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1/48 Hobbycraft Sea Fury FB.11

by SeŠn Langley

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This is Hobbycraftís original version of their 1/48 Sea Fury, the one without the armament.  Iíve added the Airwaves etched brass set (their first in this scale, and I think I bought it just after it came out), Aeroclub prop blades, and Almark decals.  All the As, then.  Plus a number of mistakes that I couldnít be bothered to correct, like aligning the retraction jacks fore-aft instead of up-down (although I suspect I may not be the first person to do that).  Can anyone spot the upside-down decal and the burr on the end of the prop blade?  No prizes, though, for spotting the misaligned ID stripes on the port wing.  Iím blaming a heavy sea and a cack-handed rating.

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I still donít like PE much.  Most of itís invisible in a black cockpit with a coal-chute for an entrance, and itís all bent and poking out at the wrong angle.  And with a one-piece canopy, which I lack the skill to open, there doesnít seem to be much point.  The one good idea I had was to glue the instrument decals onto the back of the PE instrument panel while they were still attached to the backing paper.  A fairly good compromise between strength and convenience.

The prop blades were nice - and they only cost me a pound each!  I fixed them to the spinner by eye so at least one is slightly off and the pitch is almost certainly wrong.  But they all lie in the same plane, and the leading edges all point the same way (which, as a bonus, is the right way); and if you park the prop just right, the duff angles magically disappear.

The decals were nice too, but it was galling to see far too late just how translucent they were.  Iíve seen speculation that Almarkís decals are 1/48 while the kit is 1/50, but I think the real problem may be that the ID stripes are just a bit too long.  Still, better that than too short, eh.  Everything else seems to be about right.

The only other detailing is the pitot head and the whip aerial, both in fine floristís wire, to replace the kit parts (which scaled up to about two inches across).

The paintwork is all Humbrol, all brushed on.  Weathering is diluted Tamiya Smoke (the worldís greatest modelling invention), Citadel ink, 3B pencil for the panel lines, and chalk pastels.  Plus Johnsonís Klear (Future), matt varnish, and hairspray to keep the pastels on without darkening the finish too much.  So, if nothing else, my Sea Fury smells nice.

SeŠn

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Photos and text © by SeŠn Langley

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