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Airfix 1/72 Hawk Red Arrows

The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton. The team was formed in late 1964 as an all-RAF team, replacing a number of unofficial teams that had been sponsored by RAF commands.

The Red Arrows took delivery of the British Aerospace Hawk trainer in the autumn of 1979 and during that winter the pilots converted from the Gnat and worked up a display using the new aircraft in time for the 1980 display season. Since being introduced into service with the Red Arrows, the Hawk has taken the Team on tours across the world.

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  • Kit # A02005
  • Model Scale 1:72
  • Number of Parts 59
  • Dimensions (mm) L163 x W130
  • Skill Level 1
  • MSRP $8.99 USD

The kit:

Here I present you the Airfix Red Arrows  Hawk in 1/72 scale.  This is a nice out of the box kit (with some flaws) for beginners or weekend warriors. This model kit is the old tooling of the new Airfix Red Arrows kit # A02005A.

The major visible change between the old kit and the new ‘A’ version kit is the clear canopy. The Kit A02005 has a 2 piece canopy should you decide to display it with the canopy open.

According to the folks at Airfix in UK thru an email, the ‘A’ version should be the definitive model to build your Red Arrows Hawk while the non ‘A’ version is pretty much the regular T.1 kit.

The new ‘A’ sports a one piece canopy requiring surgery should you decide to display it canopy open.  Cutting the canopy open is a delicate job for some advanced model builders moreover for beginners.

In *my personal opinion*, the one piece canopy leaves beginners with one display option. Why not leaving the clear part as a 2 piece option is something I’d like to know. I don’t think they present a challenge to beginners because the fit on the non ‘A’ version is as Tony the Tiger would say,  GREAT!

If you’re one those model kit builders like me that prefer acrylics, this is a project than can easily be tackled in a weekend. The fuselage halves fit perfectly as well as the wing to fuselage fit. The cockpit is very basic, but there is cockpit set from Eduard that will satisfy you super detailing cravings.

Although my scale of choice is 1/48, my scale of choice for in-flight display is 1/72. The extra parts provided to display this model in kit will fall in place gracefully. However, the landing gear covers will require some plastic trimming in the landing gear wells. If you are to display this model in flight, this should be addressed before committing the wing parts to cement. It can be done after the fact, but it will be more tricky.

I should have known better but I’ve got distracted. Do not set in place parts # 8, 9, 12, & 13B (step 11). They will be on your way while adding the bottom decals.

Painting & Weathering:

Using my Aztek A470 airbrush, I painted the cockpit with Tamiya XF-20 Medium Gray and XF-7 Red. There’s no Humbrol Acrylics in my area, my local hobby shop has only Humbrol enamels which I stay away from as much as possible.

The entire model received a coat of Alclad 2 Aqua Gloss (ALC 600) to prepare the surface for decals. This is where I did hit disappointment. Decals included with this kit are very poor. The print quality is very low, they are very prone to silvering and don’t respond well to decal solutions including Walthers. To make it worse, one has to put the roundels by colors. Blue over white and red over blue.

The model received a NATO camo pin wash from AK Interactive (AK 075) and sealed with a final coat of  Testors Gloss Cote varnish.

I am very pleased with the final output. I just hope that Aifix have addressed the poor quality decals issue with their newest Red Hawks version. As with the Blue Angels, the Red Hawks are national pride. They DO deserve the best quality markings ala their 1/32 WRC autos.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

Even with the slight decals disappointment, I would recommend this kit to a friend.

Review sample courtesy of my wallet.

Thanks to Darrell Burge at Airfix UK for his speedy email response.

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George Collazo
George Collazo
George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.
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