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Sea Hurricane Mk XII


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I'm aware that there a people hereabouts that have forgotten more about Hurricanes than I will ever know... for the forthcoming MTO III GB, I'm thinking of building a Sea Hurricane Mk XII in Operation Torch markings. I don't really understand the Mk XII but  I know it was Canadian built. For the purposes of modelling, which of the "regular" marks does it most resemble?

 

Many thanks

 

Tony

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It is a Mk. II Hurricane (longer nose than the Mk. I) built in Canada. This photo of JS327 shows 12 guns.

There has been a long discussion on Canadian-built Hurricanes, but I do not know how to link it here. In summary, the Mark XII designation only applied to Hurricanes built in Canada by Canadian Car and Foundry for the RCAF, fitted with a Packard Merlin Mk. 29, Hamilton Standard propeller and 12-gun wing.

 

IMHO, what it takes to have a "Mark XII" Sea Hurricane (actually it should simply be a Mk.II, although seldom mentioned in this way) is just the arrester hook. These aircraft operated from the escort carriers, that had no "accelerators", so the catapult spools were redundant.

It is hard to tell from the picture whether catapult spools are there or not, but JS327 clearly has no padded headrest in the cockpit. The headrest was required to enable the pilot to withstand catapult acceleration and I take its absence as indirect indication that the aircraft was not fitted for catapult launches.

 

ALL Torch Sea Hurricanes were Canadian-built, their navalisation probably undertaken in Britain. Seemingly there was a plan to fit them all with the cannon-armed wings of the Mk.IIC but not enough time to complete the programme before Torch. No. 800 Squadron at least had a mixed complement, some with four cannon, others with 12 machine guns. Other squadrons may have had no cannon-armed aircraft.

 

Edited by ClaudioN
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3 hours ago, TonyOD said:

I don't really understand the Mk XII but  I know it was Canadian built. For the purposes of modelling, which of the "regular" marks does it most resemble?

There is debate as that some, or a few Canadian built Mk.XII when converted to Sea Hurricane had cannon wings fitted.

3 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

For modelling purposes, it's a MkIIa with the longer nose, catapult spools and an arrestor hook, and 8  x 0.303 machine gun wing

a Mk.IIa with a longer nose?  All Mk.II's were the same length AFAIK

(possibly a few were longer, than a standard Mk.II. but I have only seen this mentioned in one book*)

 

anyway, Mk.II's are 4 inches longer than a Mk.I, as the Merlin XX is 4 inches longer,  the back end of it and it sits up against the main spar. So a Mk.II HAS to be longer.

 

Some books have said the Mk.IIa series 1 is the same length as a Mk.I, but this is wrong for the reason stated above.

 

Apologies if a but ranty, but these wrong bits of information go round and round, not helped by thingg like the book mentioned below*

 

 

For modelling the Torch aircraft,  it's a Mk.IIb,  plus cataplut spools and the arrestor hook.

I know of two photographed  examples.

this, said to be JS355 HMS Biter

Sea-Hurricane-XII-Operation-Torch-JS355-

and JS327

Sea_Hurricane_Mk.XII_JS327.jpg&key=dcfd3

Note the other wing guns.

the confusion may arise from this

  

On 20/03/2014 at 11:58, Mikemx said:

Wikipedia simply states the Sea Hurricane Mk XIIa were converted from Hurricane Mk XIIa's, which were Canadian built MK IIa's with 8 MG's.

Planes and pilots goes into a little more detail, it states the Sea Hurricane XIIa was a conveted Mk XII (no variant mentioned) but when you look up the Mk XII, it says the following - The Mk XII was a Canadian built MK IIb, armed with either 12 Mg's or 4 cannons, the 12 mg armed ones were Mk XIIa's and the cannon armed ones Mk XIIb's.

 

And there are misconceptions on Canadian Hurricanes to factor in... 

I need to go on a link hunt.

EDIT here http://www.ascalecanadian.com/2007/10/rcaf-hawker-hurricanes-part-1.htmlfor the pics, but the texty is worth quoting to show why confusion arose

By @airjiml2

"Over the last few years I've been collecting RCAF Hurricane photos and information to publish an article regarding misconceptions about the RCAF Hawker Hurricane fleet. I've acquired some neat photos, some never before published, so I thought I would publish some of that information here.

The first Hurricanes operated by the RCAF were fabric wing, two blade prop British built Mk. Is. They were carried RCAF serials 310 to 329.

Canadian Car and Foundry were soon contracted to provide Hurricanes both for the RCAF and RAF. A British build Hurricane Mk. I (L1848) was provided to CC&F as a pattern aircraft for production.

The first Hurricanes produced for the RCAF by CC&F were Hurricane Xs. These were basically Canadian built Hurricane Mk. Is with cut down Battle props without spinners, eight gun wings, and no glare shields. They carried RCAF serials 1351 to 1380.

The RCAF also received Sea Hurricanes. Yes, the RCAF got some Sea Hurricanes complete with hooks. They were built by CC&F for the FAA but were diverted to Canada. They were in the BW835 to BW884 serial range. The RCAF Sea Hurricanes were basically a Hurricane Mark I with a hook, a DH spinner with a cut down Battle prop, and an eight gun wing. Early in service they carried the Fleet Air Arm scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey over Sky. (A common misconception here is that they didn't have hooks. I can't confirm if they all had hooks or some did and some didn't but this one sure did.) This one is BW850 BV-T of 126 (F) Squ. RCAF.

I think what has tripped up many Hurricane researchers is that the RCAF Hurricane Xs and Sea Hurricanes were sent back to CC&F for conversion to Hurricane XII standard, though they retainted the eight gun wing. Here is one of the Sea Hurricanes, BW870, after conversion into a Hurricane XIIa.
The conversion included a Hamilton Standard prop (sometimes with a spinner, sometimes without), a Packard built Merlin along with the longer Mark II nose, and glare shields. I think BW870 belonged to Trenton Station Flight. Notice there is no yellow ring in the fuselage roundel.
Next up are two aircraft in the standard RCAF Hurricane XII configuration. Hamilton Standard propeller without spinner, glare shields, and twelve gun wing. Those these airplanes were build as XIIs by CCF. The new build XIIs were RCAF serial 5376 to 5775."

 

 

1 hour ago, modelldoc said:

Years before, the Sea Hurricane XII was an Airfix Club kit model:

 

Yes, and it was based  the 2009 or so Airfix Hurricane, which is a vile abomination as it was based on some very flawed plans, in a very reputable book...*

 

@TonyOD, as you are according to your side bar, a 1/72nd chap,  your best bet is to get the new Arma IIb kit and add an arrestor hook.

The Arma Hobby kits have made all the other 72nd kits obsolete for their specific variants. 

 

I'll add some more in a mo.

 

* the book mentioned

9780946627585-uk.jpg

 

The book is not terrible, just bits of it are wrong, (Sea Hurricane IC, the plans) and it is vague an incomplete on other areas.

Sadly there is not a really good overall book on the Hurricane that I know of, there are a few I don't have but on brief inspection they tend to be the 'same old' stuff and pics. 

There have been some very interesting new books on very specific areas(Romanian and Yugoslav) and the Wingleader on the Mk.I....

 

 

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Information provided by Carl Vincent suggest that propellers were the one critical shortage that could not be overcome in Canadian production. Thus, CCF turned to Hamilton Standard for supply. In turn, this required using the Packard Merlin Mk. 29 (US-standard shaft for US-standard propellers) in place of the Packard Merlin Mk. 28 (UK-standard shaft for UK-standard propellers), both being licence-built Mk. XXs. This led to the Mk. XII designation for what were, to all purposes, Canadian-built Mk. IIBs.

 

CCF-built Mk. II aircraft supplied to Britain were either engine-less, or fitted with a Merlin Mk. 28 that was then removed (and used elsewhere, e.g., in Lancaster Mk. IIIs) and replaced by a Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk. XX before entering service. Around 60 of them were converted for naval use making them Sea Hurricane Mk. IIs. This seems to have been a rather urgent requirement in preparation for Operation Torch, conversions being completed well in advance of the 70 Sea Hurricane Mk. IICs manufactured by Hawkers. The latter only had arrester hooks, no catapult spools neither headrest and seemingly so did the 60 CCF-built Mk. IIs.

 

Reportedly, Marks X and XI actually were unofficial designations. However, CCF did manufacture 50 Sea Hurricane Mk. Is (Merlin Mk. III), some of then with catapult spools only, others with spools and arrester hook (see, in the post above, Troy's quotation of the web page by Jim Bates). Although initially intended as a replacement pool for the RAF Merchant Ship Fighter Unit at Halifax, NS, most of them were turned over to the RCAF in the wake of Pearl Harbour. After seeing front-line service in Canada, a number of them eventually entered the RCAF modification programme to fit the Merlin Mk. 29, thus becoming 8-gun Mk. XIIAs. Those that retained hook and spools might technically be Sea Hurricane Mk. XIIAs, but they seem to have only served in RCAF training units in Canada, if at all.

 

I hope this summarizes, as simply as possible, a rather complicated story. I am indebted to Jim Bates, Carl and Elisabeth Vincent and to Geoffrey Sinclair for providing the basis for an interesting and entertaining discussion. Any faults are my own.

 

HTH

 

Edited by ClaudioN
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Crikey.

 

Thanks all for this very detailed and interesting information.

 

I've been eyeing up those Arma kits for a while, they weren't around when I was modelling 10 years back. I was hoping to do something from the stash but I have a surprising paucity of MTO stuff in there. there's a Special Hobby Fulmar with "spaghetti" leading edges that I don't like the look of and I have a/m decals for various seafires but that too would mean acquiring another kit. No harm in that, I hear you say!

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19 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

For modelling purposes, it's a MkIIa with the longer nose, catapult spools and an arrestor hook, and 8  x 0.303 machine gun wing

I believe the Canadian built Mk XII had twelve machine guns - in the crashed photo above, the outboard 2 are visible outboard of  the landing light, just below the star on the wing.

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Some RAF documents call Canadian Car and Foundry built mark I the mark X, the production documents say I (and II) only.


As Canada did not make Merlins the mark I arrived in Britain without engines, as did most of the mark II, despite the US supplying Merlin 28 for them in two orders, 144 then another 141 (the latter possibly diverted from the Lancaster order).  All the Merlin 28 sent to Britain fitted to Hurricanes or as a stand alone engine.   Any Merlin 28 fitted to a Hurricane arriving in Britain, apart from a few test flights, were removed.  CCF built Hurricane I airframes were fitted with Merlin III, mark II fitted with Merlin XX.

 

BW835 to BW884, evidence indicates ordered as Sea Hurricane Ia, no information where the engines and propellers came from but they were meant for CAM ships.  49 of them taken on RCAF strength 9 December 1941 to 28 January 1942, then BW835 on 22 April 1942.  BW841 sent to Britain "Air Ministry" last RCAF date 16 October 1942.  BW855 also sent "BR Admiralty" last RCAF date 7 January 1944.  The rest stayed in Canada.

 

Canada received 480 Merlin 29 and 480 Hamilton 23E50 propellers for its 400 Hurricane order, RCAF 5376 to 5775, when 150 of the Hurricanes were sent to Britain (RAF PJ serials) they were as airframes or with a Merlin 28.  The spare Merlin 29 and propellers were used to upgrade the survivors of RCAF 1351 to 1380, the 30 mark I airframes which had been fitted with Merlin III and propellers taken from Fairey Battles as well as BW835 to BW884.  No Merlin 29 were exported from Canada.

 

It appears CCF built a and b wings but plenty of mark II ended up with c wings after arrival in Britain.

 

Apart from the CCF Sea Hurricanes, Hawker built 50 Sea IIc, 7 in November 1942, 29 in December, then 4, 10 and 10 March to May 1943.  The rest of the Sea Hurricanes were conversions.

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6 hours ago, TonyOD said:

Crikey.

 

Thanks all for this very detailed and interesting information.

 

I've been eyeing up those Arma kits for a while, they weren't around when I was modelling 10 years back. I was hoping to do something from the stash but I have a surprising paucity of MTO stuff in there. there's a Special Hobby Fulmar with "spaghetti" leading edges that I don't like the look of and I have a/m decals for various seafires but that too would mean acquiring another kit. No harm in that, I hear you say!

Is it the ‘Sand and Spaghetti’ on the Fulmar you have a problem with or the Fulmar?   You can do a Fulmar without ‘Sand & Spaghetti’, an early MkI, a Pedestal MkII in TSS or even a TSS ‘Torch’ Fulmar with US Stars..

 

My 806 NAS Fulmar HMS Illustrious, Mediterranean, Nov-40.

49905173603_139eb6c6b5_c.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for all the advice - I've bottled the Mk XII for now, though I'm sure i'll come back to it. For the MTO group build I'm doing something that was actually hiding in plain sight in the stash, a Grumman Martlet of 800 NAS which I had assumed had nothing to do with the Med as it has D-Day invasion stripes. Not the case, it was on board HMS Emperor which took part in Operation Dragoon but ditched in the sea off Spain.

 

Much appreciated though, what a wealth of information there is on BM.

 

22 minutes ago, Grey Beema said:

You can do a Fulmar without ‘Sand & Spaghetti’, an early MkI, a Pedestal MkII in TSS or even a TSS ‘Torch’ Fulmar with US Stars..

 

Definitely on my radar, and yours looks fantastic ... I did the Revell Fulmar in a Pedestal scheme when I first got back into it during lockdown but feel I could do a much better job of it now.

 

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Edited by TonyOD
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1 hour ago, TonyOD said:

a Grumman Martlet of 800 NAS which I had assumed had nothing to do with the Med as it has D-Day invasion stripes

A Hellcat, maybe?

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45 minutes ago, ClaudioN said:

A Hellcat, maybe?

Ha, yes. Just testing 😉

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21 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

a Mk.IIa with a longer nose?  All Mk.II's were the same length AFAIK

You're mis-interpreting what I wrote, the OP wanted to know how to model a Mk XIIa Sea Hurricane from generally available kits, I gave him a consise answer to his question pointing out the main features he needed ie Mk II (longer nose) a (8 gun wing) and Sea Hurricane (catapult spools and arrestor hook) 

Most kits are either Mk I  or Mk II, the distinguishing feature of the Mk II over the Mk I is it's longer nose, I was merely pointing out he needed a base kit with the longer nose.

5 hours ago, Tail-Dragon said:

I believe the Canadian built Mk XII had twelve machine guns - in the crashed photo above, the outboard 2 are visible outboard of  the landing light, just below the star on the wing.

The OP specifically asked for a recommendation for XIIA which would be an 8 gun wing, a 12 gun wing would be a B

 

He didn't ask for a potted history of Canadian Hurricanes, or whether the specific mark he was asking about would be apropriate for Torch markings, I just gave a short answer to the question asked. I'm sure Tony appreciates the extra details you've given him, though. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Dave Swindell said:

I'm sure Tony appreciates the extra details you've given him, though

I do. Anyone who takes the time to educate me has my gratitude. I find this stuff fascinating.

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2 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

You're mis-interpreting what I wrote, the OP wanted to know how to model a Mk XIIa Sea Hurricane from generally available kits, I gave him a consise answer to his question pointing out the main features he needed ie Mk II (longer nose) a (8 gun wing) and Sea Hurricane (catapult spools and arrestor hook) 

 

The OP asked about a Sea Hurricane XII,  specifically in Torch markings.  No mention of a XIIa,  so a IIa is not the answer.

 

On 05/09/2020 at 18:40, TonyOD said:

Sea Hurricane Mk XII in Operation Torch markings. I don't really understand the Mk XII but  I know it was Canadian built.

I posted the only photo of a Torch Sea Hurricane XII,  clearly showing the wing, which is a 12 gun B wing.  

On 05/09/2020 at 18:40, TonyOD said:

For the purposes of modelling, which of the "regular" marks does it most resemble?

 

I only mentioned the length, as the OP also asked which it most resembled, which is a Mk.IIb, and as Hurricane misinformation floats about a lot , as we both know,  I wanted to clarify the length issue on the Mk.IIa Series 1 in case he ran across it (and anyone else, it's a public forum)

 

I appreciate your input in here Dave, as one of the more informed posters,  which is worthy of respect.  

 

Any offence caused was unintentional, and if there was, I apologise.    I so get carried away when trying to post  information, and do try to accurate, and illustrate or reference what I post,  and can perhaps seem abrupt, simply as I just have not polished the text,  as I have been off hunting down the references, which I feel are important, as this thread maybe crop in a search by someone in the future, and it does not spread misinformation.  

 

cheers

T

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9 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

No mention of a XIIa

I could have sworn that was what was asked for, I doubt I'd have mentioned the 8 gun wing otherwise.

9 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

Any offence caused was unintentional,

None taken, Troy, just wanted to emphasise I wasn't intending to suggest different lengths for the MkII.

9 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

I appreciate your input in here Dave

As I do yours, Troy.

10 hours ago, TonyOD said:

I find this stuff fascinating.

Happy to help Tony, I'd second Troy's recommendation of the new Arma Hurricane IIB if you get round to a Torch Sea Hurricane.

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On 9/6/2020 at 1:37 AM, ClaudioN said:

a number of them eventually entered the RCAF modification programme to fit the Merlin Mk. 29, thus becoming 8-gun Mk. XIIAs. Those that retained hook and spools might technically be Sea Hurricane Mk. XIIAs, but they seem to have only served in RCAF training units in Canada, if at all.

Just to be clear all RCAF Sea Hurricanes upgraded to Hurricane XIIA status has their hooks removed.  The big question is how many were built with hooks and how many had their hooks removed before conversion.  (For example it appears BW835 did not have a hook, but others sure did.)

 

Jim

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