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With the assaination of Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid 80's all hopes of an end to the cold war ended and with it east-west tension was at an all time high.

Realising this fact the UK's MOD found that the RAF's Air Defence fleet were becoming increasingly stretched with taskings that included mantaining 2 Sqn's for NATO air policing in West Germany, a flight detached to the Falkland Islands and ofcourse QRA to mantain in it's own air space, which was becoming an increasingly busy task. Often with several Soviet aircraft a day that needed to be intercepted and escorted away from UK airspace.

With the iniment retirement of the Lightning and the Phantom's not too far away, its replacement Eurofighter (EAP) still in the early stages of development the MOD sought the find an aircraft to fill the gap.

The RAF were ofcourse already operating an Ad-Hoc strengthened Air defence fleet in the form of the MMF (Mixed Fighter Force) consisting of the Tornado and the Hawk T.1A working side by side. This was by no means an answer to the problem more of a last resort.

Several options were considered including extending the life of the venerable Phantom fleet, this was quickly dismissed as bringing the aircraft up to date would be cost prohibitive, also the airframes were running out of hours. Equiping the Sepecat Jaguar with a Radar was another idea but was discarded because this would leave the RAF's Strike force short, the F-16 was also considered but was quickly dropped due to cost considerations. The most obvious option was to buy more Tornado's but again this was dropped due to costs and production times. The MOD looked towards BAe which at the time was developing its highly successful Hawk aircraft into a Radar equipped single seat light strike-fighter for the export market.

Finally an agreement with BAe was reached for the purchase of 60 Hawk 200 aircraft, the RAF was no stranger to the Hawk so intergrating it into its inventory was going to be an easier and cheaper option that buying an all new aircraft.

So in 1989 after a few teething problems the first of the RAF's BAe Hawk FGR.2 rolled off the production line, by late 1992 the 60th had been delivered and the RAF's Hawk wing at Leeming was complete with 3 front line squadron's and an small OCU.

For this GB I'll be using the Airfix 1/48 Hawk 100 and Neomega's Hawk 200 conversion set, plus a few other goodies, I'm still waiting for a few bits and bobs to arrive, I'll post some piccies once I've got the whole shebang.

Edited by Rich F
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Great back-story Rich, very convincing, off to a good start with that alone.

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Sounds good, don't know why the RAF haven't considered hawks for CAS on the front line now that the Harriers have gone.

When I was in the 'mob', I went on detatchment from Brawdy to Leuchars. Our Hawks were being used as airfield defence and 'bounced' Tornado's when they attacked Leuchars. The Hawks were quite successful as I recall, but then they are small and agile. We used to say that the Hawks just hid behind clouds and jumped out as the Tornado's came by.

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Sounds good, don't know why the RAF haven't considered hawks for CAS on the front line now that the Harriers have gone.

Probably because it'd be a bit embarrassing for all involved, i.e. it was claimed losing the Harrier wouldn't affect the UK's capabilities so if you now say, we're using Hawks to do what the Harrier used to everyone will realise you were lying. It doesn't help that you'd have to get the funding for it approved by the same civil servants who forced the decision on MoD in the first place.

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Thanks for the interest guys ;) Westie, I think SkippyBing is right, I dont think the Govt could justify axing the Harriers then replacing them with Hawks, wouldn't make a lot of sense really.

Anyhow I've managed to make a small start, well cut the Neomega resin off the casting blocks anyhow...

The kit and bits

Hawk200001.jpg

Some reference material.

Hawk200002.jpg

The Neomega Conversion less casting blocks, looks nice :eat:

Hawk200003.jpg

After reading a few build articles over on ARC I thought I'd better dry fit the parts and see how it fits, no too bad me thinks!

Hawk200004-1.jpg

Hawk200006.jpg

Hawk200005.jpg

The profile of the nose isn't quite right, from the canopy down to the radome their should be a straight line, but as you can see there is a slight curve, so this will need to be corrected.

Hawk200004.jpg

Hopefully should get the pit started later.

Thanks

Edited by Rich F
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Guys, works been manic so this ones going slower than hoped.

I've managed to get some paint in the cockpit, those buttons around the MFD's were a real test of my painting skills and my eyesight :hypnotised:

I cut some thin clear acetate and used it as the screens, the insides were painted clear green. The seat needs and few stencils and a coat of matt then its done.

Hawk200008.jpg

Hawk200009.jpg

I've started on wings, namely cutting Airfix's poor representation of undercarriage bays and replacing them with CMK's offering.

I'll post some more pics up soon.

Cheers

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Sounds good, don't know why the RAF haven't considered hawks for CAS on the front line now that the Harriers have gone.

The MoD doesn't have the money !!
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Bit more progress made over the weekend, got the pit closed up and managed to reduce the hump on the nose. The radome was a bit bigger in diameter so that needed sanding down. The front canopy had some rivet detail added but its not glued in place yet.

Hawk200010.jpg

Hawk200011.jpg

Hawk200012.jpg

Looking at the real thing, I noticed that there is a ridge on the underside of the front fuselage just aft of the front wheel bay, so I replicated this by adding some plastic card sanded to shape.

Hawk200013.jpg

Next I moved on to the wing assembly, I started by removing the woefully shallow MLG bays and adding CMK's, I know these are actually for the T.Mk.1 but thats all there is on offer. I needed to remove alot of plastic from the wings to get them to fit so out came the Dremel :mg: I also filed as much as I dared off the bays but I did go through one of the bays ever so slightly :banghead:

Hawk200015.jpg

The Flaps have also been cut out and the wingtips cut off and the launcher rail tips added which are much thinner, much filler needed here me thinks <_<

Hawk200014.jpg

I couldn't resist adding the BOL launcher rails that were nicked from my Harrier kit.

Hawk200016.jpg

Hawk200017.jpg

I've got the wing fences to add next, these are quite different from the ones supplied in the kit so a bit of scratch building coming up I think :hmmm:

Cheers

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Taking shape with a selection of nice detail there Rich. This one will turn a few heads when she's finished I think.

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The profile of the nose isn't quite right, from the canopy down to the radome their should be a straight line, but as you can see there is a slight curve, so this will need to be corrected.

Hawk200004.jpg

Apologies for pointing this out if it is a bit too late but the problem with the nose line starts with the canopy base/cockpit wall line. This is too steep an angle and as a result, the windshield looks too low and the nose too shallow. All plans and 3 -view line drawings of the 200 are wrong in this area. Below is an outline made from a side shot of a 200 taken with a long focal length lens (minimal distortion). Hope it helps.

hawk200a.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for info Blackjet, I knew from the start that the Neomega conversion had some shape issues, like you said there aren't any decent line drawings of the Hawk 200, infact any info on this jet is pretty scant really. I think I'm going to have too live with it now as the front fuselage is pretty much all buttoned up ready for mating to the rear fuselage, which is exactly what this post is all about...

After quite a lengthy session I've finally finished the rear fuselage. I start by comparing the panel lines of the kit to Hawk 100's as theres a lot more piccies of them and then rescribing a few incorrect and also going over the rest. I also got to work with a MDC rivetting tool, I gave the panel lines a wash with some oils so they would show up on the pics.

Hawk200023.jpg

Next up was a rub down with some wet and dry to remove the orange peel effect that the Airfix kit suffers from this was followed by getting it ready to accept a few of CMK's resin goodies. This involved cutting out the airbrake housing, removing the rudder and widing Airfix's awful exhaust. After this I added the CMK bits, lots of dry fitting and swearing :fuyou_2: but got there in end. I then cut some evergreen 0.13mm sheet to size to use for the formation light mountings, you'll notice that they don't match up with the Hawk's in the real world, but there is a reason for this, more on this later. I also added a long (semi circular in profile) thingy on the under side. Anybody know what this is???

I then modified the Flare/ECM box located under the vertical stabilizer, The ones provided by Airfix are a bit toylike so these had to go. I had a dig around in the spares box and found some Flare units from a Kinetic F-16, these fit perfectly. I then added the MAWS (Misslie Approach Warning System) sensors from a piece of rod sanded to shape. this was followed by adding the Para brake housing door hinges and the collsion light mounting.

Hawk200028.jpg

Finally I added some Archer resin rivet decals to represent the raised rivets found on Hawks around the exhaust area.

Hawk200021.jpg

Hawk200020.jpg

Hawk200023.jpg

Hawk200024.jpg

Drop tanks with some detail added

Hawk200026.jpg

And finally the wing fences were added, I cut some slots into the wings chord wise, then inserted some plastic card.

Hawk200018.jpg

Then sanded to shape, jobs a good un!

Hawk200019.jpg

Now to put the whole thing together, will I get it finished in time for the deadline, probably not but I'll give it go :winkgrin:

Cheers

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That's a pretty comprehensive update Rich. Lot of good work going on there.

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