1/48 CA01/03/09 Wirraway update set

Review by David Harvey

Review Type
First Look
$15.00 AUD from Hamilton Hobbies (plus postage)
Contents and Media:
19 pieces of resin, cotton thread, plastic card
The Storpedo's and adds correction to the kit
Some areas have poor surface detail due to bubbles



When Special Hobby released the Wirraway in 1/48 I was very happy that the aircraft had finally been covered in an injection molded kit. The joy was soon tempered when Dick Hourigan listed the numerous problems and inaccuracies in the kit. A number of errors were able to be easily ignored but some needed attention to be accurate for the aircraft. Ryan Hamilton has stepped in to assist with the correction of these faults in a limited manner.

The resin

The update set comes in the usual zip-lock bag containing a four page, single sided instruction sheet and the following items:

  • Machine gun
  • Left engine cowl
  • Ribbed tail plane
  • Tail wheel
  • Spinner
  • Large (late) oil filter
  • Storpedo (large) x 2
  • Storpedo (small) x 2
  • Length of rope to rig Storpedo's
  • Strengtheners (stiffeners on lower wing) x 4

These parts cover some of the more glaring errors in the kit ie the incorrect tail wheel and the engine cowl whilst also covering other areas such as the ribbed tail fin of the Ca-1. An unusual addition is the Storpedo's which you would not normally expect to see in an update set for any aircraft.

There are a few problems with this set, the main ones being casting quality and the attachment of parts. The cowling and the tail on both the sets I have are almost useless due to air bubbles on the surface. The cowling is an odd one as the inside is great but the exterior is bad. They dimples can be filled but the amount of energy required defeats the purpose. I have since received replacement parts from Ryan for these faulty bits. The other problem I mentioned is the attachment of parts - by this I mean the manner in which you will need to join the replacement parts to the kit parts. For the most part it's ok but the propeller and tail wheel are all butt joints and will somehow need reinforcement to make them strong enough to survive more than five seconds. For the tail wheel I think it would have been better to produce the whole item rather than a small amount of leg and the wheel. The propeller shouldn't be too hard to strengthen with wire as the ends are large enough to drill out.

For the rest of the parts, including the cowling, they are nicely detailed and have fine lines to match the original kit parts. There is a fair amount of 'flash' on the parts but it should take very little time to clean this off the parts.

As I said previously, the Storpedo's are an unusual inclusion for an update kit, I had in fact never seen them or, more to the point, taken any notice if I had. But on a very quick search of the internet I discovered what they were and then I was lucky enough to be shown a real one.

Torokina, Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands. C. 1945-01-27. Two members of NO. 5 (Tactical Reconnaissance) SQUADRON RAAF, Flight Lieutenant I. C. Curtis DFC, of Ballarat, Vic, and Flying Officer W. J. Pascoe of North Sydney, NSW, instructing ground staff in loading a "Storpedo" to the bomb rack of a Wirraway at Piva airfield. Ground crew are CPL J.R. Lister of Mareeba, QLD, Leading Aircraftsman R. Mudge of Toorak, VIC, and CPL. E. C. Hann of Portland, Vic.
Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

The instructions

The instructions come as four single sided pages consisting of two pages of reference images, a page of construction instructions and the cover sheet. As the update set is for the more advanced modeller they are sufficient to guide you in your way.


Considering the price and the contents of this update set I would recommend it for those that would like to fix a few of the Special Hobby kits problems. It does have it's disadvantages but that is to be expected from limited issue sets such as this. Not too bad for the price.

Update set courtesy of my Wallet but may still be available direct from Ryan Hamilton or on the internet.


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