If you don't by now, Flyhawk Model produces the best, most detailed 1:700 scale plastic kits in the world. However, the talents of Flyhawk engineers are not
confined just for the complete ship kits. Those talents extend to 1:700 scale plastic accessory sets. There has already been a review of the
Flyhawk Royal Navy
Aircraft Set One, which provided 1:700 scale of aircraft of the Fairey Swordfish, Fairey Fulmar and Hawker Sea Hurricane. Here is the Flyhawk Royal Navy
Aircraft Set Two
, which contains six Supermarine Walrus seaplanes and six Fairey Seafox seaplanes. The Walrus aircraft can be built with or without wheels, so they
are suitable for 1:700 carriers that carried the wheeled Walrus and more importantly to equip the cruisers, battleships and battlecruisers that carried the Walrus on
catapults or in their hangars. This has applications for the many Royal Navy kits currently available from Trumpeter, Tamiya and other manufacturers.
Supermarine had a history of building fast seaplanes that competed in and won the Schneider Cup for the fastest seaplane in the world. This competition started in
the 1920s and there was wide participation by the world's aviation companies. Supermarine developed a well earned reputation as a leading expert in the design of
seaplanes. When the Royal Navy went searching for a developer for them, they naturally approached Supermarine. The initial Walrus first flew in 1933 and at that
time was called the Seagull  Mk. V. It was given the name Walrus when ordered into production by the RAF, which at that time also controlled naval aviation in
May 1935. Although ungainly, as a biplane with fabric wings, powered by the Bristol Pegasus VI (620hp) radial engine as a pusher, the Walrus was a sucessful
design and was known by the nickname of
Shagbat in service. The Walrus was slow with a maximum speed of 135mph (217kph) at 5,000 feet, it had a range of
600 miles (966km) and maximum ceiling of 17,100-feet (5,210m).
The Walrus was designed as an amphibian that had retractable wheels that folded into wheel wells in the bottom wing. Supermarine built the Walrus with a
aluminum hull as the Walrus Mk I but subcontractor, Saunders-Roe, used a wood and canvas hull as the Walrus Mk II. A total of 746 of the aircraft were built, the
bulk of which were built by Saunders-Roe with 461 platforms. She carried a crew of four and was armed with three .303 (7.7mm) machine guns. She was also
capable of carrying 600-lb (272kg) of bombs or two Mk VIII depth charges, so her role was far more flexible than just for reconnaissance and shell spotting. The
Walrus was heavily used in Rescue Squadron  and rescued over 2,000 men. One mine spotting squadron was also equipped with the Walrus.

The six 1:700 scale Walrus provided in this set can be built with wings extended, ready for operation on a catapult or carrier deck or in stowed position with wings
turned parallel to the hull on their hinges. The plastic parts abound with detail with the hull having a covered forward machine gun position and open mid-hull
position. The cabin has window detail and there are numerous hull fittings. The wings and rudder have fabric and panel line detail. Other small plastic parts are the
wing pontoons, wheels, propeller (optional, as photo-etch propeller is also included), and engine.
In the 1920s Fairey Aviation built the Fox Mk I for the RAF as a two-seat day bomber. Flown in 1925 it was not only faster than contemporary bombers of the period  
but also faster than contemporary fighters. There were a number of subsequent marks, many of which  were for exclusively for foreign export. The Fairey Fox Mk IV
was built for Peru and shipped from London in 1933. It had a different engine and tail but more importantly was equipped with pontoons for water operations. In 1935
Air Ministry Specification S.11/32 required a two-seat observation and shell spotting aircraft to be operated from catapults on cruisers. To meet this requirement Fairey
started with the Fox Mk IV and refined it to produce the Fairey Seafox. The Seafox first flew on May 27, 1937. A total of 66 aircraft were ordered, 64 as seaplanes
and 2 as land planes. The Seafox had a metal fuscelage and leading edges of the wings but the bulk of the wings were covered in fabric. The design was powered by a
16 cylinder air-cooled Napier Rapier engine developing 395hp for a cruising speed of 106mph (171kph) and maximum range of 440-miles (770 km). The design proved
under-powered with poor engine cooling and too high of landing speed. Delivery of the Seafox seaplanes was in 1937 and they were assigned to 700 Naval Air
Squadron. The Seafox was the float plane assigned to
HMS Emerald, HMS Neptune, HMS Orion, HMS Ajax, HMS Arthusa and HMS Penelope. It  also equipped
the Armed Merchant Cruisers,
HMS Pretoria Castle, HMS Asturias and HMS Alcantara. The Seafox from HMS Ajax was used for spotting shell splashes against the
panzerschiffe
Admiral Graf Spee at the Battle of the River Plate. Although obsolete, the Seafox remained in service until 1943.

Royal Navy Aircraft Set Two has six Fairey Seafox float planes. The fuselage detail includes open cockpit with glass screen position for the pilot but the cockpit is not
hollow. There is frame detail for the enclosed observers position, Other fuselage detail includes air intakes, exhaust fitting, upper wing struts and fabric detail on the
tail. The wings and tail plane have fabric covered detailed with the wings having metal front edge detail. They also have panel and aileron lines. Each aircraft has two
sets of wings to allow portraying the aircraft as operational or stored with wings folded back. Smaller plastic parts include propeller (plastic option but photo-etch also
included), and pontoons.
This set includes a full brass photo-etch fret. Parts include brass propellers for both the Walrus and Seafox, although you will have to use the plastic spinner of the
plastic Seafox propeller. For the Seafox you get the support struts between the wings, and struts for the pontoons. For the Walrus you get struts between the wings,
upper and lower engine supports, tail struts, and aft gunner position detail including detailed machine gun. A full decal sheet is included with wing markings, fuselage
markings and tail hash marks. The upper win roundels and tail hash marks are fine but the fuselage and lower wing markings for the Seafox had the center red circle
a little off-register.

A small pack-printed instruction sheet, printed on glossy paper is included. Page one has the parts laydown, general instructions, assembly icons, and assembly of the
Seafox with photo-etch parts shaded in pale blue. Page two starts with drawings of the assembled Seafox, then goes onto assembly of the Walrus and drawings of
the finished Walrus. A full painting guide is presented on the back of the box for both aircraft. A paint match matrix is included that lists the specific paint numbers
for Mr. Hobby and Tamiya paints.
The Flyhawk Royal Navy Aircraft Set Two in 1:700 scale is essentially a Royal Navy catapult float plane set with Walruses for battleships, battlecruisers and heavy
cruisers and the Seafox for certain light cruisers and armed merchant cruisers. Between these two aircraft virtually any Royal Navy warships that carried a float
plane on a catapult can be equipped with an extremely high quality plastic and photo-etch brass replica of their float plane.
Steve Backer
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