Sometimes I see a modelers work and I have to do a double take. You know the kit they used, and you see the final outcome, but you have a hard time wrapping your head around the fact that the results you see come from the kit you know. This is one of those time.
Agape forum member Michael Grosbach (Michael G) did an amazing job of super-detailing this old Hawk kit. Proof-positive that with a little time and hard work, you can get some amazing results from those older kits. Awesome stuff Michael!
I purchased this Hawk kit in a time when I wasn’t really looking for yet another box to join the ‘to do’ pile of boxes. It was an e-auction find, and in the end, it cost more for the PE set I found for it than the kit itself. I can say that I recall being drawn to the ‘sturdy’ look of its design, as an early overwing WW2 aircraft with fixed spats. When I discovered the odd shape of its wings and their connection at canopy, I was even more intrigued and it looked to provide an interesting build – coupled with the seemingly complex Eduard PE set.
Of note, I did try to re-sell this kit auction style recently, along with the detail set, and after receiving zero ‘watchers’ through its two auction cycles, I ended the offer. This fated that I was going to have to build it…in sympathy (like as an addition to the Island of Misfit Toys?)
Here is the outcome.
I liked the way the wheels look without the cover on the wheel spat, and though it means more work, I will depict this way. Next, the ‘winglet’ that holds the bomb armament is an option as well, and though I like the smoother look of the spat without it, I have decided to include it, with a single 250lb bomb added to each spat. This will necessitate making a rail mounting rack for each bomb. In addition, the small rear fuselage bomb rack shown on the kit box I have chosen not to include, to help keep the rear profile more smooth. There is need to modify the kit wheel spats to have a more realistic headlamp, as these are a prominent feature of this craft, and the PE set includes a ring rim to help with this.
I am marking this craft as part of the RAF No. 26 Sqn. with a fictional serial (to use decals I have.)
As mentioned before, the kit cockpit parts are very basic, and in the end only 3 parts were used – the fuel tank/seat mount; the ammo shelf/gun mount, and the single Vickers gun itself. The PE set used is Eduard 48-203, which was a bit difficult to find, but in auction trolling I came up with one. Glad I did, as this set was quite complex and delicate, but neat to assemble and paint up. My goal was to preassemble as much as I could for the interior to be stand-alone, then install it to half of the fuselage. With Eduard’s instructions, it left a bit to the imagination how the main parts went together with each other, rather than just being attached to the fuselage sides. A bit of a gamble, but with some dryfitting along the way, it paid off. The end fit of the whole pre-assembly with the fuselage sides matched up was nice and tight. Just a bit of scratchbuilding done here to beef-up some of the structure, and give good attach points later for the final glue-up:
To wrap up, with the cockpit finished, it is installed and the fuselage assembled, with cowling and prop added. The wings are a unique para-assembly that has the mid-canopy piece as the anchor. So the upper half of each wing is attached to tabs on the canopy piece, and the lower half of the wings sandwiches the tabs. This whole assembly is then attached to the fuselage canopy pieces, and to stabilize all, the wing struts connect the wing to the fuselage directly.
I will say that I was concerned how all might align and attach later with this arrangement of canopy and struts, but it all worked out just right for this kit. The struts have specific attachment points at the wing and at the fuselage, so no guesswork there.
Markings and finishes
As mentioned earlier, the plan for this kit was to have it be part of RAF 26Sqn. The ‘RM’ code assigns it to this squadron, and the ‘X’ would designate this particular aircraft. The Serial N3310 would be placed near the tail (small), and some aircraft had this largely depicted underwing as well, along with small roundel. These couple of photos show: future + decals + future applied:
Lastly, final finish coats applied – kept glossy underwing, front fuselage and wingtop fronts dulled to quite matte, then rear fuselage, tail rudder and wingtops (fabric?) a more semi-matte finish. These photos are sans rear canopy in open position, as I had it being stretched open a bit while I was shooting (and I honestly forgot!) – will post a few with it installed in follow-up.