Airfix 1/48 Hawker Hunter F6
Added to The Stash: 2019
Enhancements: Seat: Cooper Details MB2
Flaps; Eduard https://www.eduard.com/by-brand-manufacturer/eduard-stredisko-11-lepty/hunter-f-6-landing-flaps-1-48.html?lang=1
Gear Doors: Quickboosthttp://www.quickboost.net/Obrazky/48889.jpg
Decals: Xtradecal 48-192
Pitot Tube; Master Model http://master-model.pl/product/am-48-039.html
This is one of those kits that is a shear joy to build, you know the type. You start fiddling by gluing a few cockpit or intake parts together and next minute, you have a completed airframe on your hands!
Yes, The Airfix Hunter assembles that easily and quickly.
The kit has been critiqued in the modelling press for being a little simplified for a 48 scale kit, and certainly some of that criticism has merit.
For instance , the flaps can be posed open, but have NO interior ribbing detail to either the flap or wing bay, whatsoever. This just smacks of cost cutting, or rushing a product to market.
Other details like the nose wheel and undercarriage covers also lack detail. In contrast, the wheel wells are very nicely detailed, the nose well containing parts for oxygen bottles and black boxes that are tucked up, almost out of sight.
The cockpit, out of the box is adequate, and that's only because its painted black and a lot won't be seen due to the trademark Hawker narrow cockpit opening. Some on line and print builds go to the effort of adding PE, resin or scratch built detail, but I really don't think it necessary,unlike a good resin AM seat which will go a long way to distracting the viewer from the lack of cockpit detail. Although I had ordered an Eduard pre printed set, such was my momentum in building this kit, I couldn't wait for it to arrive, so went ahead and used the kit provided decals. They fit and conform fine.
Research on my chosen scheme showed, as these jets were being used by a F.T.S they were stripped of armament, gunsight and the gun laying radar.
To portray the faired over gun openings, the blast tubes are filled with perfect plastic putty and the excess wiped off with a wet finger, thus requiring no sanding. Of course with no guns, there is no need to fit the gunsight, so this was left off and its opening at the top of the instrument panel sheeted over with plastic card, the "Sabrinas' are also not being fitted. There is a small raised oval shaped pice on the spine that also needs sanding off, my references showing this was not fitted to F6s. It could be an antenna base. I am not sure of its function, but off it came! The drop tanks also had their fins thinned, using a sanding stick.
Just about all the parts fit along panel lines. In the case of the pitot tube and wingtip lights, this does lead to some clunky fits. I cut the pitot tube off, replacing it with a Master Details one as the kit one looked a little thick. Seams just required a few swipes with the sanding stick, and the belly panels reinstated. The usual deep Airfix panel lines helped greatly here, and it was time for paint.
First off, the Light Aircraft Grey using Gunze Mr Hobby thinned with Tamiya lacquer thinners. The undercarriage doors also being sprayed at this stage. Quickboost's more detailed doors replacing the thick, plain kit ones. The painted inner wings were then masked off before the fuselage was sprayed with Mr Paint Light Arctic Grey, which makes an excellent scale white. Yet more masking saw this covered ready for the application of the red. Gunze Mr Colour Shine Red being an excellent stand in for the RAF red, as discovered by Spencer Pollard during his Hunter build. The windscreen and canopy were also treated to the red at this time as well. More on this later!
Probably the trickiest mask job was getting the red to meet the white fin, but I got there, thanks to thin strips of tamiya flexible tape. It was then time to remove all that tape, along-to my chagrin- paint off the nose and fuselage. A bit of to-ing and fro-ing with paint, sandpaper and tape saw this right.
Decals behaved well as all decals from Xtradecal do, being printed by Microscale, by oh my god! Those stencils!! There were hundreds!! Who knew the Hunter had so many, they took a couple of evenings work to get them all placed. Probably the hardest t decal job was cutting up the underside serials to fit over the wheel doors. To achieve this, the doors were blu-tacked into position, the decals applied then, sliced along the door edges with a new scalpel blade. Allow the decals to set for a bit before doing this, so as not to pull them up.
various shades of grey wash were then applied, depending on what the background colour was, the palest grey being used against the white.
Whilst the undercarriage fits firmly into its locations, the model does wobble around alarmingly on its pins. I was going to use a set of resin wheels, but used the kit ones in the end as they are keyed to the legs with oblong holes. All the resin wheels only have holes which would have required a bit of tricky milling to fit the kit axles. I did use a resin front wheel as the kits is woefully plain, the extra retraction strut was also added to the front nose wheel door, airfix incorrectly only supplying one
The assembled Eduard PE flaps were then added, and the canopy unmasked to reveal, somehow it had fogged. I really not sure how, it was not overspray as it would not polish off, I can only assume some sort of reaction to the blob of blutac I used as a handle whilst painted it. This led me to cutting up the closed canopy to use. Unmasking revealed no disaster this time around. With that, the seat was glued in with a blob of superglue and the canopy push fitted on in the open position.
A thoroughly enjoyable build, go and grab yourself one. I can see a couple more in my future as there are some great schemes on that Xtradecal sheet.