Airfix 1/48 Hawk T.Mk.1 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2011||Manufacturer||Airfix|
|Kit Number||5121||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$23.00|
In the mid-1960s, the RAF was looking for a new generation of advanced training aircraft that would replace the venerable Folland Gnat and the two-seat Hawker Hunters. Hawker Siddeley developed the model 1182 which was officially dubbed 'Hawk' by the RAF. During the aircraft's development, Hawker Siddeley was one of several companies merged to create British Aerospace in 1977, which later merged with Marconi Electronic Systems to become today's BAE Systems.
This rugged tandem-seat subsonic trainer is powered by a 6500 pound thrust turbofan engine which allows the aircraft to sustain Mach 0.8 in level flight and can safely achieve Mach 1.15 in a dive.
Initially roled as an advanced trainer, the Hawk provides the student pilot with their first pure-turbine flight time before advancing on to high-performance (supersonic) types. The Hawk turned out to be a versatile airframe that could accommodate weapons stores for training as well as serving as an inexpensive lightweight combat aircraft. In RAF service, these armed trainers could carry a pair of Sidewinder missiles and a centerline gunpod which would have been used as an augmentation point-defense fighter to accompany the Tornado F.3 in wartime.
Since the time it was first rolled out as a pure trainer, the Hawk has been developed into a variety of single-seat and two-seat combat aircraft, and one variant is even capable of aircraft carrier flight operations as the US Navy's T-45 Goshawk.
Airfix has released another boxing of their 1/48 BAe Hawk kit with some new markings to highlight the Hawk Trainer Mk.1A which can serve as a low-cost interceptor as well as fighter/trainer. First released a few years ago in the Red Arrows boxing ( kit number 5111), this release provides the same five parts trees molded in light gray styrene plus a single tree of clear parts.
The ejection seats are usable and do not have any harness or seat belt details since it is assumed you'll use the two crew figures provided in the kit. If you don't crew up your aircraft, or if you are building the Red Arrows Hawk with only the front seat occupied, you'll want to get some aftermarket seat belts/harnesses for the unoccupied seat(s).
The instrument panels are depicted with a radar scope in the middle of the panel. While one version of the Hawk did get a radar, this one isn't it. You'll need to tweak the instrument panels and side consoles to represent a proper T.1 trainer.
For whatever reason, the pattern makers decided to set the depth of the main wheel wells to barely enough to close the doors as long as you don't retract the gear. I've seen some fuss about this in other reviews, but you can carefully cut out the tops of the wells, box in the outline with strip styrene, and place the well top atop the styrene strips. This will give you a more realistic wheel well depth with little fuss.
The kit has the flight control surfaces and wing flaps molded closed/neutral, but the kit has provisions to drop the flaps with separate flaps provided.
Among the features/options in the kit:
- Ventral speed brake is positionable
- Flaps are positionable
- Canopy is positionable
- Optional crew figures
On the external stores list:
- Smoke Pod (not used in this kit)
- 2 x Gun Pods
- 4 x AIM-9L Sidewinder
- 2 x External Fuel Tanks
The kit provides markings for three examples:
- Hawk T.1, XX336, 19 Sqn/RAF, RAF Valley, 2006
- Hawk T.1, XX170, NFSF/RN, Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, 2007
- Hawk T.1, XX289, 63 Sqn/RAF, RAF Chivenor, 1990
Decals include airframe stenciling and stencils for the AIM-9 Sidewinders.
When this kit first appeared, it was a nice kit for the price. AMS modelers can choose to use this kit as a starting point for a detailed Hawk or go with the Italeri kit which has cleaner/distortion-free canopy/windscreen and photo-etched details for the cockpit. Today the Italeri kit is still twice the price of the Airfix kit, so it is still up to you to decide whether the Italeri kit is twice as nice as this kit.
Recommended for basic modelers.