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.