Kinetic 1/32 Hawk 100 Series Advanced Trainer Quick Build Review
|Date of Review||December 2013||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Subject||Hawk 100 Series Advanced Trainer||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||32006||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nicely scribed detailing, interesting options||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$69.95|
For some background on this aircraft and a look at this kit out of the box, look here.
Here is a kit I was thrilled to see from Kinetic as this is the ultimate Hawk variant that gives the trainer some serious combat capabilities. Airfix had produced this subject in 1/72 scale (too small for me) and when Kinetic produced this in 1/32 scale about six months ago and it really looked interesting. Well now that I've worked through some of my backlog and I have acquired a second copy of this kit, I decided to do a quick-build to see how this gem goes together.
As with our usual quick-build format, the kit is assembled with no paint or fillers. The only tools and supplies used were Tamiya Extra Thin Liquid Cement, a little cyano for the few photo-etched parts I used, X-Acto knife, Xuron sprue cutters, a few hobby files, and a micro-chisel.
Since this is a relatively simple aircraft in full-scale, so is the kit. Construction starts with the ejection seats and cockpit. The detailing is crisp and nicely done though a touch of Mr. Surfacer 500 will be needed on a few spots on each ejection seat. The kit provides crew restraints in photo-etch but I opted to leave these off for the quick-build. The seats mount into the cockpit tubs along with rudder pedals and control sticks. The instrument panels are mounted to their glare shields but the instructions don't mention when they should be installed. The front glare shield receives a HUD and I prepared the lens, photo-etch frame, and combining glass per the instructions.
The intake ducts are assembled left and right sides, and these are supposed to be installed in their respective fuselage halves and joined with the compressor face when the fuselage halves come together. I decided to do something different. The styrene used in this kit is soft so it has some flex without being brittle. I assembled the intake duct halves, joined the left and right ducts together, installed the compressor face, then clamped the assembly to ensure proper alignment. While this assembly dried, I built up the nosewheel well and the exhaust duct.
If you follow the instructions, you install the cockpit tub, nosewheel well, starboard intake duct, and exhaust duct into the right fuselage half. The left intake duct is mounted into the left fuselage half and the two halves come together. Once the halves are cemented together, you can manipulate the intake duct halves through the bottom of the fuselage and complete that assembly. As I said, I did this a little differently. With the complete intake assembly together, I installed the wishbone-shaped intakes into the right fuselage half along with the cockpit tub and nosewheel well. The exhaust duct was set aside for a moment.
I wasn't sure if this was going to work but I carefully slid the left fuselage half onto the right side and carefully maneuvered the left intake duct into place while avoiding damaging the cockpit tub against their mounts on the inside of the left fuselage half. These all came together with a gratifying 'snap'. I applied liquid cement to the forward fuselage and carefully ran a bead of liquid cement around the nosewheel well to solidify that part. With the rear fuselage still free, I was able to install the tailpipe into its mounts on the left and right fuselage halves and finished gluing the fuselage together.
The reason I took this approach is that the intake assembly also has an APU exhaust duct that exits through a hole in the top of the fuselage. Trying to align all of this from inside the fuselage would have been interesting to say the least, so by assembling it in advance, all of the ducts are correct beforehand. What's more, the completed duct assembly also acted as a clamp to hold the fuselage halves together during gluing. You'll see what I mean when you build this gem for yourself.
The wings are next and I opted to pose the flaps up to see how well these look (just right). The wing fences slide perfectly into place and the main landing gear wells also work out nicely.
The rest of the kit goes together very straightforward. As I mentioned earlier, I couldn't find a step to install the instrument panels and glare shields, so I installed them at the end (they go in just fine from above with some careful maneuvering) and this also prevented the HUD from being damaged during earlier assembly steps.
I did install the centerline fuel tank, but left off the AIM-9L Sidewinders, partly to show off the fact that Kinetic molded rails onto the wingtip missile rails (nice!). I did skip the installation of the various antennas and small details for the sake of time.
There are a few seams that will need a little Mr.Surfacer 500, most notably at the exterior intake seams. The wing-fuselage joint is great on top and will only require a little filler on the underside. Aside from the intake assembly experiment, the kit was built straight from the instructions and there were no problems encountered. Now I'm really looking forward to doing this again with paint and filler once I figure out which color scheme is going to be on the final product. I'm planning on scratchbuilding the inboard and outboard pylons so I can put the gun pod on the centerline, external fuel on the inboards, and AIM-9s on the outboards and wingtips. Now that will look awesome!
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!