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Revell BAe Hawk T1A Red Arrow Model Kit Review

Article by Paul Nortness

The BAe Hawk is one of those cool little planes that does not get enough respect in the modeling community. There are very few model kits out there of this subject and they are all in the smaller scales. Revell came to the rescue with their release of the 1:32nd Hawk used by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows.

The BAe Hawk T.1A is primarily used as a trainer by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, but is exported to other countries who use it as a fighter and strike aircraft. The United States Navy also uses a modified version of the Hawk they have designated as the T-45 Goshawk.

Upon opening the box, the first thing you notice is the 143 plastic parts are molded in red. While not a big deal if you intend on using the supplied Red Arrow's decals, it will prove difficult if you decide to use an aftermarket set of decals as red is a very hard color to cover. The surface detail on the kit is nicely done with a smooth finish.

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All of the panel lines and rivets are finely engraved. While the detail does appear to be lacking, the panel lines appear to be fairly accurate after checking my resources. There also appears to be a slight "pebbled" texture to the surface of the plastic. It feels smooth to the touch though, however it would not be a bad idea to lightly sand the surface to ensure a smooth paint job.

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At first glance, the cockpit does not look like it has much detail. They include limited raised detail and several decals for dials, etc. When combined with paint, the decal dials look excellent and make for a very pleasing looking and authentic cockpit. The ejection seats are very nicely detailed as well. The kit includes decals for seatbelts. While the decals work fine for instrumentation, they fail miserably when trying to simulate a three dimensional object. A better solution would be an aftermarket set of photo etch seatbelts, or scratch building seatbelts from Tamiya Tape.

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The kit also includes a complete intake trunk that goes all the way to the compressor face as well as a detailed tail pipe (sorry Trumpeter fans, no complete engine here!) The intake trunks are not seamless, but that can be fixed with the use of some household latex paint. After assembly, just tape one end of the intake closed and pour in white latex paint until the intake is filled up. Let it sit for about ten minutes and pull the tape off (making sure you are holding the intake over the can of paint of course!) The latex paint is thick enough to fill in the seam and give you a gorgeous white seamless intake. For those who are a little less daring, you can always apply putty with a craft stick and sand the seams smooth with a sanding stick. But it is just more fun to play with paints!

Given that the subject of this kit is for the RAF Red Arrows flight team, the kit contains no ordnance whatsoever. However, they do include a center line fuel tank. It is my understanding that an armed version of the Hawk is in the works. Hopefully, if that is the case they will choose another color other than red for the plastic! The kit also includes the Red Arrow's smoke generators for the back of the aircraft.

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The clear parts of the kit are very nicely done. The canopies are nicely shaped and have no seam lines. While the plastic is a little thicker, it should look great after a bath in some Future. The clear sprue also includes lens for wing tip Nav lights and the nose lens as well as a glass "bulkhead" that separates the front and back cockpits.

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This model kit's decal sheet is what really stands out. The sheet features markings for any of the twelve Hawks flown by the Red Arrows. The markings are sharp and clear and printed in register. These aircraft are pretty clean and devoid of many of the data markings present on standard "service" aircraft and the decals reflect that. The decal sheet also includes the detonator cords for the canopy ejection system.

This kit is an excellent bargain at $39.95. Revell really has a winner here and are fast becoming the king of budget big scale. This is a great kit for any modeler who is interested in trying out a large 32nd scale kit. It has plenty of options for detailing, while it isn't so big you have to build an addition to the house to display it. While I had initially hoped to convert this to a US Navy T-45, the provided Red Arrows scheme will really stand out and look great on the shelf. I highly recommend picking one of these kits up.

Have fun and happy modeling!

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