Fairey Fulmar was an odd animal. It was a carrier based aircraft. It was used for reconnaissance. It was used as a fighter. Also a night escort. And as a light bomber too. Now have in mind that it was introduced in 1940 and by 1945 was out of service. That, combined with the multi-role profile just mentioned is a definite eyebrow-raising moment. During those years of the 20th century, planes were specific tools for specific missions. And by design and usage, Fairey Fulmar was one of the very few of its kind and definitely ahead of its age as a concept.
There is only one left nowadays. In the Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm museum. It was the prototype and the first production Mk.I Fulmar. And if we follow a simple logic, this is where Trumpeter got their info to scale it down to 48th and prep it for a pending release this year. But we cannot be certain yet. It won’t be the first Fulmar to be released in that scale, but it will be the most recent tooling with its appearance. And definitely a one with a great boxart.
Knowing Trumpeter/Hobbyboss and their derivatives, we should note that their kits are a hit and miss thing. Some are really, really good and accurate, others not so much. Since we have no clue what they did with the Fulmar research, we can only hope for the best at this time. Because Fairey Fulmar is an aircraft that is far from the common scaled down plane that we see on the shelves. It is not a Spitfire, Messerschmitt or Mustang. It is odd-looking, elongated plane with plenty of windows and still – a nice looks, that offers plenty of options. Something fresh.
Despite being produced in small numbers considering the era, the plane was carrier based and offers superb platform for serious weathering and painting alterations. Thoughtfully depicted by the artist on the box. Something, that many modelers will gladly accept as a challenge, as well as a deviation from the well known road that we walk with the popular releases mentioned above. On top of all that, as a part of a diorama, the Fulmar will look superb at the shows. And let’s not forget the scarcity of pictures and to some extent – information. Because we all know, that scarce things are the ones we look for the most.
In conclusion, this release is intriguing, despite the B-grade popularity of the subject. For many it will be a new discovery, while for others, it will be a re-introduction to an old friend. In both cases – a very nice addition to the 48th scale scene and hopefully – with contemporary qualities and finesse. It will be a combination of a plane and a ship in terms of modeling skills. But that again, will make it not more difficult, but a lot more interesting.