Nato Trainer: 1/48th Airfix CT-155 / Hawk 100
The Airfix release of this BAe Hawk 100 trainer in 2003 brought model makers a relatively low-cost kit of a subject that had been missing from the market for some time. The initial release was of the Red Arrows Hawk, followed shortly by this Canadian & Australian version.
Notable Kit Features:
Raised cockpit detail
Usable ejection seats
Pilot figures included
Engraved panels lines
Positionable speed brake
Flaps (plastic slabs) are provided if you want to cut out the kit's closed flaps
On a family trip to the Canadian Prairie Provinces I managed to stop in at 15 Wing, headquartered in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and was lucky enough on my timing to see both CT-155 Hawks & CT-156 Harvard II in the circuit. 15 Wing is the centre of RCAF aircrew training and is also the home of 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (CF Snowbirds). The NFTC and CFTS programs are based on the long and proud Canadian tradition of assisting in training and developing pilots of allied countries which dates back to the First World War and continued with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during WWII. The location was, and still is, ideal for aircrew training due to the distance from Europe (during the wars) and sparsely populated training areas. After I got back home I managed to source this Airfix Hawk kit which had recently been released.
Barely acceptable cockpit detail and ejection seats
Panel lines are a bit wide and lack depth
Parts are generally a bit thick & clunky
Shallow wheel wells (the doors would barely shut never mind contain the gear;) Note: You could carefully cut out the tops of the wells and box in the base with strip styrene to give you a more realistic wheel well depth
Thick canopy glass
Slightly grainy feel to the plastic
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Added seatbelts (although you can't see them through the thick cockpit glass)
The paint scheme for this aircraft is a simple one consisting of a dark blue finish. Not my best paint job as I got some surface texture in the various spray processes however, there is always room for improvement in every kit (and this one had its share). In box markings for a Canadian Hawk 100 was a nice bonus (Australian markings were also included).
The After-Build Report:
The Airfix kit provides a good starting point to build a Hawk trainer at a budget price. If you are looking for an inexpensive kit that gets you a basic Hawk kit then search no further.
Italeri released their version of the Hawk in 2008, which appears to have some refinements (better plastic - especially the canopy, panel lines, photo-etch) on the Airfix kit (albeit at a premium cost). Hobbyboss' 2014 release presents yet another Hawk option for model makers to choose from.
Completed build #96 - December 2006 using the 1/48th scale Airfix #5112 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