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Airfix “Flying Tin Opener” – and it aint for baked beans!

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Ladies and gentlemen please may I introduce my contribution. I’m just finishing off my Gloster Gladiator before I crack on with this. I picked this up a brief while back from my LMS, and have been itching to get stuck into it since so here I am (not that one should need an excuse to build a Hurricane!). It doesn’t need much introduction, other than that armed with two 40 mm AT cannons it proved to be brutally effective, hence the nickname.

The kit is the Airfix Mk IIC with the 3D conversion. It has received favourable reviews, not perfect in all respects, but by all accounts a nice build. I love Hurricane in all their guises, and generally prefer desert camo schemes. So I’m particularly drawn to this version.

As you can see you get two options, not an awful lot between em, but I’ll probably plump for the late version, mainly because I don’t want to faff around mixing paint.


Standard sprue shot, which includes the gun conversions. As has been noted in various reviews, there is limited, if any flash. The fabric sections are quite realistic, I understand there are one or two imperfections, but nothing I will be bothering to correct. Of course it has the trademark Airfix canal-like panel lines, but hey it’s an Airfix new tool…


I think there are aftermarket guns available, but I will opt for OOB build, and maybe add a few bits and bobs. I’ll have a look at the reference threads. Okay folks, that’s my introduction done, back soon.

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By aftermarket guns I take it to mean about replacing the 4 x 20mm Hispano guns, however, AIUI, if you intend to use the 3D S-Guns, the Hispano were removed for the IID variant (there was a single Browning in each wing for aiming purposes though).

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I'll avoid comment on the Airfix kit in detail. I just got one, I'm not impressed. :(

this is a fascinating clip of gun loading of IID


One mod is to remove the bulges over the cannon bays, they ereto cover the feed for the 20mm cannon

Also, Hurricane IId's had different wing access panels, both models show IIC wing type layout.

as this is a thread on the IID ...

here's a scale plan of IID access panels and 40mm gun.
Should be 1/24, from the old book on detailing the 1/24th Airfix Hurricane.


if not, I scanned a ruler at the top which should allow you to scale it.


also worth a read


some fascinating pics



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Thanks for the comments gents. Given me some food for thought.

Troy, thanks for those links, will check them out. Plans are appreciated too.

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Good luck with this one,.......you might find it looks better if you sand the upper fuselage in front of the windscreen into a more rounded section as it is pretty square in section otherwise. The panel lines for the front of the windscreen are also quite stark and inaccurate making the windscreen look wider than it should be and will look better if they are sanded down. Also, if you have any horizntal taiplanes in your spares box I`d use those instead of the kit ones and the propeller blades are too short and need to be replaced. I think that ADH Publishing do a resin upgrade set for this kit with a new propeller, wheels etc and might be worth checking out? I don`t think that it includes tailplanes?

If it helps here is an Airfix Hurricane that I did as a Mk.IIb using the Russian Front special kit ;



All the best


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Now the IId is a different type of animal, Oh so impressive!

I have never seen the Airfix kit, but it should be just great, like the other ones. Have a lot of fun!


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I was looking at this kit the other day in my LHS. I know the airfix one is inaccurate but it builds well just needs a little love to look a bit more hurricane


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Not sure about an ADH Publishing set (would be interested in knowing more) but there is this one from Valiant Wings Publishing. It appears to be out of stock but there is an option to email them if you'd like them to do another batch. It's good value for money but doesn't offer replacement tailplanes.

It's an enjoyable kit, despite its 'cheerful' nature but I would encourage you to replace the propeller even if you do nothing else. It'll bug you in the future if you don't...


PS.You're doing it OOB so it doesn't bother you, but if it did, Aires do a tailplane set intended for the Airfix 'rag wing' Hurricane. They're not a good fit for the IIc kit but I believe the problems are with the elevators so you could just replace those.

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I got a response back from Mark Peacock at Valiant Wings (much impressed by the swift response time), and they are restocking in late March. So I'll play it by ear. He informed me to keep an eye on Britmodeller and Twitter so I'll see how we go. My thanks to Mark for his good customer service.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh well, it appears the kit is not very accurate. Proverbial silk purse and sow’s ear springs to mind. As Troy remarked on the chat thread I’d be better off using a better base. However, I’ve started so I’ll finish. I won’t change the structure, but he prop is well iffy, so I’ll probably replace that.

Anyroad now I’ve finally completed the Gladiator I’ve made a start. To be honest I can live with the issues cited above, but the cockpit is pants. There is more in Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.


So I’ve started to add a few details. First up was to add a backplate from plastic card.


I then made, well improvised, a frame. Not technically exact, but once some bits and bobs are added and when painted it will look better than the minimalist kit offering. Cut out an aperture in the seat for the harness and made the foot rests out of Albion Alloys rod and some shaped take-away foil. I pierced the rear of the back plate to create the effects of rivets, don’t think you can see it that well though.


You get an instrument panel decal but it is a little two dimensional for my liking so I thought I’d try and add a bit of depth. Took a photocopy of the decal as a template and got the punches out (as in tools not the pugilistic variety). Stamped out a copy of the IP like thus:


And thus:


Until I ended up with this:


Now I appreciate they are not Eduard precision quality, but will apply the decal to the blank card right. A few coats of Klear, or gloss summut or other (may even use a thin slither of acetate), then on goes my home grown pugilised ersatz Eduard rip-off, duly painted matt black. Hopefully it will have a nice 3d effect. If not then a technique tried and tested, and booted into touch…or should that be out of touch! Still a bit more to do on these yet, but to give myself a break from the eyeball busting tedium, I embarked on more eyeball busting tedium.

No gunsight or compass is provided, so made the gunsight by sticking a piece of sprue in a Dremel, and filing down accordingly. Looked a little like a wobbly amateurish potter’s attempt, but with yet more take-away tin foil for the mounting bracket and lens support, it should look a little more passable when painted the obligatory, mask of all sins, matt black. You may just be able to see a lens I made from punching out a piece of acetate. Above it is the scratched compass. Both are unfinished of course, but I needed a break.


Next up I turned my attention to the wings. Yet another visit to macro micro land which involved making some navigation lights. I must say aside from the issues Troy describes, there is a distinct lack of detail for my liking. I know it’s 1/72, but there could have at least been an outline worthy of a dab of paint. Anyroad, tried and trusted method into practise using drilled clear sprue stuck onto some foil and sanded back:



Again not perfect or Hasegawa standard but better than the Old Mother Hubbard kit offering of zilch.

Okay next up will be final cockpit detailing and a bit of paint. Then onto proper modelling such as gluing wings on and stuff. Bye for now.

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Cheers gents. Brief update. Before finishing off the wings I returned to the cockpit, in particular the door. I have been, and continue to add a fair amount of detail in the pit and intend to have the canopy open. I thought of cutting out the door. I was in two minds, but comparing it to some tinternet sources and the paint instructions, you can see what Troy mentioned earlier that the panel lines are way out. Not that I wanted to get carried rescribing the entire fuselage, but this simply won’t do. So my mind was made up to cut out the door section.


Out came the razor saw, and surgery commenced.


Now talk about being too clever for one’s own good and coming a cropper. I had to cut out the door so the bottom is flush with the internal frame of the cockpit. This in turn has to be sufficiently deep to account for the depth of the instrument panel. See below.



Forgive the quality of the pictures but you get the general idea. I reckon the IP is too deep, or the floor too high, but whatever, once cut out the door is too deep. Well it was too late to stress out about the kit inaccuracies and a poor workman always blames his tools and materials. So I added a piece of strip to reduce the depth slightly, then glooped up the panel lines.


These were then sanded back and rescribed with a couple of rivets added. Now I know it is still too deep but with the door in place underneath it won’t be too noticeable. Given the other inaccuracies I ‘aint too worried. Here it is with the door with map holders and pockets made from plastic strip and moulded take-away tin foil.


Now back to getting the flippin’ cockpit finished.

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Some lovely work there but I hate to tell you that the 'door' is a break-out panel not a door. Although it could be opened for servicing; pilots didn't open it to get in, only out in an emergency.

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Some lovely work there but I hate to tell you that the 'door' is a break-out panel not a door. Although it could be opened for servicing; pilots didn't open it to get in, only out in an emergency.


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You could lay the door on top of the wing,.....it was often removed by instrument fitters and others while working in the cockpit,.....I did this with a 1/32nd scale model to show off the added detail to the cockpit.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks. Sounds like a plan, will either rest it on the wing or lean against the fuselage. Anyroad finally got the pit sorted and painted. Quite a bit of faffing around as usual, but why take a short cut when you can go the long way round! Here is the interior with some details added. Note the rather prominent sink marks that required filling.



ext up I turned to the joystick. As usual some bright spark thought it a good idea not to attach it to the sprue via the base which fixes into the fuselage floor. Oh no, attach it to the handle and the stem thus ensuring yours truly busts the blinkin thing when removing it from the sprue…Note the fracture below!

Aside from that it is devoid of detail and is hopelessly out of scale, resembling a giant lollipop come basketball hoop. I’m not kidding, scaled up I reckon it’d be the size of a lollipop man’s stop sign (I think they call them school crossing patrol officer nowadays). Anyroad I scratched my own from various sizes of Albion Alloys tubing and rod, and takeaway tin foil. Not exactly a work of art but better than a school crossing lollipop sign sticking out the cockpit.


While I was at it, added a bit to the wheelwell. As per the cockpit it resembled old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, plus it has yet more annoying sink marks. Before and after shots – more takeaway foil to hide the sink marks, and a few bit n bobs to busy stuff up.



Quick blast of Alclad Airframe aluminium and Bob’s your uncle. Have since cleaned up a bit of the residue from the wash.


Finished off the instrument panel. Kit transfer on some plastic card. Acetate sheet sandwich, and a little dribble of Klear in the dials. I need to trim it a little. Okay it ‘aint perfect but from a foot away I think it looks fine. At least it’s better than the flat 2D kit transfer. The slits in the top are to mount the gunsight.



Here are the other bits - gunsight, compass, and Acme Tomoshenko lollipop come joystick (macros cut you no slack).


And the final ensemble:



A mock up, but gives you some idea of what it’ll look like. As I said early, not state of the art aftermarket, but better than the original offering, which is well, diddly squat! Zipping up the fuselage I type, at last on to some proper modelling and less fiddling about with little bits.

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Thank you very much gentlemen.

Okey dokey. Got the fuselage closed up and the wings stuck on. Quite a nice fit to be honest. Couple of shots of the pit, of which I’m quite pleased with:



A little seam tidying up, but not much. I turned my attention to the radiator. Now I don’t know what they were playing at, but when it’s compared to Airfix’s other Hurricanes, it’s a waste of plastic almost. This is what you get. Pretty much devoid of any detail bar a lovely bid seam I’ll need to sort when I join em up.


Well I weren’t having it, so after sticking together and a little clean up, I got cracking on a few details. Scribed a few lines and opened up the flap. I only cut through the sides, scribed the top and bent it back.


I then knocked up a radiator out of pipe screen mesh. Not entirely accurate or to scale but better than the blank piece of plastic which is the kit offering. As you can see the scoop is getting the same makeover.


I punched out a hole in the front mesh, added a little plastic ring, and here they are altogether. A little bit of stretched sprue and some wire braces on the rad.


Just as well it’s a tropical as I don’t have any anti-freeze…



Dry fitted in place. There are some internal struts to add, but I'll sort them when I finally glue it on. Quite chuffed with that. Not perfect but better than the kit offering. Nice Saturday morning modelling. Off out for beer and curry tonight, Cosford tomorrow. Can’t be bad. Hope to see a few of you folk there :thumbsup2:

Edited by Tomoshenko
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  • 2 weeks later...

Following on from the radiator, I reinstated some of the panel lines and details such as the landing light. When I say reinstated, I am being a little complimentary as the detail…well I wouldn’t say lacking, but is complete pants! Makes a 60’s old tool look like a Tamiya kit by comparison. Here is a snapshot prior to closing up the fuselage (yes I know before my later updates but hey it’s my thread and I feel at liberty to stretch the laws of physics and the space time continuum a tad!).


Glued up and prepped for rescribe…eh well scribe.


Well I got them scribed up, not fantastic, but better than what was before which was erm nothing. However, I later realised that I scribed them in the wrong place. Oh well, given the the panel lines and accuracy of the kit is pretty much all over the place, my excuse is that by continuing to be inaccurate I am maintaining continuity…


And furthermore my cop out is that it’s better than nothing, and as my mum says, “it’s the thought that counts”. Anyroad I cracked on and talk about being too clever for one’s own good. Well aside from scribing the landing light in the wrong place, I overlooked the fact that Airfix’s bathyscope thick canopy couldn’t be used in the open position. As you can see it is suffering from a little David Blaine levitation:


More fool me for assuming a split canopy in this kit could be modelled in the open position. Anyway it was sand sand sand to the tune of Monty Python’s Spam Spam Spam. I kid ye not. I am considering a life of crime on account I have no fingerprints left. Anyroad after an eternity of sanding and micromeshing, plus sanding down the hump, I finally got a more acceptable fit. It is not perfect as you can see as it does not lie completely true, but it is much better than before.


Moving on from that I got the radiator housing sorted. I added some strut thingies from stretched sprue, then gave the interior a shot of Vallejo Azure, and dry brushed the radiator face silver. I think the azure is perhaps a little light, however, in comparison to the other azures and the ongoing debate as to a “true and realistic RAF Azure” (it is up there with trying to find a definitive recipe for spaghetti bolognaise in my view), it will suffice.

That said it is the first time I have dabbled with Vellajo paints. So it was a useful exercise. I sprayed a larger area than I needed to as I wanted to see how they went down. I must say they go down well, if not a little thick for my liking, so next time I will thin. Along with the landing lights and rear scribing, I added some more scribing detail in and around the scoop. As other posters have noted the panel lines on the fuselage are all over the place, so a little artistic license here does not go amiss.


I drilled out the landing light and added a punched out piece of takeaway tin foil. Added a dollop of cyano, then finished off with a punched out piece of acetate to the same diameter. By way of serendipity a small air bubble appeared which gives a somewhat slight impression of a bulb. Hey ho. A dab of Klear finished things off. Okay, not in the correct place, but better than before.

Next up I got the scoop sorted. You probably can’t see it that well but I added a bit of pipe mesh in there too. Again being too clever for my own good, I scribed some extra detail but in the wrong place…doh. Humility is good for the soul as they say. Anyroad with that corrected and finished off it is beginning to take on the familiar form of a trop hurri. I think the scoop gives it a lantern jaw character. A bit like Judge Dredd “I am the Law”. Appropriate I feel for taking out all those fascist armoured divisions!

Furthermore I’ve added the landing lights to the wings – not really satisfied with them. If I had more time I would do them differently. Filled in the holes in the wings and drilled out the Browning .303 sighting guns. Also added some rivet details. Probably can’t see it too well.


And finally I caught up with Mark Peacock from Valliant Wings at Telford who sorted me out with the proper props, exhausts and wheels. Here they are compared to the kit offerings, and as you can see there is quite a difference:




Very nice they are too. Right then. My thanks to Mark if you are reading this. Now the major drudge work is over, on to final assembly and the fun bits.

Edited by Tomoshenko
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