The early battles in France showed that while the Hurricane could hold its own in combat, improvements could be made. It was found that the fabric on the wings could distort during high speed dives, affecting handling and the two blade propeller with its fixed pitch was not giving optimal performance in all stages of flight. The answer was to incorporate metal wings and a three blade variable pitch propeller into production aircraft and refit existing airframes when possible. This resulted in variations in the appearance of individual aircraft as the Battle of France progressed. By the time of the Battle of Britain most front line aircraft were of this later configuration.
This is a resin conversion set designed to convert the Hasegawa Hurricane Mk 1 into an early fabric-winged version. It was ordered direct from the manufacturer and arrived well packaged in a stout box protected by polystyrene. The parts were further protected by resealable plastic bags. It contains two wings, two kidney exhausts, one rear fuselage plate, one Watts propeller, one windscreen, one ring ring and bead sight and one venturi. Using some or all of these parts will allow the modeller to build any of the early Hurricanes.
The wings are moulded in grey resin. There are no air bubbles evident and only a small amount of flash. The leading edges have mould lines and require a small amount of clean-up. The gun bay panels are depicted with finely recessed panel lines and the fasteners as raised detail. The fabric areas have nicely done rib detail. There are very slight irregularities on the surface in tiny areas but this should clean up quite easily. The wings are designed so that they fit along a raised wing panel on the donor kit which should make cutting the kit straightforward. (I may regret saying that when I come to do the cutting, when is model building EVER straightforward?)
The two-blade Watts propeller and kidney exhausts are very nicely moulded, with no flash and only small mould plugs to remove. The ring sight is tiny and has some flash on it. Care will be needed to remove this to avoid damaging this small part. The windscreen is slightly foggy, I tried rubbing it with a cloth and toothpaste and it looked better, further polishing and a coat of Future should hopefully restore clarity.
The weakest part of the kit is the rear fuselage plate. The casting quality is not a good as the other parts and there are some ejection marks and a rather large mould plug that will need removing. However, it looks like it will be fine with some clean up and its position underneath the rear fuselage will not attract too much attention.
The instructions are a single piece of paper with a description of the parts, instructions on where to cut the donor kit to fit them and line diagrams. Whilst basic there is all the information needed to fit the resin parts. There are no examples of actual aircraft given, a simple "check your references" note is added which is fair enough I suppose. However MDC do give their own main reference sources used in designing this kit.
I can recommend anyone wanting to build an early "rag wing" Hurricane to check out this conversion kit . The parts are on the whole well engineered and with care shouldn't have any fit problems. The kit is available direct from MDC
When I ordered this kit, it was the first time I've used this company and I should point out their service was excellent. They don't hold large quantities of stock so they tend to manufacture to order but their communications are excellent, and from placing my order to it arriving took just over a week.