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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

French Hawk: 1/48th Hobbycraft Hawk 75

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

Released in 1992 the Hobbycraft kit is fairly basic. Nice molding with decent surface details. The cockpit is simple, but with enough features to be quite presentable. Definitely an older but very buildable and typically inexpensive kit that can be found in boxings with a multitude of national marking choices.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Basic cockpit details with raised detail instrument panel

  • Nicely engraved panel lines

  • Simple construction with few parts

  • Decent engine

Build Inspiration:

I built up three French kits after reading up a bit on the French pilots in WWII. Edmond Marin-la-Meslee was the 5th highest-scoring French ace of WWII with 16 aerial victories. Distinguishing himself during the Battle of France he went on to lead the first escadrille (GC 1/5). After the armistice, GC I/5 was evacuated to Saint-Denis-du-Sig and later to Rabat, Morocco, but did not participate in much action against the British.

Following Operation Torch, Edmond went on to fly American aircraft such as the P-39 and P-47 against the Axis Powers again. Unfortunately Marin-la-Meslee was KIA (February 4, 1945) near Colmar, when he was shot down during a strafing attack in his P-47 Thunderbolt. The aircraft suffered a direct hit from a 40 mm anti-aircraft shell and crashed.

Heads-Up Report:

  • The engine sits too far back causing the prop to hit the cowling or cowl machine gun barrels. Add a 2mm spacer to move the engine mount forward

  • Gap fill required where the lower wing joins the front and rear parts of the fuselage (styrene sheet fill recommended here)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Painted French tri-colour tail

  • Added seatbelts made from painted masking tape strips

End Result:

This kit was an easier than expected build (admittedly I had low expectations going in) without any real challenging issues. For such an inexpensive kit I was pleased with the end result. The paint scheme for this aircraft was the standard French camouflage consisting of French Brown FS 30045 / French Green 34097 / French Blue 35190 upper side with French Underside 35526. A "Salt Weathering" technique was used on the paint application to give it a worn appearance. I sprayed a bit heavy in places causing the salt to be absorbed into the paint, which created a further distressed paint look especially in the brown pigments, but it seems to have added to the effect. Further oil washes were used to bring out the panel lines and add some subtle grime.

The After-Build Report:

This Hobbycraft kit is recommended in my books for novice as well as experienced model makers. Often maligned, this Hobbycraft Hawk kit is pretty decent and you have to take price into account, so the value for money is there in my opinion. The low parts count suit it well for a beginner and any issues are relatively easy to fix. For the experienced kit builder you can easily use this kit as a base and add all kinds of detail. Wolfpack makes a resin set for the cockpit and engine if you want to add detail and can find one. You could also drop the flaps and separate the control surfaces to get a more realistic build. There are a multitude of marking possibilities with this aircraft in its P-36 and Hawk 75 variants which were flown by many air forces during this time period.

Completed build #163 - August 2013 using the 1/48th scale Hobbycraft #1546 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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