by: Todd Michalak [ ]
Flyhawk Model continues to add to their lineup of scale offerings to the ship modeler’s community. This time, Flyhawk introduces a 1/700 scale accessories kit called WWII Royal Navy Aircraft Set #1 (FH1129). This is a multi-aircraft pack designed to enhance 1/700 scale British model kits.
This kit set comes supplied in a small, end-opening cardboard box with an artist’s rendition of three iconic WWII naval aircraft depicted on the front of the box. This kit contains plastic and photo etch parts along with decals for producing three different types of Royal Navy aircraft from the Second World War.
8 – Grey colored styrene sprues
1 – Sheet of brass photo etch
1 – Sheet of decals
1 – Instructional manual
1 – Decal/Color guide
The Royal Navy Aircraft Set provides the build with a total of eighteen British naval aircraft spread out over the eight sprues contained in the box. Eight of the planes provided on four of the sprues are scaled versions of the Fairey Swordfish. Upon the outset of the Second World War, the Swordfish was basically outdated but were pressed into service just the same; early in the war as Fleet Air Arm attack craft, later on regulated to anti-submarine roles. Contained on two of the eight sprues are six Fairey Fulmars. Carrier based, the Fumar were reliable long-range fighters. Finally, there are two sprues containing 4 Hawker Sea Hurricanes. The Hurricane is considered one of the best fixed wing single seat fighters in the British ranks. The Sea Hurricane was a multi-platform fighter whereas it was carrier based as well as launch capability from catapults.
8 – Fairey Swordfish
6 – Fairey Fulmar
4 – Hawker Sea Hurricane
As seen with previously released styrene ship kits from Flyhawk Model, all the parts in this aircraft set have been molded extremely clean and vitally free from any flash. Attachment points to all of the parts have been kept to a minimum allowing easier removal and cleanup during construction. There are a few seam lines to contend with, however, these are pretty much common place when it comes to injection molded parts. Special care should be taken when cleaning these seam lines off of the fuselages and wing edges.
Flyhawk has done a fantastic job in creating these 1/700 scale planes allowing representation of panel lines, detailed canopy framing and even an attempt at recessing the open cockpit to the Swordfish. The sides of the Swordfish fuselage seem to be a bit heavy on the molding. The aircraft did have square, flat paneling to the sides of the aircraft. The molded sides look almost like added square details. My first guess at possibly correcting this would be to simply sand flush and scribe new panel lines or go ahead and keep building. We have to remember these are 1/700 scale aircraft…after painting and decals, panel lines might be too much for some folks. Being these aircraft were based primarily on carriers, Flyhawk does provide the folded wing options for both the Swordfish and Fulmar planes. This gives the builder the option of depicting the aircraft stowed or ready for takeoff. Provided on eight of the sprues are torpedoes for the Swordfish.
Flyhawk provides a sheet of brass photo etch parts to aid in detailing these tiny planes. On this sheet are a complete set of propellers to replace the supplied styrene versions for each aircraft. Photo etch suspensions for the Swordfish are in included as well as machine guns and etched rigging for the Swordfish bi-wing configuration.
With this kit, comes one sheet of decals for all of the planes. A complete set of recognition insignia is provided, however, there are no numbers included. These marking appear to be accurate for the Royal air Wing for the time period.
Flyhawk certainly hits the mark again for quality in the 1/700 scale. The WWII Royal Navy Aircraft Set #1 provides the builder with a total of eighteen British aircraft to enhance anyone’s ship or land-based diorama. At the time of release of this set, Flyhawk Model did not have any 1/700 scale aircraft carriers in their ranks. This is soon to change with the announcement recently of their HMS Hermes kit which is due out soon. I can only assume there will be aircraft provided in this new kit and a set like this will only add to the ships compliment. If the kit development continues with Flyhawk, I have to assume there will be more British carriers coming at some point as well as a Set #2 or more of aircraft. Only downside to the kit, from what I see, is that there are no floats provided for the Swordfish. Some of these planes were also used in cruiser and battleship configurations. These planes would have made for a vast improvement on some manufacturers’ kits where the molding of the planes in this scale is often soft. So if you have a use for a set of WWII British aircraft in this scale, or better yet, you are waiting for the release of Flyhawk’s HMS Hermes, you will be very pleased with the WWII Royal Navy Aircraft Set #1.