Kinetic 1/32 Hawk 100 Series Advanced Trainer Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2013||Manufacturer||Kinetic Models|
|Subject||Hawk 100 Series Advanced Trainer||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||3206||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nicely scribed detailing, interesting options||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$69.95|
When the RAF sought a replacement trainer aircraft for the Folland Gnat, Hawker Siddeley put forward a design that would become the now-common Hawk. First flown in 1974, the Hawk has become the primary and advanced trainer aircraft for a number of air arms around the world. There is even one version modified for aircraft carrier operations to train naval aviators how to cat and trap on pitching and rolling runways at sea, this version being the T-45 Goshawk. Like many aircraft companies, Hawker Siddeley was assimilated into a larger comany, in this case, British Aerospace (BAE).
In RAF service, the Hawk was designated as the T.1 and as austerity measures grew in the Ministry of Defence, the RAF couldn't afford to keep the number of air defense interceptors online that it once did during the Cold War, so the number of front line interceptors was reduced and the Hawk T.1A configuration was created to augment those interceptors by carrying a pair of AIM-9L Sidewinders to engage any adversaries that broke through the front lines.
The idea of armed Hawks drew the interest of many smaller air arms that couldn't afford generation 3 or 4 fighter aircraft. Having a simple to maintain, simple to operate platform that can operate air-to-air and air-to-ground led BAE to develop the 100 series of Hawk trainers, many of which also adopted more modern glass cockpits and avionics. This concept was well-received and led to the 200 series of Hawks which are single-seat, low-cost combat aircraft.
I was happy to see more companies produce the Hawk in different scales and over the last few years, we've seen an interesting number of these in 1/48 scale. Last year also saw the first Hawk in 1/32 scale from Revell AG, though this was a Red Arrows example and didn't have provisions for a T.1A in line service. According to the kit release schedules, Revell AG has announced the T.1/T.1A to be released later this year. So with the Revell kit already in the market, is there room for another Hawk in 1/32 scale? Definitely. Let's take a look:
Kinetic has released their new Hawk kit in 1/32 and unlike the Revell AG kit, this new offering is the 'modern' Hawk. Where the Revell AG (and many other kits) base their tooling on the blunt-nosed T.1/T.1A and Hawk 50/60 airframes, Kinetic tooled their kit after the 100 series Hawks which feature a longer nose for more avionics and sensors, a revised rear fuselage and an ECM fairing on the top of the vertical stabilizer. The 100 series also has seven external stores stations - four under the wings, one on the centerline, and two on the wingtips. Where the T.1A could carry two AIM-9Ls, the 100 series can carry at least four. Take a look at the image below and you can see the outline differences between the Kinetic fuselage (gray) and the Revell AG fuselage (red).
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Positionable canopy
- Intake ducts to an engine compressor face
- Positionable landing gear
- Positionable flaps
- Choice of 'normal' wingtips or missile rails
- 2 x AIM-9L/M (for the wingtip rails)
- 1 x Centerline Fuel Tank
Marking options included in the kit:
- CT-155/Hawk Mk.115, 15 Wing, RCAF, Moose Jaw, Canada, 2003
- Hawk Mk.128, BAE Systems, Lancashire, UK, 2008
- Hawk Mk.120D, BAE Systems, Warton, UK, 2008
- Hawk Mk.127, 76 Sqn, RAAF, Williamtown, Australia, 2003
- Hawk Mk.127, 76 Sqn, RAAF, Williamtown, Australia, 2011
As you can see in the images, the kit includes a wide selection of airframe stenciling as well as all of the distinctive markings for all five examples. Not included is the Hawk T.2/Mk.128 entering service with the RAF to replace the T.1/T.1A though you can replicate most of the markings to get one from the decal sheet.
This is a very nice kit that includes some very nice markings out of the box. If you look around online, you'll find a number of very interesting color schemes from other air arms using the 100 series, so variety is definitely one potential of this kit. You'll have to fabricate or adapt your own underwing pylons and underwing fuel tanks to busy up the aircraft or at least add two more AIM-9L/M Sidewinders from your spares.
In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing what else Kinetic has in store for the Hawk series. You'll recall that they recently released the first T-45 Goshawk in 1/48 scale, perhaps we'll see on in this scale as well? The Hawk 200 series would also be very interesting...
For a look at this kit built-up, look here.
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!