1/48 Airfix BAE Hawk

A Tail (Tale) of Two Dragons

by Leslie Choy

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I first came across this Hawk scheme after reading Model Aircraft Monthly (MAM) Vol 3 Iss 06. Immediately I wanted this to be in my collection. In the process of my research, I came across the black scheme of the same aircraft in the ARC walk around section. From the MAM issue, this aircraft was painted black sometime in 1994. With Model Alliance decal (MAS-489001) offerings in both schemes. I decided to build both.

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Both Hawks were constructed straight out of the box with the additional of NEOMEGA HAWK T1a cockpit (C54). After reading some comments about the undercarriage doors, I decided to scratch build mine. The nose undercarriage door hinges were thinned down and I added some rod linkages with stretched sprue. Two spoiler block at each wing were also scratch build. Wires were added to the main undercarriages for brake lines.

Both Hawks were painted using Gunze paints, but the pale blue (FS 15044, Gunze 326) was mixed with a little white to get the blue right. Future was used in the usual process.

When the decaling start, that's when the "fun" began. Each decal of the dragon came in a single piece! The adhesion qualities of the decal was excellent, even without using setting solution. It got stuck together and to the model very quickly, eventually copious amount of water was used to prevent it from sticking together. While trying to get the position of the decal right. I broke some parts of the wing, claws and tail into many pieces, it was irrecoverable. I managed touched it up with paint at a later part. Some setting solution was used to coax the corners in. The first dragon took me almost an hour!

On my next attempt, I cut the decal into three manageable places; tail, body and neck. This time it was done with some ease but the decal jointing lines were visible at a closer inspection which I'm prepared to accept. Hawk stencils by Model Alliance (MA-48116) was used as the kit supplied was found unsuitable.

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The end result of this two Hawks was very satisfying. For those out there who are planning to do this scheme, be prepared to stretch your patience a little more.

Leslie

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Photos and text by Leslie Choy