My model depicts a No. 310 Sqn RAF machine, flown during Autumn 1940 by P/O Emil Fechtner, DFC. I didn’t make it in time for the BoB Day (Sept 15), but the current date – the Czechoslovak Independence Day – is also fine I guess. Also, tomorrow is the 80th anniversary of Fechtner’s tragic death. On October 29, 1940, he collided mid-air with one of his fellow pilots, Jaroslav Maly. While Maly managed to belly land his damaged plane, Fechtner crashed into the ground.
I picked this particular plane for two reasons. First, Fechtner was born in the Zizkov district of Prague, a place where I lived for an important part of my life. Secondly, whenever I hear about the battle of Britain, this famous photo of Fechtner is probably my first association.
Interestingly, the “for Boulton” writing refers to F/O John Boulton, English instructor of the 310 Sqn, who also died in a mid-air collision just less than two months before Fechtner.
As for the Arma Hobby’s kit, it seems to be everywhere nowadays and already has been reviewed many times. Well, I will add my own piece of mind anyway. I think it goes without saying this is easily the best Hurricane kit ever. Even when speaking about 1/72 plane kits in general, this is creme de la creme.
However, there are some rough edges as well. A lot of sink marks, misaligned halves on small parts, and some goofy engineering solutions: complicated cockpit, propeller assembled from single blades, or undercarriage to be attached before gluing the wing together (fortunately, it can be attached later, with just a little adjustment). There is a weird asymmetrical seam on the cowling, stretching from windshield to propeller, which has to be removed. Clear parts are very thick, so I replaced the canopy with my own photoetched frame (sold now under the Airone Hobby brand).
Otherwise, the kit builds very well. I appreciate some thoughtful details, like clear position lights already with little cavities for color bulbs.
The good news is that Arma Hobby already ironed out all of these flaws and the later issued IIB and IIC version Hurricane kits look almost perfect (well, perhaps with the exception of some raised rivets which seem a bit too striking to me).
Apart from the canopy, I also fiddled with new wing reflector lights, using Marabu photoetch, covered with Pritt transparent tape. Otherwise, this is a straightforward OOB build. I didn’t even use most of the inbox photoetch, just the seat belts and that little underwing stirrup.
National insignia and all stencils are OOB Techmods, decals for this particular machine are from DK Decals, printed by Boa. They are very thin, much thinner than those I remember from the Aleutian sheet by the same manufacturer.
I lightly riveted the whole surface. All paints are Tamiya acrylics, only the Sky is Gunze C. The green is XF-81, but lightened, brown is a crazy mix of like five different pots 😀 I planned to use Gunze C Dark Earth first, but it looked far too reddish.
That’s all folks. This turned out to be a very smooth build. In 9 years since I returned to scale modeling, I finally finished my first kit of a Czech (or Czechoslovak) pilot. Long overdue indeed! And another one is somewhere in the pipeline as well, this time a IIB version of the 312 Sqn.