Author Topic: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)  (Read 2419 times)

Online Brian da Basher

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1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« on: October 01, 2015, 06:11:57 AM »


In the spring of 1936, the Brown Sauce Crisis erupted over access to guar gum, a key ingredient in this cupboard staple.



Shortages of this classic condiment became the norm, as did street protests all over Great Britain.



Things reached a boiling point by the fall. Then Uruguay nationalized the guar gum plantations and the Brown Sauce began flowing again. In gratitude, the British granted a production license for the Hawker Hurricane. Unfortunately, the British would not grant a license for the famous Merlin engine that powered it.



Luckily, the Uruguayans thought outside the box and decided to power their license-built Hurricanes with a suped-up version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engine, also produced under license. Upon the prototype's first start-up test, a bystander remarked it sounded like a roaring torbellino (or whirlwind) and the name stuck. Thus the Uruguayan Torbellino fighter was born.



The Torbellino first took flight in late 1937 and had performance that completely outclassed anything then in service. The Uruguayan Air Force ordered it into production. By mid-1939 Torbellinos equipped all front-line Uruguayan fighter squadrons, and not a moment too soon.





In December, 1939, after the Battle of the River Plate, the German pocket-battleship Graf Spee put in at Motevideo to see to their wounded and make repairs. This would precipitate another crisis for Uruguay.



The Uruguayans were determined to keep a close eye on the Graf Spee and trailed it from altitude all the way from their border with Argentina with flights of Torbellinos. When the Graf Spee finally put in at Montevideo, the German sailors' worst fears of British air attack seemed manifest when what they thought was a Hurricane buzzed the hapless Kriegsmarine warship.



Luckily for the crew of the Graf Spee it was only a lone Uruguayan Air Force pilot who simply couldn't resist the urge to get down low for a closer look. The photo snapped by a UPI man became one of the iconic images of early W.W. II. The Germans, for their part, didn't realize the British Hurricane wasn't a British Hurricane until it was too late and the decision to scuttle the ship had been made.



This would be the closest the Torbellino would get to seeing enemy action. As W.W. II heated up, the sprightly fighter was replaced by more modern types and no examples exist today.

Brian da Basher


Online Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 06:24:53 AM »
This all began when I found a tiny, 1/144 Revell Hurricane in a care package from a good friend (thank you, hamsterman!). I've been wondering what a radial engined Hurricane might look like, but this little kit was the only Hurricane in house for the experiment. The engine is left over from a 1/144 B-29 and the cowling is from a DC-3 (as is the prop). Aside from cutting off the useless Merlin, the only other mod was chopping off the belly air scoop and filling it in.



The model was brush-painted in acrylics, Model Masters RAF Light Sea Gray mostly. The Uruguayan markings are from a Roundels of the World sheet Jeff Fontaine sent me a while back (thanks, Jeff!) and the fuselage codes are from a 1/72 P-80 sheet.



It took me much longer than I'd have liked to build this little model, but I'm finding that 1/144 scale is pretty good for when your bench-time is limited.



I hope you enjoyed my tiny (yet powerful) Torbellino and reading a little more forgotten history.



Here's one last shot I call the money shot because of the U.S. penny (1.9 cm diameter) in there for scale. This little kit came with one bell & whistle, the clear stand. Sure makes it a snap to display!



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 06:37:18 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 06:26:16 AM »
 Nifty little build, Brian - and those Uruguayan...roundels? are the bomb!

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 06:39:23 AM »
Nice one Brian! That's a very tidy little fighter, I like it.
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 03:21:56 PM »
 :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline nils

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 03:27:10 PM »
very nicely done  :)
on the bench:
-various models

on the drawing board:
-various 1/72 TinTin aircraft
-1/72 Eurocopter Tiger (Belgian Army)
-various other 1/72 and 1/144 aircraft

Offline elmayerle

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 08:18:32 PM »
Very nicely done with a suitable backstory from the pages of forgotten history.  That's a cute little piece of work, masterfully done.

Online ChernayaAkula

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2015, 01:50:30 AM »
Looks just natural!  :)
Cheers,
Moritz

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Online Frank3k

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2015, 11:01:57 AM »
It really looks good with that radial, Brain! The Uruguayan markings set it apart, too.

The plane reminds me of this little Fokker:



Fokker D.XXI

Offline Tophe

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2015, 02:38:40 PM »
 :-* Wonderful addition to the Hurricane family! :-*
Thanks for the enjoyment seeing this!

Offline finsrin

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2015, 02:59:15 PM »
Brown Sauce crisis,,, musta been absent day that was covered in history class.
Yes - "Wonderful addition to the Hurricane family!"
Pitty none remain; no mention of it in my reference books. ???

Offline Camthalion

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2015, 03:19:06 PM »
Very cool.  Nice work

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: 1/144 Uruguayan Torbellino (Hurricane variant)
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2015, 07:26:52 PM »
A beautiful and bodacious build of brilliance Brian.
Work in progress ::

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