Battle of Britain Flight Hurrican YB-W at Biggin Hill, 2006

The Hurricane coded YB-W of the RAFs Battle of Britain Flight is the subject of one of the recent Corgi Flight series of models, and which we had the review of here only a short time ago.  As it happens, I photographed this same aircraft, the real one that is, at the Biggin Hill Air Show back in 2006.  I was fortunate to be in position not only to see it while static on the flight line, but was close by as it started up and taxied out to take off for the display.  Below you can see the series of photos I took as it moved off towards the runway for take-off.

The aircraft, LF363, is a Mk IIC and it entered service in 1944 and is thought to be the last Hurricane to enter service with the RAF.  After a mixed career when it was on the verge of being scrapped at one point, in 1957 it became the first aircraft in the Historic Flight of the RAF, later to become the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, thus making it the founder member of this popular unit.  It crashed in 1991 at RAF Wittering but was fortunately able to be restored to flying condition.  Today it wears the colours of a Hurricane Mk 1 as flown by Flying Officer Harold 'Birdy' Bird-Wilson of 17 Squadron, as he flew it during the Battle of Britain in 1940.  He baled out of it in September 1940 when the original aircraft was shot down over the Thames Estuary.  He survived, and went on to become a Wing Commander, and post war retired as an Air Vice Marshall, with the CBE, DSO, DFC and bar, AFC and bar.  He eventually passed away in 2000 at the age of 80.

Corgi Flight 1/72 Hurricane

Having now had a close look at the model as well, it isn't bad value for money.  There are a couple of simple things you could do though to add a tiny touch of detail that isn't featured on the model as it comes in the box, if you feel you want to.  I know many will want the model mint as it comes supplied, but for some, and I include myself in this, I like to add things especially if it is easy enough.

The model, which is very well priced by the way, is supplied with the wheels up and with a display stand to show it in flight configuration.  When retracted, part of the wheel on the Hurricane is still to be seen but Corgi do not have the tyre coloured black where it shows.  So my first change will be to just paint in the black with a Vallejo acrylic colour paint, No 168 Black Grey, a shade I like for rubber tyres rather than a plain flat black.

The second of the three small changes I made was to paint in the red patches on the leading edge, and where panel lines already on the model guide you and make this easy enough.  A basic acrylic red paint was used fo this, to represent the patches put over the muzzles of the 4 browning machine guns mounted in each wing.  These prevented dust and dirt getting into the guns on take-off or in flight, and the first rounds fired would simply pierce the cloth patches.

The third and final update was to put the yellow tips on the propeller blades.  Again, a basic yellow acrylic paint was used and there you have it.  Three small visual changes that have an effect on the model on display, and to help it compare with the photo of the real thing that you can see above.

Corgi Flight 1/72 Hurricane - updated

The before and after photos of each element is included below, along with some more shots of the real one at Biggin Hill back in 2006.

Robin