Eduard 1/48 Hawker Hurricane Enhancements
By Chris Cowx
Eduard has taken it upon themselves to do their usual upgrades to the newish Airfix Hawker Hurricane kit for the benefit of the truly OCD among us! The Hurricane is lovely, like the other Spitfire, Mustang, P-40 and other kits Airfix has recently given us. The Hurricane has solid engineering, decent fit and exceptional detail. The layered method of assembling the wheel wells, cockpit, etc. does an exceptional job of representing the complex structure of the original. The quality of the moldings allows this to be carried off quite well, and it would be adequate for most modellers.
Then there are the rest of us. For those wanting a bit more, Eduard has our backs. They have released an exhaust set, main wheels and a set of self-adhesive coloured photoetch. The sets are up to Eduard's usual standards and they do a good job of adding detail without making these additions so complex that no one wants to tackle it. I will take a brief look at each set individually below.
FE726 S.A. Color Photo-etch
As mentioned, the base kit moldings are very good. This means that the p/e set can be relatively small yet still add sufficient enhancement to noticeably improve things, ideal for a Zoom set such as this. A few bits of sidewall detail, mainly map cases and levers, are included but the majority of the effort goes into the seat, instrument panel and rudder pedals. The seat has seven parts comprising the tub, side pieces, adjusting levers, etc., plus a very comprehensive set of belts rendered in colour. The instrument panel receives a full colour layered rendering plus a compass and it's mounting hardware. Finally, the rudder pedals and control stick each receive enhancements. Overall, very nice and with perhaps a few bits of solder and such to the individual's taste, will take an already excellent cockpit to museum quality.
Brassin #648 229 Hurricane Mk.I Wheels
This set replaces the main wheels of the kit. Overall the molding is crisper than the kit pieces and for those blessed with better eyesight than I, some additional detail. The inflator stem and sidewall "Dunlop" tire labels are included. One thing that is interesting is that the engineering is reversed from the original kit. On the original the front hub faces are molded in and the back with the patented Airfix square mounting hole are separate. On the Eduard set, the hubs are separate and the mounting plates in back are molded in. Easier to paint the most prominent face neatly. This is a minor, but well thought out. Overall, these will add that bit of extra that catches the eye like sidewall labels without adding any complexity to the model.
Brassin #648 230 Hurricane Mk.I Exhaust Stacks
These are even simpler than the wheels! They are simple direct replacements with the pour stubs on the part that is inserted into the model. These are no harder to use than the kit pieces. Their benefit will be immediately obvious on the finished model. The kit exhaust have flat ends and the two "fishtail" ends are actually a flattened half circle, rather than appropriately concave on the bottom. These last are particularly difficult to hollow out and achieve a good appearance. Eduard solves this issue by hollowing them all out. In addition, the separation lines and other edges are generally crisper than the kit pieces and the raised lip around the ends of each pipe are properly represented. Overall a considerable improvement on the kit pieces with no additional effort.
With these sets Eduard has yet again demonstrated that they are the master of "most bang for the least effort"! All reccomended! I would like to thank Eduard for providing the review sample.