Czech Master Resinís 1/72 Hawker Nimrod Mk.I

By Jim Schubert

History

In 1927 Hawker's chief designer, Sydney Camm, began work on a company-funded interceptor derived from his Hart bomber design.† Both used the F.XI (later "Kestrel") engine being developed by Rolls Royce.† The interceptor, named "Hornet" by Hawker's when it was rolled out, was first shown at the Olympia Aero Show in 1929. The Air Ministry, being impressed with its performance, wrote a specification to cover the Hornet and purchased it for further testing.† In the meantime, in addition to further refining the design of the Hornet, Hawker's had begun designing a carrier based derivative that they named "Sea Hornet".† In August 1930 the Air Ministry returned the Hornet to Hawker's and executed a contract for 21 interceptors, now officially named "Fury".† In parallel with building the Fury for the RAF, Hawker built the Sea Hornet, or "Norn" as it was also called, based on the Hornet/Fury to meet a specification written for it for the fleet Air Arm.† Whilst building, the Sea Hornet/Norn was officially named "Nimrod".† The first production Nimrod, S-1577, flew in October 1931.† A total of 55 were built.† In 1932 improvements, including - most prominently - slightly swept back wings, resulted in the "Nimrod Mk.II".† This required the original 55 airplanes be retroactively designated †"Nimrod Mk.I".† The last three Mk.IIs were delivered in 1935 ending the British series.

Nimrod Mk.I, K-2824, was painted in Danish markings and demonstrated to the Royal Danish Navy in 1931.† This led, in 1934, to the order for two Mk.IIs as pattern aircraft for a further ten, which were built by the Royal Danish Dockyards as hookless, shore based, "Danerods".

In 1932 one Nimrod Mk.I each was delivered from Fleet Air Arm holdings to the Japanese and Portuguese Navies for evaluation.† No orders resulted.

The Kit

This kit includes 35 parts well molded in resin, a very well printed decal sheet, two pages of beautifully drawn instructions, three pages of color schemes and a color profile, by our estimable editor, of one of the three schemes provided for by the decal sheet.

The parts are a bit peculiar in that their masters appear to have been executed by different artisans at different times.† The wings appear to be recently mastered.† The top wing matches perfectly Harry Woodman's drawings from Reference C below.† The lower wing is ~ 3/32" too long.† A few firm swipes with a sanding stick will correct this.† The fuselage is ~ 3/32" too short, with all of the missing length forward of the wings and landing gear.† I'd suggest a plug between the nose piece and the fuselage sides to restore the missing length.†

I suspect the basis for the masters of, at least some of, the parts in this kit was the old Matchbox Hawker Fury kit.† If you've got one of the Matchbox kits, compare the parts and see what you think.† Czech Masters have provided a much better cockpit interior with lots of neat, fiddly, little details to delight us AMS sufferers.†

The upper forward fuselage piece has, what appear to be, the notches for the neat cabane struts unit from the Matchbox kit, which made fitting the top wing of that kit so easy.† To best use this kit's individual cabane struts, I'd suggest you connect the bases of the cabanes to one another with two strips of about .030" x .065" x .450" plastic thus recreating the original Matchbox configuration.† This assembly then sits upon the tops of the fuselage sides and is trapped by the upper nose piece.† Plan ahead to get the tops of the cabanes the right distance apart to match the attachment points on the top wing.

The instructions call for a "clear part" for the windscreen, but none was provided in the review kit.† This really doesn't matter as most makers of 72nd scale biplanes include clear parts that are too thick to use anyway.† So make a windscreen of .005" clear stock (I use unprinted Overhead Projector Slide Film) cut, scored and folded to shape.

The best feature of this kit is the fine decal sheet and color scheme instructions for three colorful Fleet Air Arm airplanes.† If you go beyond the kit's decals, you can have your choice of many other Fleet Air Arm machines or one Danish, or one Japanese or one Portuguese airplane.

Conclusion

I've no idea of the price of this kit or where you can get one.† The review sample came to me, via the editor, in an unmarked clear plastic bag - no box.† It's a good kit.† I'm even tempted to build one in the Japanese markings.† It's not the quality of a current Tamiya or Hasegawa kit but you'd die holding your breath waiting for one of them to do a 72nd scale Nimrod, so kudos to Czech Masters Resin for doing this one.

References

Okay.† I plead guilty to committing sloppy scholarship.† I used five main sources for this review, but I've only got dates for two of them and I don't even know whence one of them came!

  1. Model Airplane News, November 1969.† Beautiful drawings, including interior and structural details by E. Tage Larsen of Nimrod I and II and Danerod plus a Danerod on skis.

  2. Airfix Magazine, date unknown, but it's in the early small format.† Article and drawings by Paul Leaman on converting an Inpact kit 48th scale Fury to a Nimrod I or II.† The instructions for the II are incorrect as the ribs of the swept back wing were parallel with the fuselage centerline, whereas Paul's conversion instructions would result in them being at five degrees from the centerline.

  3. Scale Models, April and June 1980.† Typical, in-depth, Harry Woodman article and drawings of Nimrod I.† The second part has a photo of the Japanese airplane.

  4. Beats me what magazine I cut this from, but it's a good article with drawings on Nimrod I colors and markings and a bit of history including full serial number listing in production batches by year.

  5. Modelaid International, date unknown - about 1990.† Article, drawings and color profiles of Nimrod I, II and Danerod by Richard Caruana.


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