Hawker Fury
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Kit                                   : Hawker Fury
Manufacturer                : Matchbox
Scale                               : 1/72
Type                               : Injection moulded
Paint                               : Humbrol, Vallejo
Accessories                   : Airwaves WWI set,
                                        : Rehaet Models (instrument decals)
                                        : Evergreen profiles and plastic card.
Documentation
            : Scale Models International April 1988.
                                        : Aeroplane Monthly June 1992.

                                        : Scale Aviation Modeller International (SAMI) August 1997.

History

The Hawker Fury entered service as successor of the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin and stayed in service with the RAF until WWII. This time as a trainer.

It entered service together with the Bristol Bulldog and outclassed it from the beginning. But the British government had already a contract running with Bristol and this was the reason that only 3 squadrons and a couple of training units got Fury’s.

It was a very attractive aircraft that was a common sight at many air shows in those days and it was also a good runner-up for the British pilots that would soon fly in its successor, the Hawker Hurricane.

It is also one of those biplanes of British origin that were bought by other countries, with or without different landing gear or engine or used under different names. 

The kit

It is an old Matchbox model and comes in the so typical 2 colour plastic. This technique was used by Matchbox so that those who could not paint the aircraft would get at least something colourful to look at. This kit has beige and blue coloured plastic (awful).

As far as I know, Matchbox is the only one that brought out a Fury in 1/72 and it even was the first aircraft kit they released as PK1. 

 

 

 

Options

Decals are provides for a British Fury from 43 Sqn and for a Yugoslavian version. This last one is not correct for the reason that Yugoslavian Fury’s had a different landing gear as on the Gloster Gladiator.

I opted for the British aircraft to make from the new kit and to clean up the one that I made several years ago. This was probably constructed the year of its apparition on the market and it was thrown together without cleaning up, hand painted in silver and with the Yugoslav markings. This one disappeared in the bag with oven cleaner.

 

       

 

One can not make a new thing out of something old and I decided to opt for a camouflaged version of the Fury that was still in service with the RAF in 1938 with 43 Sqn in the period of the Munich Crisis i.e. the German invasion of Czechoslovakia. 

It was painted in the common British camouflage of Dark Earth – Dark Green but had its undersides painted in a black and white combination. Boring but colourful at the same time.

I would also add rigging to both aircraft. 

Construction

It is a rather simple kit and one should not expect much detail. I have to admit one thing to those old Matchbox kits: you almost need no cleaning up of parts.

The cockpit consists of a floor and a seat, the dashboard is moulded in the fuselage halves. 

The cockpit

In order to have something different, I decided to open up the pilots hatch in order to present it open. This provides a better view on the cockpit interior and I decided to add some detail using lengths of Evergreen in order to represent the frame. A new and better dashboard was cut from plastic card and glued over the old one. Instrument decals from Reheat Models were added. A compass was made from scratch.

The seat was adjusted in order to get a more representative look-a-like with the real one and gets a safety harness made from tape. 

The cockpit also received some handles and a trim wheel partly from the Airwaves set and partly scratch build. The interior is painted silver and receives a light wash from heavily diluted black paint. The frame is painted black.

A control column is made from a piece of wire and a piece of the Airwaves set.

The inner side of the hatch gets some detail; an opening handle made from metal wire and a wash.

 

     

 

 Propeller

Gets cleaned up and the propeller shaft gets drilled out. Painted entirely in matt aluminium. 

Wings and tail

Fury’s in a resting position had their flaps and rudders hanging down. I cut them loose from the kit and gently bended them downwards. The rudder fits perfectly and no adjustment was needed. The tailpiece received its 4 struts as per kit.

I drilled out small holes in the wings to add the rigging before putting the wings in place. The tailpiece and parts of the body got also drilled out where needed. Tailpiece, rudders and flaps received little pieces made from recuperated PE where the rigging had to come. 

The big outer struts from the Fury are mounted in an outward angle and so do not provide any direct support to the upper wing during construction. I decided to mount the top wing on the inner struts and to leave it overnight for strength. A dry-run showed me that the upper wing has the tendency to lean over backwards and this can not be allowed because it was parallel with the lower one. The fixing points of the forward struts had to be adapted a little and, after a second dry run, were fixed. 

Both outer struts were mounted after a nights rest. Only one needed a little attention.

The second Fury got the same treatment. 

 

     

 

Landing gear

This comes as two V-shaped legs representing the shock absorbers and an axle for the wheels. They have a left and a right side so caution is needed. You also have two wheels with full discs. It was a common sight in that period to use plain discs and I could not find any picture of a Fury with open wheels. No adjustment or detailing needed.

The tail receives a skid described in my documentation as a real plough when the aircraft was taxiing on the early grass fields.

Decoration

The new Fury receives silver all over but, because it was an aircraft partly metal partly fabric covered, I decided to add two shades of silver. The nose part received matt aluminium and the rest was painted Humbrol 11 silver. The engine compartment received a light wash of 1 drop Vallejo black diluted with 5 drops of water; only to let the small bolts come trough.

The silver paint was sealed with a coat of Klir (Future). 

The restored Fury received a black left side and a white right side on its lower surfaces. The rest got the typical British camouflage of Dark Earth – Dark Green. The lower sides of the upper wing flaps often retained their earlier silver paint and I did the same on this model. 

 

     

 

Final touch

Rigging was made from fine copper wire. The Airwaves set provided a dubble pitot tube to be mounted on the forward strut on the left outer side. A partly drilled out visor is mounted in front of the cockpit window. 

 

     

Decals

The blue colour of the English roundels is a little too bright but I decided to use it anyway. They posed no problems and they were sealed with a coat of Klir (Future). 

The second aircraft had only the 2 colour roundels as in use at the beginning of WWII. It was not very visible on the lower black painted wing and this roundel was the only one that got a yellow outline. This is no personal fantasy but is described in the SAMI article.

You almost have to admit that the camouflaged aircraft has more colours and is more attractive than the silver one. 

The camouflaged aircraft of 43 Sqn carried the units badge on the tail. This was a white arrow with the picture of a rooster on it. I did not have such a decal but a picture of 43 Sqn in flight in 1938 showed that not all of their aircraft did carry that marking. So, it isn’t that bad not having it. 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Conclusion

I always liked working with Matchbox models. They are simple and demand less attention when constructed because everything fits almost directly. The Fury is a pleasant aircraft to build but you must realise that this is a “basic” kit.

I regret very much that the after market industry and great names in the PE branch do not give more attention to those Matchbox models because I am convinced that little is needed to make an attractive model.

 

   

 

Keep ‘m building

 Erwin

IPMS Gent

(Belgium)

 

         

 

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