1/72 Mistercraft Fairey Fulmar

Gallery Article by Bob TheDoc on Oct 22 2018



The Fairey Fulmar, though not as well-remembered today as many of its contemporaries, was one of the Fleet Air Arm's stalwarts in its time of need during WW II and it flew from aircraft carrier decks across various theatres. Though lacking in performance (it was powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin of Spitfire fame, but it was substantially larger and heavier), it was a sturdy and reliable workhorse of a fighter. At one time, twenty squadrons of Fulmars operated from thirteen carriers; in fact, even the RAF operated one squadron in Ceylon against the Japanese. The Fulmar gave a good account of itself, and was the Fleet Air Arm's highest scoring fighter, with 112 enemy aircraft downed.

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The Mistercraft kit is a rebox of the Vista kit, which has also been released by Smer. The instructions are well laid out and clear, the paint schemes are given in colour - which is always easier to follow. The decals are typical Mistercraft - very colourful and bright, but shatter on coming into contact with water. Through experience, I've learnt to reinforce them with a gloss coat, which at least renders them usable. The kit features good engraved exterior detail, but extremely spartan interiors with absolutely no detail. Coupled with this is a canopy of absolutely superb clarity, so either scratch-building or aftermarket is desirable. I opted for the former, and used scrap styrene and stretched sprue to fashion cockpit details for both the cockpits. The kit otherwise goes together fairly well, with no glaring gaps, and not much filler required. Some sanding and rescribing is required to get the panel lines of the fuselage sides to match.

I built it over a couple of weeks, finished as a Fulmar Mk.II of No 809 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, based on HMS Victorious during Operation Torch, circa November 1942 (based purely on one of the three schemes given in the instructions). Paints used are Revell, Italeri and Vallejo acrylics. An oil wash was used to bring out details, and Liquitex satin varnish to seal the whole thing.
Best wishes from India

Bob TheDoc

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Photos and text by Bob TheDoc