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E-2C Kit

Hasegawa 1/72 E-2C Hawkeye 2000 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2009 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject E-2C Hawkeye 2000 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 01561 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $58.95

First Look

E-2C Kit
E-2C Kit
E-2C Kit
E-2C Kit
E-2C Kit
E-2C Kit
E-2C Kit

Carrier-based Airborne Early Warning (AEW) has been a critical mission for the protection of the fleet and in the US Navy, this mission had been performed by existing aircraft modified to perform the mission. Early examples include a radar-equipped A-1 Skyraider and the highly modified S-2 Tracker that was designated E-1 Tracer.

The Grumman E-2 was the first purpose-built aircraft for the AEW mission. First flown in the early 1960s, the Hawkeye has seen numerous improvements in radar, avionics, and additional mission capabilities. In recent years, the E-2C has seen several additional upgrades which are still being deployed into the fleet including: newer engines and an eight-bladed propeller, Link 16 (TADIL-J) and the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). Even with these improvements entering service, the US Navy is currently testing the E-2D Hawkeye which incorporates further capabilties which will enable the Hawkeye to maintain its edge well into the 21st century.

If you wanted to build a Hawkeye, the only real choice for modelers was Fujimi's 1/72 Hawkeyes. I remember building a few of these kits many years ago and was pleased to see that Fujimi was re-releasing the kit again. The kit was a simple build and I was looking for an opportunity to apply some updates to render the Hawkeye 2000. Not long after Fujimi's release announcement, Hasegawa announced their own E-2C Hawkeye kit - things were looking interesting.

The first release announced was a 'standard' E-2C in JASDF markings, this sounded like an easier step to achieve my Hawkeye 2000, but before this kit was even released, Hasegawa subsequently announced this kit - the Hawkeye 2000. Excellent!

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. As with many of their contemporary toolings, this kit was designed in such a way that trees could be swapped to render different variants of the aircraft while retaining the core tooling of the wings, fuselage, and tail section.

The kit starts off with a nice flight deck which is nicely appointed and will look good through the cockpit windows. The underside of the flight deck is the nose gear well (just like the real thing) and this assembly goes inside the fuselage halves. Before closing up the fuselage though, you'll need to add 30 grams of ballast to the nose or this model will be a tail dragger.

With the fuselage halves together, you add the clear dome over the cockpit which enables you to mask off the windows, glue and fill any gaps, and have a nicely integrated cockpit enclosure when you're finished. Nice touch!

The propellers are molded in two parts with four blades each to render the eight-bladed prop. These are nicely done and look like the new props going into the fleet.

The underside of the fuselage has a separate plug to allow for the plain underside found on earlier Hawkeyes, or the CEC disk antenna that is fitted to the underside of some Hawkeyes. Hasegawa didn't include both plugs, just the CEC plug in this kit.

The rotodome and mount go atop the fuselage, and the subassembly with the horizontal and vertical stabs mount to the rear. The kit also features some great detailing with the landing gear and even windshield wipers for the windscreen.

The kit includes decals for one of two E-2Cs:

  • E-2C, 165649, VAW-117, NH/600, USS Nimitz, 2008, CAG aircraft
  • E-2C, 165813, VAW-125, AG/600, USS Dwight D Eisenhower, 2007, CAG aircraft

The decal sheet provides the instrument panel in decal form and a nice set of maintenance stenciling amd walkways to render the model.

This is a nice kit right out of the box and it will be hard to imagine anyone topping this kit in 1/72 scale! It would be safe to say that this Hasegawa tooling is the best Hawkeye available in any scale now.