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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Airfix BAe Hawk T2

Having finished something like 14 BAe Hawk T1s, I decided it was about time to do a Hawk T2. This was not an easy decision, since I feel that the T2 has done serious damage to the attractive Hawk lines. That clown shoe nose, that clunky tail. Still, if one is going to keep up with current RAF types, you sometimes have to accept the unpalatable.

Recently, Xtradecal came to the rescue with the first set of squadron markings for a T2 (other examples had flown in basic markings with no squadron bars). It was part of one of their very popular squadron history decal sheets, this example being for 4 Squadron. The paint scheme is still basic black.

This was actually the first T2 I have built, and decided to use the new-tool Airfix kit. I have put together a number of T1s with this new tooling, and thought the fit and engineering was first-rate. The T2 variant differences – fuselage, outer wings, nose gear doors, and a variety of new antennae – are covered in two new sprues. They fit as well as their predecessors, and it was no time before I was ready for paint.

Given that the paint scheme is really one color, that didn’t take long either. I stopped experimenting with tan colors for the internal canopy seal and went back to my original choice of a light grey, and I think it looks measurably better. And the decals went on with no issues, working their way into panel lines with a small application of AeroSet.

This has to be a record for minimal time between a marking scheme’s introduction and the issuance of a decal sheet. Hopefully the RAF will continue to work with Hannants to get these new markings available quickly. We could use a set for the 95-Y Hawk in Lancaster markings, or the anniversary Eurofighter that recently appeared in public. I’m sure both are on the radar screens of at least Xtradecal, and I’ll hopefully get them applied to a model shortly after they become available. While we’re at it, I wish someone would do the very slick markings that were used on a South African Hawk T1 during the airshow season in 2010. Most of the job is masking the colors, but there appear to be a couple of badges that would be required. It wouldn’t be hard to stash them on an unused corner of one sheet.  

This is completed model #398 (#23 for the year), finished in May of 2012.

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