Thursday, November 23

Preview: Arma Hobby's new "Hurribomber" Mk.IIb incoming

Arma Hobby has another version of their award winning 48th scale Hurricane on the way. This one is the Mk.IIb "Hurribomber", with the kit boasting additional aftermarket to further improve the plastic on offer. We look at the kit in our preview...

Preview: Arma Hobby's new "Hurribomber" Mk.IIb incoming

Hurricane Mk IIb
by Arma Hobby
Kit no #40007
1/48th Scale
Due: November 2023
Plastic, masks & 3D printed parts
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb fighter-bomber aeroplane
Hawker Hurricane Mk.II is a development of the famous fighter designed by Sydney Camm. It was created by installing a more powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine equipped with a two-stage supercharger in a standard airframe. This solution significantly improved the aircraft's performance. The new version designated Hurricane Mk.IIa, with unchanged armament, was first flown on June 11, 1940, and in August of that year, the first units were put into service with RAF squadrons.

Hurricane Mk IIB night fighters Z3971 SW-S “Samasthans II” of No 253 Squadron RAF lined up at Hibaldstow
A Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB from 402 (Fighter) Squadron crosses the English Channel on an intruder sortie into occupied France in 1941. It carries 250 pound bombs slung under its wings. This aircraft was lost 17 April 1942
At that time, the Hawker company was researching improving armament. The thick wing allowed the use of cannons and machine guns in various configurations. Initially, a variant with 12 7.69 mm machine guns in the wings was introduced, under the designation Hurricane Mk IIb. Unfortunately, the small calibre of the weapon did not significantly change the effectiveness of fire, especially against armoured targets. Therefore, these machines were later widely used mainly for bombing under the name "Hurribomber". When the bombs were used, initially one gun was removed above each the bomb rack. Later, bomb racks were designed with a chute for empty casings, which made it possible to retain the full armament.

Hurricane Mk IIb fitted with underwing bomb racks
Over time, it turned out that the plane loaded with additional weapons, despite a more powerful engine, no longer met the requirements for modern fighters. Together with the cannon-armed Hurricane Mk IIc, these aircraft were used to attack ground targets with gunfire and bombing, among others in Operation "Jubilee" – Dieppe landing. Thanks to installing a tropical filter, the "Trop" version was also created, intended for operations in hot climates. Mk IIb and c aircraft equipped in this way took effective part in combat in Africa and the Far East. A naval version with a hook for landing on aircraft carriers was also created.

Another 402 squadron aircraft with 250lb bombs, “Hurribomber”, BE492

The new kit from Arma Hobby:
This new version of the Hurricane Mk.IIb “Hurribomber” 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, but with the MKIIB features and bonus 3D printed parts, masks  and three new decal choices in the box.
The kit includes:
Plastic parts (including new sprue for B version)
Decals (3 marking variants: RAF, RCAF and PAF)
Canopy and wheel masks

Marking options:
Hurricane Mk IIb “Hurribomber”, BE489/AE-Q “Butch the Falcon”, No. 402 Squadron RCAF, Warmwell, February 1942
Our BE489 was later used extensively by No. 175 Squadron, and among others took part in Operation Jubilee, luckily returning to base from both its flights. But luck deserted it on 23 June 1943, when, while being operated by No. 55 Operational Training Unit RAF, it collided with another Hurricane and crashed, killing its Canadian pilot, F/O Graves.

Hurricane Mk IIb Z3171/SW-P “Hyderabad City”, No. 253 Squadron RAF, Hibaldstow, pilot F/SGT. J.C. Tate, winter 1941/42
Hurricane Mk IIb, Z3675/WX-B, No. 302 Squadron PAF, Church Stanton, August 1941

This kit is available mid the end of November 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.