Airfix 1/72 BAE Hawk 100 Series Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||August 2009||Manufacturer||Airfix|
|Subject||BAE Hawk 100 Series||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||3073||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, colorful markings||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$11.79|
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.
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.
As with any successful design, new variants and capabilities are added to the basic airframe to render new models and such was the case with the Hawk. One radical adaptation allowed the design to catapult from and trap aboard aircraft carriers as the T-45 Goshawk. Another was to up-arm the aircraft to serve as a low cost fighter as well as a fighter lead-in trainer, this launching the Hawk 100 series.
Airfix has really been getting its product portfolio back onto store shelves globally after it was purchased by Hornby. If you have been modeling a while, you know that Airfix has quite an extensive kit portfolio that extends across most popular scales.
Here is a new release in the Hawk series, entitled BAE Systems Hawk, this kit provides for the Hawk 120 and Hawk 132. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts.
The kit has a new fuselage with the new nose and fin we well as a new wing. The kit captures the interesting variations to the basic Hawk design and makes me wonder what other interesting capabilities BAE Systems can cram into this petite airframe.
Some of the great attractions of Airfix's kits are:
- Easy to build
- Great kits for younger modelers
- Great kits for AMS modelers to take to the next step
- Great value given the low retail prices
The kit has the following options/features:
- Basic cockpit with instrument panel and side console details presented as decals
- Two variants of cockpit provided
- Optional seated aircrew
- Front and rear cockpit HUDs
- Provisions for gear up or gear down
- Positionable canopy
- Positionable ventral speed brake
- Optional air refueling probe
- Centerline gun pod
- External fuel tanks on the inboard pylons
- 4 x AIM-9L/M on outboard pylons and wingtip rails
Markings are provided for three examples:
- Hawk Mk.120D, ZJ951, BAE Systems Demonstrator, 2008
- Hawk Mk.128, ZK010, BAE Systems, 2008
- Hawk Mk.132, A3488, Indian AF, 2009
The decals are very nicely done and feature a complete set of maintenance stenciling for the airframe and stores.
This is a nice looking kit and I see that Airfix has the Mk.100 available in 1/48 scale. This provides the modeler with a very interesting set of options in both popular scales though I do hope that Airfix will update their 1/48 kit with these variant markings and options as well.
My sincere thanks to Airfix for this review sample!