login   |    register

In-Box Review
Hurricane Mk. I Trop
Italeri 1/48 Hawker Hurricane Mk. I Trop
  • move

by: HG Barnes [ HGBARNES ]

Originally published on:


The Hawker Hurricane has been the most widely used fighter by the British Royal Air Force at the beginning of World War II. The Hurricane was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin 12-cylinders, liquid-cooled, with more than 1,000 HP. The eight 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, which equipped it, guaranteed a good firepower. Although it was slower and more antiquated, in aerodynamic design, than its famous "colleague" with whom it shared operational engagement during the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane was more robust, cheaper and easier to maintain and repair. On June 1940 the first Hurricane Mk I “Tropical” version, characterized by the adoption of the Vokes air filter, appeared. Several of these famed aircraft were deployed in Malta and in North Africa.

When you lift the top opening box of the Italeri 1/48 scale Hawker Hurricane Mk.I Trop (short for Tropical)you're met with a professionally packaged kit that showed someone cared enough to think about shipping. There is just the right amount of space to allow things to shift while in transit, yet not so much extra room that you're left with that empty feeling (pun intended). Also I appreciate having separate bags for the different sprue trees, clear parts, decals, and photo etched. I snapped the prop blade off when removing that plastic frame.

When is comes to the plastic though there are some slight, and I mean slight, issues. The texture is consistant, but is not smooth and shiny. This was easily remedied with a nice primer coat. For this project I used Mission Models Premium Primer that was kindly supplied by Maple Airbrush Supplies. You can check out their website at www.mapleairbrushsupplies.com.

The second thing I noticed was the tiny bit of flash around 70% of the parts. In no way am I complaining because this is easily cleaned up. It's incumbent upon me though to point this out so that you'll have the heads-up when considering your purchase. Yes, there will be some intimate moments with your Hurricane. Consider it a getting to know you sort of thing where she will become more memorable. Ok... you're right, enough poetic bovine effluence... lets move on.

Now the real saccharine sweet complements come out, so brace yourself Italeri dislikers! There is very little burring on the trees and the test fitting of the fusesalage halves was really nice. Italeri have also made the belly parts fit in such a way that seam lines will follow the painted area, which I thought to be a clever move. The recessed panel lines are a nice compromise between being in scale, yet bold enough to please the eye from a short distance. And while there are plenty of rivet details, space is still free to add more should your rivet tool be feeling lonely... poor thing. After market lovers will appreciate the thickness of the wing halves in that they are not to thick or worse to thin. I'll be installing RES-IM gun bays in the upcoming build project and it scared the crap out me wondering if I would remove to much plastic. Not the case, thank heavens, since the Goldie Locks thickness is "just right".

Details are also there for some enterprising modeler to drop the flaps, add LEDs for the landing lights, or hyper detail the engine and cockpit (which I intend to do for the two later). The Rolls Royce Merlin is nicely represented and crying out to have that little added touch to make it sing, while the cockpit needs only a few scratch built parts to make it pop into life and naturally the canopy can be posed open. Yes the entire world will be able to marvel at your modeling prowess!!! (thunderous evil laughter). Forgive me, got carried away... eh em. Moving along, Italeri have graciously weighted down the wheels so this combined with an open engine cowling and the gun bay covers removed will make for a terrific maintenance vignette.

The clear parts are clean, yet have a bit of distortion and while I love the textured framework, my example has a bald spot on the starboard top side. Masks did not come with the kit, but enough raised detail is present for you to cut your own with a sharp new hobby-knife blade. The tri-spoke frame on each landing light is represented in the curved fashion they should be and while after market photo-etch ones are out there painting these by hand can be done. As for the navigation lights, there are small holes already molded for the paint to seep in and look close to the real colored bulbs of an actual Hurricane Mk.I.

The small fret of PE has all four canopy handles, safety-harness belts, and an instrument cluster to match up with the decal or you can use just the full decal and skip the photo etch.

Who can argue with the quality of Cartograf? These decals are no exception. With almost no carrier film and ultra fine lettering, the stencils number enough to populate all areas of the airplane realistically and the individual markings are divided into zones instead of being scattered around the sheet. The colors are crisp and vivid, but more important they're accurate, according to my research. And lord knows, being an author, I love my research. Italeri have provided you with six options.

  • Flight Lt. Dudley Honor, RAF 274 Squadron, Gerawla, Egypt 1941
  • RAF 74 Squadron, MALTA 1941
  • RAF 185 Squadron, Hal Far MALTA 1941
  • RAF 73 Squadron, Western Desert 1941
  • RAF 73 Squadron, El Adam Libya 1941
  • SAAF 3 Squadron, Capt. John Frost, South African Air Force (JIGIGGA) Abyssinia 1941 (Box Art)

Finally we get to the instructions. Everything is laid out well with no excessive congestion of parts per step. The color call out/suggested colors are in Italeri Acryicpaint brand, but are easily converted to other manufacturers. Photo etched parts are clearly shown how they should look when bent along with any correct angles of certain areas such as the landing gear. The best part though is the color print used for each of the six versions at the back of the construction manual.

This kit has a lot going for it as I've listed above, yet the proof of its true value remains within the actual build. Regardless, it's going to be fun and I hope to share that with you very soon.

A huge shout out to Jim Starkweather for sending me the kit, Donna at Maple Airbrush Supplies, and Hobbico for supplying AeroScale with the sample. Please feel free to leave your comments about this review... they are all welcome. Thank you!

Highs: Excellent detail, fantastic decals, plenty of oportunity for aftermarket upgrades and scratch building.
Lows: A tiny bit pricey.
Verdict: Definitely recommend buying this kit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: No 2768
  Suggested Retail: $41.99 USD
  Related Link: Kit web page
  PUBLISHED: Sep 14, 2017
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Hobbico!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's recently published the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft h...

Copyright ©2021 text by HG Barnes [ HGBARNES ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move