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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Desert Hurricane: 1/48th Hobbycraft Hurricane IIC

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

This kit was built from the old (often maligned) Hobbycraft kit and although not the best Hurricane kit, you can certainly produce a decent looking aircraft from the parts provided. (I've noticed that many plastic critics haven't actually built the kit and often are basing their opinion on "what they've read someplace".) For me it often comes down to, "did you get what you paid for"? I got this kit at a bargain, so I can't really complain.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Simple kit with few parts

  • One piece canopy is a bit thick however the fit is good (if you want to build open canopy look elsewhere or get a vac-form replacement)

  • Basic cockpit (hence the closed canopy as you won't be seeing this detail anyway :)

  • Decent panel lines raised detail and ribbing

  • OK - Good parts fit

  • Option to build a IID version

Build Inspiration:

I had been reading about Bert Houle's career in the RCAF and during my research, discovered that he had flown in the desert theater with 213 Squadron based out of Edlku, Egypt around April 1942. This squadron had a rather unique "Hornet" addition to the RAF emblem and as I managed to source the proper decals, I was sold on the build.

(If your are interested I have an except from Bert's desert combat at the bottom of the page and a link to a excellent article on this extraordinary pilot)

Bert Houle pictured here (3rd from right) is with some fellow Canadian pilots of 213 Squadron in the North African desert.

Heads-Up Report:

  • After gluing the wings and attaching them to the fuselage I suspect gluing the upper wing parts to the fuselage and then adding the lower wing would have resulted in a better fit of the wing

  • Landing gear doors have sink holes (in my example)

  • Gear could use some detailing (not that I did any - but I should have :)

  • Exhaust would be improved with some drilling out (again, not that I did - but I should have :)

  • If you want to build the IID version, you could, however a minor wing modification is necessary

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Added seat belts made from tape

  • Weighted the tires by sanding then down a bit

  • Drilled out the guns

End Result:

I built this kit back when I was mainly producing "museum" examples without weathering. I think it would improve the look of this build if I spent a bit more time on it, making some refinements and weathering the paint finish. Paint colours were the standard RAF desert scheme of the time, Middle Stone and Dark Earth over Azure Blue (30118/30266/35231)

Completed build #105 - April 2009 using the 1/48th scale Hobbycraft #1582 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building what you want, how you want - Cheers

Extra Add-on Bonus Feature: )

Below is an excerpt on Bert Houle's combat with some Ju87s, while flying the Hurricane in the desert campaign from "Flying Desert Rat: The Combat Career of Squadron Leader Bert Houle" by Christopher Evans (Wilfrid Laurier University)

26 October 1942:

"Leading one other Hurricane back to base at dusk after flying air cover over the El Alamein line, Houle spotted a formation of Stukas without escort. Taking his time Houle systematically lined up his Hurricane on one of the unsuspecting Stukas and fired from only 50 yards away. He was surprised to see his shells pass harmlessly to either side of the Stuka despite having the dot of his gun sight dead on. He quickly realized the problem. The Hurricane's cannons were set to harmonize at 250 yards. He gave his plane a little right rudder until one stream of shells began impacting on the Stuka which quickly poured smoke, flipped over and went straight in. Two more Stukas were hunted in this fashion in the growing dark and each one took hits. A fourth Stuka thinking perhaps a 109 had inadvertently attacked them flipped on his navigation lights to show he was friendly. Houle was not and the illuminated aircraft exploded as his shells ignited the Stuka's fuel tanks in a fire ball. A fifth opened fire on his Hurricane and he shot at it noting strikes before he broke off and headed for base. At the time he was credited with two destroyed, one probable and two damaged. Aviation historian Christopher Shores later confirmed that Houle had in fact shot down four Stukas with a fifth probable. Regardless, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this action. One of the Stuka pilots killed in the attack was Kurt Walter who had sank the British cruiser Coventry just one month before.

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