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Mike

Hawk T.1A - 1:32 Revell

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Hawk T.1A
1:32 Revell


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Originally designed as a replacement to the Gnat advanced trainer by Hawker Siddeley, the Hawk first flew in 1974, and started life as a private venture, much like a number of other widely known and loved aircraft. It was designed from the beginning for the training arena with two seats, but the ability to carry offensive armament was also important both for weapons training, and for the improvement of export sales to developing nations that couldn't perhaps justify or afford a single-roled aircraft.

It entered service with the RAF in 1976, only two years after its maiden flight, and has remained in service with many updates ever since. A number of variants have been developed since then, mostly for export, including single-seat light-weight fighter Mark 200, and the highly adapted T-45 Goshawk that is used by the US Navy for carrier training. The T1A is a modified version of the original Hawk that can carry weapons such as a gun-pod on the centreline, and a pair of Sidewinder Air-to-Air missiles. This type is also used by the Red arrows with some minor modifications to carry a smoke pod instead of the gun pod.

The T.2 is currently in development for the RAF, with a glass cockpit and improved engine, based on the specification of the Mk.120 and 127 used by the South Africans and Australians respectively.

The Kit
This is a re-boxing of the initial Red Arrows boxing reviewed here. The plastic is almost identical apart from the colour, which is a much more eye-friendly light grey. In addition to the sprues included in the earlier kit, there are two additional identical sprues that contain the weapons absent from the Arrows boxing. In total, there are 12 sprues of light grey styrene in the end opening box, plus a clear sprue, instructions and decals. The first thing I noticed after the nicer sprue colour is that the instruction booklet seems to have been printed on a better quality of paper, rather than the recycled toilet-roll stuff of yore. The enhanced white of the paper makes everything easier to read, and the greyscale picture on the front of the booklet looks better as a result. Inside the booklet more changes are visible, and although still a little busy, the line-art seems better due to the nicer paper, and there is a CGI rendering of the ejector seat to aid in painting. Maybe they've been listening to me moaning?

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The cockpit is identical, with decals for the instrument panels that are laid over the raised detail on the panel, and decals for the seatbelts on the ejection seat, which look a bit simplistic and two-dimensional if I'm honest. The 'pit and nose-well frames install in the front to support the nose gear bay, a set of full-depth intakes and exhaust tube are slotted in, and the fuselage halves are mated. The intake lips are added to the front of the intake bulges on either side of the fuselage, and the integrated fin is given a rudder and tail "hump" underneath. Here there is an issue with the shape of the top of the fuselage under the tail, which can be addressed by adding a little height to the rear and sanding it to shape using your references.

The wings are ostensively the same, having just the gear bay walls added before they are closed up, although you will need to drill out the flashed over holes for the wing pylons if you're mounting any of the supplier weapons. The flap actuators are installed in the slots in the wing, as are the wing-fences, and the ailerons can be posed offset if you should feel the need. The landing gear is identical, but with the review sample, the original issue of a short-shot nose gear leg hasn't resurfaced, although there is a fair amount of flash in that area for a new(ish) tooling. The bay doors are all supplied as a single part, which you cut up for the wheels-down option, and simply remove the tabs if you are modelling the kit wheels-up.

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The canopy and windscreen are supplied as separate parts, and are very clear out of the box, although mine had both come loose from their sprue during transit. It's not a massive issue, but as they are so large and clear, it's worth checking they aren't loose and protecting them if you're not planning on building the kit immediately.

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Now for the fun part. The weapons. The smoke pod is still in the box, so if you're minded and hate red styrene, you can still do an Arrows bird, providing you can pinch the decals off someone. The gun pod was also in the original boxing, but the new boxing has two identical sprues that carry a pair of rocket pods and drop tanks between them, plus the pylons on which they hang. The instructions show the rockets outboard and the tanks inboard, but your references will come in handy to pick a realistic load. It's a shame that no Sidewinders are supplied, but you can pick up a pair of AIM-9Ls if you fancy hanging a pair from your Hawk.

Markings
The decals are "printed in Italy", so probably not Cartograf as their name is usually used, but they appear to be well printed with good colour density, and good overall register. The pink and blue of the low-viz markings seems to be a fraction out, but it's only really evident on the fin flashes, which can be fixed by trimming the overhangs. As mentioned earlier, the seatbelts and instrument panels are supplied as decals, as are the det-cords that break the canopy just prior to ejection, but these have been proved to be a perfectly useable solution in practice, despite my reservations. There are two schemes on the sheet, one in black, and one in grey. From the box you can build one of the following:

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  • XX226 of 74 Squadron RAF Valley, participating in 1997 Tigermeet, RAF Wattisham - black with tiger motif on the tail and stylised tiger triangles on the intakes.
  • XX284 of 151® Squadron/2 Tactical Weapons Unit, RAF Chivenor, 1992 - Barley Grey over Medium Sea Grey.

The colours aren't named, but they are given as their correct BS381C codes, which is handy if you don't use or have access to Revell paints. Barley Grey is a mix of two Revell colours, which is never an ideal solution, especially when so many paint manufacturers have one readily available from the tin.

Conclusion
It has taken quite a while for this kit to hit the shelves, and I think that Revell may have missed a trick in not having it as the initial release, although you can't dismiss the pull of the Red Arrows artwork on any box. There are a few issues with the kit, as has been pointed out on most internet forums, but there are no real "deal breakers" that should put of any potential builder, and a huge proportion will doubtlessly be built out of the box without a care about the rear fuselage or the missing vortex generator. That might sound a little negative, but it's still a good kit, and builds up into a very convincing model of the Hawk. Heck, 1:32 builders have been waiting for an injection moulded Hawk for years, and now they have two boxings of the same good quality kit!

Highly recommended.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit logo-revell-2009.gif

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Picked one up on a bit of a whim yesterday, nice looking kit. Only negative for me was there was no clear sprue in the box!! A quick email to the ever efficient dept x and one is on the way from Germany.

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Those Tiger meet markings are wrong. Earlier it had the solid white 75 on the fin, when I saw it at Fairford in 1997 it outline yellow 75 on the fin so the black came through underneath, and had the Sqn Leaders name on the nose. It is also missing the white on the outside of the roundel. Pretty sure the markings are right for the mid 1990's but not 1997. Tigermeet 1997 was at RAF Fairford not RAF Wattisham

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Julien

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Nice looking kit! Both revell and airfix they seem to be giving us very good but reasonable priced models!

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Decals marked with "z" printed by Zanchetti / Italy, marked with "C" printed by Cartograf / Italy.

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