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1/144 Sweet Hawker Hurricane

and A6M2 Type 21 Zero

Gallery Article by S K Loh on Feb 15 2017

Singapore - Fall of Singapore (1942)

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Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore to the Japanese forces on 15 Feb 1942. Having done some research, I decided to build a combined display of the Hawker Hurricane deployed in the defence of Singapore by the RAF in early 1942 and the ubiquitous A6M2 Type 21 Zero which gave the Japanese the edge in air combat in the campaign in Malaya/Singapore. 

I used the Japanese model kits from SWEET as the base of my build. These SWEET kits have very nice and crisp panel lines and the parts fit well with no filling necessary. The Hurricane kit came as a Mk I meant for the BOB build, I had to make some modifications to convert it look like a Mk II version. They are:-

  • a. Use sprue and putty to buil-up the spinner as the Mk II has a longer spinner

  • b. Scratch-built a flange on the front cowling

  • c. Drill out additional 2 gun ports on the each leading of each wing for a 12-gun Mk II version

  • d. Created the corresponding shell ejection ports on the underside of the main wings

  • e. Added the aerial wire

  • f. Added a scratch-built pilot figure for in-flight display

  • g. Added the underwing pitot on the underside on the portside main wing

I chose to depict the Hawker Hurricane Mk II as the one flown by SQN Ldr Richard E P Brooker of 232 SQN formed in Singapore with the code BE208. I researched and created the decals for it. As the kit came with 2 sets of sprues for two Hurricanes I decided to put it to good use. In my research, I learnt that the aircraft BE208 was damaged in air combat in early Feb 1942 and crashed landed in Kallang. It was later abandoned when the RAF withdrew to the Dutch East Indies. It was captured by the Japanese forces following the fall of Singapore and it was painted in IJAAF markings and was being evaluated by Tachikawa Giken in Singapore. I managed to find and create the decals for it. I decided to build it with under carriage down. 

The SWEET A6M2B Type 21 kit came with the markings for 381 Flying Group operating in New Guinea in 1944. I learnt that Type 21s operating from Indochina (modern day Ho Chi Minh City) under the 22 Koku Kantai (Flotilla) participated in the invasion of British Malaya/ Singapore. They subsequently operated from the ex-RAF air base in Kota Bahru when it fell to the Japanese forces. I was able to find the markings for one of the aircraft and created the decals for it. There were no issues with the build at all. I only need to add the aerial wire and the pitot on the port side wing which were missing to enhance its look.

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Painting for the 3 build-up planes were custom mix to match the decals using Tamiya and Mr Hobby acrylics. Two thin coats of Future were brushed on for the decal application. This was followed by another two coats of Future to make the self-made decals less prominent. Two thin coats of flat were then airbrushed on to give the right final finish.

I created a simple display base for my build and had the decals and done up to capture this bit of history as a collection. Personally, it was a very satisfying build although I must admit that it pales in comparison in details and accuracy to that offered by bigger scale kits. Enjoy the photos. 

S K Loh

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Photos and text by S K Loh

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