not have looked at anything resembling a Fairey Firefly. The kit is worse than the Hornets! For a few dollars less, you can get the accurate Special Hobby kit, which is not that hard to do that the “average modeler” will have any problems that he/she can’t successfully deal with.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Pedro L. Rocha said 3 months ago:

    Looks quite good, and painted stripes are always better than any decal. Too bad Trumpeter has so many wasted models in their prolific catalogue.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    Yep, painted stripes alays look better, as is the case here. Pity about Trumpeter kit.
    Looking great so far!

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Finally – decals!

    I used the kit decals for the underwing serials, the fuselage serials, the plane-in-group number, and the carrier designator. These were thin and I had to really finagle to get one of the “3” decals that was in pieces over the gear doors and around the gear well to work. The decals were thin and I found the stripes showed through the upper wing marking, plus the other national markings were a bit small, so I used standard-size roundels and fin flash from other decal sheets. Overall, I think it’s starting to look good.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    Looks nice, tom @tcinla!
    I hate having to apply underside decals that extend to the doors.
    You did well on your Firefly!

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Finished, other than adding rockets.

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

Viewing 1 - 15 of 21 posts