Once again, the exchange of posts on the Britmodeller.com forum inspired us to search deeper and to discuss further details of the Hurricane. As a result, I asked Troy Smith for some explanation summarising some of the details of what turned out to be a very complex aircraft. We focused especially on connections: rivets, screws, fasteners.

What Troy wrote us:

Hawker as a company built on existing techniques and designs, in the case of the Hurricane it used what is an enlarged Hawker biplane Warren truss tubular fuselage structure added to a new wing.

Master scratchbuild modeller Peter Cooke, in his famous article “Hurricane Veracity” wrote:


“It clearly benefited from the immense experience of building similar machines. It is a very strong and rigid structure that produced a stable and very manoeuvrable aeroplane that could take a lot of punishment and still carry on flying. It has superb access for maintenance and is relatively easy to repair. It is a real engineers aeroplane”

The initial wing type was mainly fabric covered, but the metal wing soon became the standard already in Mk I version.

The rivets

What is not always seen on the Hurricane wing are the different rivet types, which were flush and mushroom head types, the reason?

On portions of the aeroplane where airflow is likely to cause drag, flush rivets are preferred, if costs allow.

On parts where the airflow does not cause significant drag, protruding-head riveting is preferred. It gives stronger joints and is more vibration resistant.

In the case of the Hurricane, as the detail photographs shows, most of the wing is mushroom riveted, but the leading edge and the first third of the upper surface is flush riveted, this is not always clear in photos.


Dzus fasteners

For frequently removed panels, engine, fuselage and gun bays, Dzus type fasteners were used.

These were invented in the 1930s by Ukrainian-born American engineer William (Volodymyr) Dzus, spiral cam fasteners were first developed to help secure panels in place on planes and high performance vehicles providing a more effective and long-term fixing.

Close up of the metal panel  fasteners, described in the manual as turnbutton fasteners, but I believe these are Dzus type.

Note that the fasteners for the fabric panels are different type to the metal ones.


For areas that needed to be removeable, dome heads screws were used.

Examples are the wingtip, this shows the size relative to the mushroom head rivets.

Screws were also used for fixing the metal fillets around the tailplanes, seen here.

One final point  for modellers, the area around the cockpit is fabric covered plywood (so no metal scuffing immediately under the cockpit).

These are the comments from Troy Smith. We decided that these issues are worth focusing on, because our 1/48 scale Hurricane model kit introduced us to completely different worlds of surface representation. What doesn’t make sense in 1/72 scale, or is technologically impossible, in 1/48 comes out very neatly! See for yourself by looking at the photos of our test model, assembled from pre-production sprues.

Hurricane Mk IIC 1/48 – sklejony model testowy

If you want to talk about it, feel free to comment in the comments section below the post. We are particularly interested in how you view the representation of raised and flush rivets on models in different scales, the differentiation of rivets and screws, as well as other issues related to the representation of a real object in scale, which will always be more or less conventional.

More detailed photos of Hurricanes you will find in “Walkarounds” on the Britmodeller.com Forum:

Photos used in the article come from Julien of Britmodeller.com, Mirosław Miarka, Imperial War Museum (Public Domain via Wikimedia) – thank you! And from own Arma Hobby collection.

Check also:

Hurricanes in 1/72 and 1/48 scales in the Armahobby online store !

Hurricane IIC w skali 1/48 – recenzja iModeler.com


Hurricane Mk IIc w skali 1/48 – instrukcja modelu

Hurricane Mk IIc w skali 1/48 – kalkomanie i maski


This post is also available in: polski