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In-Box Review
132
Hurricane Mk.I decals
Decals for the Polish Hurricanes Mk.I
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by: Mecenas [ MECENAS ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

History

Everybody knows here the Battle of Britain history, there's no doubt. Of course the most important plane of the Battle (which for many had won the Battle and saved the Empire) was the Spitfire but the workhorse of those days was the Spitfire's older brother: the Hawker Hurricane. I also bet that everybody heard about Poles fighting in the Battle. The first squadron which got the "operational” status on 15th of August was the 302nd. Unfortunately, assigned to the 12th Group far from London (based at Leconfield and Duxford), didn't take the major part in the fights. The second squadron, assigned to the 11th Group, was the 303rd, based at Northolt had an opportunity to fight in all the major and important carnage's of September 1940.


The review

Techmod have lately released the set of decals dedicated mostly to the Polish Hurricanes from the 303rd Polish Sqn during the Battle of Britain (two schemes) and with one scheme of the 306th Polish Sqn from November 1940. We have the following machines in the set:
V6665, 303rd Sqn RF-J, flown by Flt.Lt John Kent, Northolt, September 1940
V6684, 303rd Sqn RF-H, flown by Sqn.Ldr Witold Urbanowicz, Northolt, September 1940
V7118, 306th Sqn V-UZ, Ternhill, November 1940
The first two planes had Rotol type propeller with the blunt spinner taken from the Spitfire. Painted with Dark Green, Dark Earth and Sky colours. RF-J had an interesting diagonal band in the unknown colour (probably dull red) around the tail section of the fuselage. The second Hurricane is RF-J which is believed to be the airplane of the polish commander of the squadron Witold Urbanowicz. The machine is famous mostly to the inscription and drawing behind the cockpit with the Hitler’s „face” and the Polish inscription „126 Adolphs” - it was an occasional painting made to commemorate 126 enemy planes shot down by the squadron after the Battle of Britain.
The last plane included in this set is V7118 coded V-UZ from the 306th Polish Sqn. This machine has the pointed spinner and is painted with the black port wing and engine cowling on the lower side. The plane has interesting layout of the code letters: first the individual letter of the plane, then the squadron code letters. What is characteristic for 306th the UZ letters are decreasing together with the decrease of the fuselage. The small Polish chequerboard is not placed on the engine cowling but on the rear part of the fuselage, what is also not the obvious position of the emblem.

The instruction

The instruction is just a single sheet in A4 format, printed on both sides with colour profiles of each plane. There are port and starboard sides of the planes, lower and upper surfaces individual for each scheme (depending on the A or B painting scheme), schemes for painting the propellers and lower nacelles of the engines showing the places of individual letters. There are also separate schemes without camouflage, just with roundels and fin flashes, showing the positions of stencils. In this section we can also find the short list of the useful literature and references. The table with colours suggested by the producer for painting are given as the Federal Standard numbers.

The decal

The sheet have the size of 18x26cm. Quality is typical for the latest TechMod releases. Thin and subtle carrier film which is very transparent, no misalignment in prints. Colours are vivid and saturated. I'm just a bit afraid about the bands on the tail: the red for RF-J and sky for V-UZ. The red one is cut into two pieces so it may require some additional work to position it nicely and adjust the joint of the halves together and to the fuselage curvature. The problem with the “sky” band is that the modeller will have to match is with the colour of the lower surfaces. It means you will have either to paint the plane with exactly the FS colour given by the TechMod or paint the band yourself (that's what I would do).

Final conclusions

I am really impressed by the quality of the large scale TechMod decals. I don't know how to explain this but I have the feeling that the sets in 1/32 scale are much more subtle and delicate than in other scales. Maybe it's the illusion of the size: thickness of the carrier film is the same but as they are larger the decal itself looks thinner. I hope you don't think I'm getting mad and judge the set basing just on the illusions.
These decals will be very useful for the Polish Air Forces enthusiast, no doubt in it, but I hope it will find a good use for all modellers who wants to commemorate the struggle and effort of the Polish pilots during the Battle of Britain or the workhorse plane of the Battle.

Thanks to TechMod for providing the decal sample for this review.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.
SUMMARY
Highs: Very good quality, nice choice of planes, allows to fully decal the model
Lows: Partition of the red band may cause some problems while applying on the model, see the text
Verdict: Useful, interesting, complete set of necessary decals, highly recommended for large scale modellers
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 32045
  Suggested Retail: 35PLN
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 02, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.66%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.50%

Our Thanks to TechMod!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mecenas
FROM: KATOWICE, POLAND

Copyright ©2018 text by Mecenas [ MECENAS ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

These are a nice addition to the decals that come with the Kagero's Battle of Britain v.2. As for the review, I hate to quarrel with a fellow reviewer, but I would take VIGOROUS exception with the statement that "the most important plane of the Battle (which for many had won the Battle and saved the Empire) was the Spitfire." Not so. Recent scholarship has shown (click here) that the Hurricane was more significant by far than the Spitfire on several counts: 1.) more squadrons were equipped with Hurries than Spities during the BoB 2.) more German aircraft were shot down by Hurricanes (over half of those downed in the battle) than any other aircraft. The Spitfire undoubtedly was the superior aircraft design, and it only got better as the war progressed, while the Hurricane was at the apex of design trends reflecting the thinking of the between-the-war period when biplanes, open cockpits, fabric covering, etc. were the hurdles aircraft designers had to scale. The Hurricane was soon relegated to ground-attack roles it performed better than any other British aircraft, including the more-famous Typhoon. Faster and more elegant, the Spitfire shouldered the majority of the interceptor duties, though it proved inadequate for bomber escort, a role that fell to the Mustang even in the RAF. But during the Battle of Britain, the best days of the Spitfire were still ahead of it, while the Hurricane was the island's savior. The Spitfire has certainly captured the romantic imagination of history and modelers. However, it was Sidney Camm's Hurricane that saved the British, not the Spitfire. And Polish aviators share an important role in the BoB, one that has mostly been forgotten outside Poland, which is a real shame.
JUL 03, 2011 - 06:26 AM
A scaled up version of one of Techmod’s decal sheets that was released in 1/72 and 1/48 scales many years ago. They should still be obtained easily for those interested in those scales. V6665 was one of two 303 Hurricanes to have a stripe painted on the rear fuselage. There is some speculation, but no proof, that these were used to indicate flight leaders’ aircraft. The other, P3120/RF*A, is sometimes depicted with a blue stripe but the general consensus these days seems to be that they both had red stripes. (Traditionally flight colours were A –red, B – Yellow, C- blue.) (See Note 1.) The red stripe was painted with thin or slightly transparent paint as the serial number shows through. V6665 was a Gloucester built machine, (see Note 2.) and it is thought that the national markings are in the pre-war bright red and blue colours not the dull wartime colours. Certainly the fin flash colours appear to be different in tone form those in the roundels which may indicate that they were painted at different times with different colours. (See Note 3.) V6665 served briefly with 303 Squadron during September 1940 (9th to 27th). On 9th September it was flown by F/Lt Kent who claimed a Bf 110 destroyed and Ju 88 probable at 18.00 near Beachy Head. On 11th September it was flown by Sgt Brzezowski (see Note 4) who claimed two He 11 destroyed at 16.00. On 15th September it was once again flown by F/Lt Kent. In his memoirs, Kent, describes nearly colliding with the pilot of a Bf 109 who baled out, the 109 crashing into the sea off Dungeness. There is no record of a claim by him on this date. His logbook includes his own comment which differs slightly from the account in his memoirs. “…Later attacked 109 which went into sea. P/O Ferić had hit it first.” On 17th September Kent was in the seat but made no claims. The next day, 18th September, F/O Henneberg flew in V6665 making no claims that day. On 26th September Sgt Andruszków took his turn to fly in V6665 claiming a He 111 destroyed near Portsmouth at 16.30. The following day he was again in V6665 when he was KIA, the Hurricane falling at Holywych Farm, Cowden. V6684 was the third Hurricane to have the individual letter ‘F’ during the month of September 1940 and was also a Gloucester manufactured Hurricane, so possibly had national markings in the bright pre-war colours. As most of the aircraft is obscured in photographs it makes any assessment rather difficult. The correct date as it is depicted on the decal sheet is October 1940. Although the photographs with the temporary chalked on inscription are frequently captioned as at Northolt, they are in fact a set of publicity photographs taken after the squadron moved to Leconfield on 15th October to rest. 15th September was a busy day for 303 Squadron when V6684 made it first appearance flown by F/O Urbanowicz who claimed two Do 215s at 15.00 at Gravesend. Next was S/Ldr Kellett on 18th September who made no claims. On 23rd September it passed F/O to Grzeczczak who also made no claims. 26th September saw P/O Zumbach in the seat who fared better bagging a He 111 and Bf 109 at 16.30 near Portsmouth. Zumbach took V6684 again the next day, putting it to good use to destroy a Bf 109 at 9.20 near Horsham. In the afternoon it was F/Lt Kent’s turn to down a Ju 88 at 15.25. On 30th September V6684 had yet another pilot, P/O Ferić who made no claim that day. The ORB for 1st October contains another error over serial numbers with Sgt Szaposznikow flying V6681/RF*B, the same aircraft as F/Lt Kent. He may have been flying P3120/RF*A, the Hurricane he flew on the next sortie or V6684. On 5th October V6684 had yet another new pilot, F/O Henneberg, who claimed a BF 110 at 11.40 near Rochester. On 7th October F/O Grzeczczak took a second turn but once again made no claim. Thus ends the mention of V6684 in combat. On 20th December 1940 F/O Czajkowski force landed at Sand Hutton near York. According to the accident report the undercarriage of his Hurricane, V6684, struck some ledge and stood on its nose. V7118 was yet another Gloucester built machine that may have had its national marking painted with the pre-war bright red and blue colours. Like V6665 the fin flashes appear to have different tones than the roundels. On the starboard side the top of the fin flash has darker tones, perhaps repainted after a repair. Techmod’s earlier decals sheets had the wrong style of fin flash for this Hurricane that has been corrected on this sheet. Another modification is the area under the nose on the port side which is now shown as Night (black) on the under side view. (They have not modified the side view to match.) This Hurricane has appeared in various publications with this area Sky or Night. As the photographs do not show this area it is difficult to determine which is correct. There is another photograph of three 306 Squadron Hurricanes landing that features V7118. It is possible to infer from that that the area was painted Night but the shadows are so strong that it cannot be said to prove it. Photographs of other Hurricanes in the squadron show both Night and Sky in this area. The bright patch on the port wing is almost certainly yellow gas patch. In the same position as these other Hurricanes belonging to the squadron. The spinner is a Rotol long chord type specifically developed for the Hurricane. Usually associated with the Hurricane Mk II, they were also fitted to late production Mk Is. The Anglo-Polish agreement signed on 5th August 1940 provided for the formation of an independent Polish Air Force on British soil under the operational control of the RAF. For this an Act of Parliament was required. (see Note 5.) Article 6 paragraph 3 of the agreement stated “Aircraft used by the Polish Air Force while serving with the Royal Air Force will bear British military markings with a distinctive Polish marking on the fuselage.” No further details are given but it is likely that they had in mind the chessboard. During 1940 each PAF squadron, as it formed, chose differing positions to display the chessboard. 300 and 301 Squadrons placed large ones on the rear fuselage of their Battles similar to the style adopted in France. 302 Squadron placed them just beneath the canopy at the rear while, for 303 Squadron, the Koścuiszko badge was Polish enough and they did not apply chessboards to their Spitfires until January 1942. 306 Squadron chose to place them on the rear fuselage, French style, 308 Squadron also placed them just below the canopy but in the centre or slightly forward. 315 Squadron put them just in front of the canopy. 316 Squadron did not form until February 1941 and seem to be the first squadron to put the chessboards in what would become the standard position, as laid down in Air Ministry Orders, under the exhausts. V7118 served with 306 Squadron from November 1940 until April 1941 was flown by a number of pilots including F/Lt Kennard, F/O Nowak, S/Ldr Rolski, F/Lt Witorzeńć, F/O Zielinski, P/O Jankowski, P/O Rutkowski, P/O Żulikowski, and P/O Skalski. Note 1. Compare On Target Special The Battle of Britain Camouflage and Markings 1940 page 111, Polskie Skrzydła 4 Hawker Hurricane page 13. Note 2. Gloucester were known to have continued to use the pre-war bright red and blue colours for the national markings instead of the correct dull shades that were to be used on camouflaged aircraft. Note 3. On Target Profile 12 Hawker Hurricane in RAF and Commonwealth Service page 13. Note 4. 303 Squadron’s ORB quotes incorrect serial numbers for Sgt Brzezowski’s and F/O Cebrzyński’s Hurricanes. According to the aircraft movements documents of their flight (held by the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum) Cebrzyński was flying RF*K that day and Brzezowski RF*J. The absence of V6667/RF*K in subsequent operations proves the correctness of the flight documents and the mistake in the ORB as Cebrzyński was KIA and his aircraft lost. Note 5. On 22nd August 1940 the Allied Forces Act was passed by Parliament, legalising the accomplished fact of the PAF establishment in Great Britain. The additional Protocol relating to jurisdiction over the PAF was concluded between both parties on 22nd November 1940.
JUL 08, 2011 - 05:47 AM
   

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