Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

H-1 Racing Plane
“Long Wing Version”
(The Hughes Racer)


Planet Models, 1/48

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 168 - H-1 Racing Plane “Long Wing Version” (The Hughes Racer)
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 40 pieces in cream colored resin and 2 clear vac-form canopies. Instructions, painting guide and decal sheet for 1 aircraft.
Price: Around USD $54.00
Review Type: FirstLook - In Box
Advantages: Finely engraved panel lines, single piece cowling without pour stub, and seemingly excellent fit.
Disadvantages: Delicate parts in resin. Requires use of cyanoacrylic (super / crazy) glue and /or two-part epoxy.
Recommendation: Highly recommended for modelers who have experience with resin kits and parts.


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron 




Okay, tell the truth.  You saw the movie the “Aviator” and you were mesmerized by the scenes in which Howard Hughes set the land plane speed record in that sleek racing plane, only to see it belly land in a beet field.  I even bet you said to yourself, “self, I’d love a model of that aircraft”.  Am I correct? 



Well the model has arrived, but not that specific aircraft.  The aircraft, which was represented in the movie, was the low-aspect ratio short wing version of the Hughes, and which Planet Models is to issue in the future. 

The model under review is the same aircraft, the H-1 (also known as the 1B), but with the longer moderate-aspect ratio wings attached and with retractable undercarriage.  This aircraft set the transcontinental speed record on January 19, 1937.  Hughes flew the H-1 non-stop from Los Angeles to Newark Airport, a distance of approximately 2,490 miles, at an average speed of 332 mph.





This is one beautiful little kit.  It is also appears to be a great kit for a first time experience with resin models.  The instructions are merely one page.  I test fitted (without cleaning up the parts) the wings to the fuselage and it is an excellent fit that appears to require no fillers.  For those have struggled over many an MPM plastic kit, there would seem to be no struggling what so ever with this resin kit. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

I did note that the fuselage is not perfectly straight.  When the two halves are held together at the fin, there is a bit of space between the halves at the forward end.  This can be resolved by slight warming of the parts to straighten them, or gluing the rear first, then holding the front portion together while the glue sets.  

The Hughes H-1 was a paragon of sleekness at that time; flush riveted aluminum fuselage with seams as tight as can be.  The wings were plywood with counter-sunk screws.  The model reflects this sleekness.  At first look, you cannot even see the panel lines on the fuselage, but look closely under a light; they are there, as delicate as I have ever seen on a resin model.  The wing, which is of one piece, is smooth, with fine detail.  The long wing on the H-1 was 31 feet 9.  I measure the kit’s wing at 32 feet. 

The cowling is finely molded without a pour stub.  The edge of the front opening was a bit rough and will require a small amount of careful sanding to make the edge smooth and even: a small price to pay for not having to deal with a stub.



The Hughes H-1 originally bore the serial number NR258Y in deep yellow on dark blue wings.  Later it was changed to NX258Y.  The aircraft was given to the National Air and Space Museum and it currently has the serial R258Y. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The kit contains the markings for the aircraft as presently displayed at the NASM.  I tried to determine why the serial was again changed, but was unable to find an answer.





I must admit that as soon as I took the parts out of the box and began fitting them together, I fell in love with this little gem.  The only thing better than owning this kit would be to own the flying reproduction of the Hughes H-1.  I highly recommend this kit.





Thanks also to Dana Bell. 

I do not know the source of the picture, so I cannot give credit.

Thanks to MPM / Planet Models for the review sample.

MPM and Planet Model kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers worldwide and at Squadron.com

Review and Images Copyright © 2006 by Steven Eisenman
Page Created 25 April, 2006
Last updated 25 April, 2006

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page