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Best Red Arrows Hawk in 1/72?


Andre B

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Sorry, this has probably been discused many times... ...but wich Red Arrows Hawk is the best one to get if you want one in 1/72 scale? Italeri or one of Airfix two or three offerings? I knew there are differenses among the Airfix offerings but don't knew wich one is best. I have read about diffren't canopys...

/ Andre

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The best one would depend on what aspects of a kit are of more interest, as both the new Airfix and the Italeri/Revell kit have strengths and weaknesses.

For Airfix, I only consider the new tool. This is the one that was revised at some point with the addition of a single piece canopy and some other detail variations. Personally I prefer the 2-piece canopy, but IIRC there were other modifications that sorted a few issues (like the bad main gear well doors). In any case, I'm not sure you can actually choose one or the other as I believe the revised mould has replaced the previous one.

I would not include the original 1970's Airfix kit, although this had some nice features. It's however now been made a bit obsolete by other kits

Personally my view is:

Accuracy: Airfix all the way! The shape is simply better. The Italeri kit is too square in section in the canopy and behind and the nose is not good. The Italeri canopy also has a thick raised frame that does not exist, very annoying and not easy to remove. If you're building a Red Arrows machine, the airfix kit has another big advantage: it's the only one with a proper accurate smoke pod, IIRC the Italeri kit just suggests to cut the barrel from the gunpod

Detail: Italeri is better, although not perfect at all.... the Italery cockpit looks nicer even if it's not accurate. Not that the Airfix cockpit is accurate, it is not. The wheel wells are better in the Airfix kit, shallow but with some details while the Italeri kit has nothing, but the wheels and the landing gear are way nicer in the Italeri one.

Mould: Italeri ! The airfix kit has very heavy panel lines while the Italeri ones are much less pronounced. The overall finesse of the parts is much better in the Italeri kit, the Airfix one is quite rough

Fit: none is really a winner here, both are decent but both have weak areas. The Airfix kit has a very bad wing-fuselage joint, with the underwing area protruding from the fuselage if built as is. The Italeri kit requires a lot of work to get the cockpit to fit in the right place and needs work on most joints. If you want good fit above all, the old Matchbox kit is still the best but of course is very basic.

Decals: I have never studied the Red Arrows options so I can't comment on their accuracy. In terms of quality IMHO the Airfix decals are better than the Italeri ones but the revell ones are better than both

Price and availability: both are good although the Italeri kit is more likely to be found in a Revell box with Red Arrows decals.

Overall I feel that if accuracy is not a concern, the Italeri kit looks a bit more modern, with the most annoying part being the raised frame on the cockpit.

Personally I am quite a fan of the BAe trainer and I like to have my models as accurate, for this reason I'm basing most of my builds on the Airfix kit, of which I've learnt how to deal with.

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The best one would depend on what aspects of a kit are of more interest, as both the new Airfix and the Italeri/Revell kit have strengths and weaknesses.

For Airfix, I only consider the new tool. This is the one that was revised at some point with the addition of a single piece canopy and some other detail variations. Personally I prefer the 2-piece canopy, but IIRC there were other modifications that sorted a few issues (like the bad main gear well doors). In any case, I'm not sure you can actually choose one or the other as I believe the revised mould has replaced the previous one.

I would not include the original 1970's Airfix kit, although this had some nice features. It's however now been made a bit obsolete by other kits

Personally my view is:

Accuracy: Airfix all the way! The shape is simply better. The Italeri kit is too square in section in the canopy and behind and the nose is not good. The Italeri canopy also has a thick raised frame that does not exist, very annoying and not easy to remove. If you're building a Red Arrows machine, the airfix kit has another big advantage: it's the only one with a proper accurate smoke pod, IIRC the Italeri kit just suggests to cut the barrel from the gunpod

Detail: Italeri is better, although not perfect at all.... the Italery cockpit looks nicer even if it's not accurate. Not that the Airfix cockpit is accurate, it is not. The wheel wells are better in the Airfix kit, shallow but with some details while the Italeri kit has nothing, but the wheels and the landing gear are way nicer in the Italeri one.

Mould: Italeri ! The airfix kit has very heavy panel lines while the Italeri ones are much less pronounced. The overall finesse of the parts is much better in the Italeri kit, the Airfix one is quite rough

Fit: none is really a winner here, both are decent but both have weak areas. The Airfix kit has a very bad wing-fuselage joint, with the underwing area protruding from the fuselage if built as is. The Italeri kit requires a lot of work to get the cockpit to fit in the right place and needs work on most joints. If you want good fit above all, the old Matchbox kit is still the best but of course is very basic.

Decals: I have never studied the Red Arrows options so I can't comment on their accuracy. In terms of quality IMHO the Airfix decals are better than the Italeri ones but the revell ones are better than both

Price and availability: both are good although the Italeri kit is more likely to be found in a Revell box with Red Arrows decals.

Overall I feel that if accuracy is not a concern, the Italeri kit looks a bit more modern, with the most annoying part being the raised frame on the cockpit.

Personally I am quite a fan of the BAe trainer and I like to have my models as accurate, for this reason I'm basing most of my builds on the Airfix kit, of which I've learnt how to deal with.

Is it possible to buy both of them and take the best parts of each one?

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Is it possible to buy both of them and take the best parts of each one?

It is a possibility and the low cost of both the Airfix kit and the Revell rebox of the Italeri one makes this cheaper than buying a single 1/72 kit from many manufacturers...

Personally I would use the Airfix kit as a base and add the more detailed Italeri parts. Off the top of my head I'd use these parts:

- cockpit: IIRC the Italeri tub will not fit as it is, but it's possible to use the consoles and the instrument panels. The instrument panel coamings are also best replaced in the airfix kit. Can't remember which seats are best though

- landing gear legs and wheels

- main wheel well doors

- Exhaust

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I've only ever built the old Matchbox kit as a RA machine (before the mould was slightly upgraded and RA decals included, probably 1980 - and was a little boy then), so I can't comment how any of them build. However, as Airfix kits from the mid to late 70s usually had good fit, if fit is a main concern, that one may be a contender. It is on ebay very often and usually cheaply. There was also one by Fujimi, but contemporary reviews IIRC judged its accuracy as below Airfix's. It's a pity that Airfix never bothered to upgrade their mould from XX154 standard. The new-mould Airfix kit appears to be essentially a scale down of the 48th kit, which in turn was based heavily on the old 72nd kit (as evidenced e.g. by the u/c well details and the pre-prod-standard main wheel doors). The panel line detail on the 48th kit is, in the main, approximative at best and in parts fictitious, so I'd expect the same for its smaller brother.

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  • 4 months later...

At last I've got the Airfix Red Arrows Hawk (A02005A).

I must say that after som carefull sanding the fit is rather good and I like that kit. Those reviews that can be found on the net are also helpull. They point out where the difficult areas are (the intakes for exampel).

But one area could fore sure be better. The instructons concerning the cockpit...

In step 2 and 3 its not clear how to paint the cockpit. Part 10B are mentioned to be painted in Hu 27 (hole cockpittube an not just the floor?). The sidewall is said to be painted in Hu 166 and the instrumentpanels Hu 165. The seat re old to be painted in Hu 86, 165 and 33. What about part 3D inte step 7?

Can someone point out what colours are correct concerning the cockpit? And what about the landing gears? Hu 166?

/ Andre

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