Wednesday, July 26

A new Mk.IIc Trop in 48th - Arma Hobby blows in with a second Hurricane...

Arma Hobby has impressed quite a few modellers recently with their foray into 48th scale kits with the Hurricane the first in the line up. Today we preview their second 48th scale release, the Hurricane Mk.IIc "Trop" kit in detail, colours, sprues & decals.

A new Mk.IIc Trop in 48th  - Arma Hobby blows in with a second Hurricane...

Hurricane Mk IIc Trop 
1/48th scale
Kit No #40005
From Arma Hobby
Release date: Mid August 2023
Net Price: $79.04 USD
Hurricane IIC Tropical
The Hurricane II was armed with four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispanos to bring it up to the Mark IIC standard, also using a slightly modified wing. Trials with a pair of external cannon as armament had begun in May 1939, then the internal arrangement in June to August 1940. In November 1940 thirty sets of Hurricane IIC (Four cannon) wings being built by semi tooled and hand methods in the experimental shop, using wings damaged in the region of the gun bay.

Turkish Hurricanes Mk IIC Trop at Airfield in Middle East. Early 1943
Test flights with external fuel tanks began in May 1940, the first mark II trials in June 1941. Test flights carrying bombs began in April 1941, the first mark II trials with 500 pound bombs were in February 1942, most mark II were built as able or converted to carry external stores. By then performance was inferior to the latest German fighters, and the Hurricane changed to the ground-attack role, sometimes referred to as the Hurri-bomber. The mark also served as a night fighter and "intruder."

Hurricane IIc Trop RAF 30Sqn RSX Sqn Ldr SC Norris BP588 Benina Libya late 1942 
The "Tropical" Hurricane Mk.IIc
The Volkes tropical filter as used on RAAF and may RAF Hurricanes serving in the North Africa, Mediterranean and South-East Asia theatres. 

A well-known diagram of the filter - the main external difference with these "Tropical" Hurricanes...
Hurricane Mk IIC trop HL844 “MacRobert Fighter – Sir Alasdair” of 237 Sqn, 1942. This was one of three aircraft presented to Middle East Command by Lady Rachel MacRobert and named after her three sons, all of whom were killed flying in the early stages of the war. Seen here shortly after delivery to El Gamil, Egypt, for presentation to No. 94 Squadron RAF. The aircraft is carrying two 44-gallon ferry tanks.

The new kit from Arma Hobby:
This new tropical version of the Hurricane Mk IIc, model kit 1/48 scale from Arma Hobby is an adaptation from their Mk.IIc released a few months ago. Much the same sprues are offered with the Volkes filter and three new decal choices in the box.

This kit includes:
Plastic parts with three grey sprues for a simple but detailed view...
One clear sprue for transparent parts
Canopy and wheel masks
The decal sheet for the three marking choices in the box. Instrument panel, harnesses, stencils all included.

The three marking options:
Hurricane Mk. IIc trop “Hurribomber”, LB792/C, No. 34 Squadron RAF/SEAC, Dergaon (Assam) i Imphal (Manipur), spring 1944, pilot S/Ldr C.P.N. Newman.
We found this interesting story about this kite on Arma Hobby's excellent blog: "Flip the Frog was officially listed as missing in 1933. Eleven years later, however, in 1944, he resurfaced in India as the mascot of Squadron Leader Charles Philip Nelson “Ace” Newman DFC, the commander of No. 34 Squadron. Flip accompanied him on a Hurricane Mk.IIC, LB792, and doubtless brought good luck, for the aircraft and its pilot survived the heavy fighting for Kohima and Imphal. In recognition of his leadership during this operation, Newman received his second Distinguished Flying Cross.”

Hurricane Mk IIc trop, HL885/AX-Z, No. 1 Squadron SAAF, Lt. Stewart “Bomb” Finney, LG142, Egypt, September 1942.
Again, from the Arma Hobby blog, where they give yo u often the news behind the aircraft they feature in kit form. "When SAAF 1 Squadron was equipped with the Hurricane IIc, the official unit markings consisted of the code letters AX, usually applied in an unusual rounded type. According to aviation historian Steven McLean, author of the magnificent Squadrons of the South African Air Force, the usual colour for the code letters was not white but pale blue. This was pointed out to him by none other than ‘Bomb’ Finney, who remarked that that the man with the brush, responsible for painting the codes on their aircraft, was known as the ‘Duck-Egg Blue Merchant’. Whether the code letters were always pale blue cannot be established from photos, of course."

Lt Stewart ’Bomb’ Finney and his armourer posing in front of Hurricane IIc HL885 AX-Z ’Oops!’. Clearly, only the inner Hispano cannon is present.

Hurricane Mk.IIc Trop, HL851/GO-P “The MacRobert Fighter-Sir Iain”, No. 94 Squadron RAF, El Gamil airfield, Egypt 1942-43.
Five tropicalised Hurricane Mark IICs of No. 94 Squadron RAF based at El Gamil, Egypt, flying in loose starboard echelon formation. The outboard 20mm cannons have been removed from the nearest aircraft (BP389 GO-G) to aid performance. The three rearmost Hurricanes are the "MacRobert Fighters", presentation aircraft paid for by Lady Rachel MacRobert in memory of her three sons, all of whom were killed flying in the early stages of the war. They were handed over to 94 Squadron on 19 September 1942 and are, (front to rear); HL851 "Sir Iaian" (with its Squadron code letters 'GO-P' partly applied), HL735 "Sir Roderic" and HL844 "Sir Alasdair".

Hawker Hurricane IIc Trop RAF 94Sqn GOP HL851 North Africa 1942
That is all we can tell you about this kit so far. It is available mid August 2023 from HobbyLink Japan if you are near Asia, or the Arma Hobby Webpage directly if you are in the US or Europe (a little closer for you) - your choice.