1/72 Testors T-45 Goshawk

by Arrin Holt

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  2007 USMC Birthday (1775)

 

     I have always liked the appearance of the US Navy's red/orange and white trainer aircraft.   A while ago I saw a copy of the Testors 1/72 T-45 at my local hobby shop, and within a few days I got a copy of the issue of  Combat Aircraft magazine with a story about the Goshawk.  I quickly returned to the shop, traded a portion of my meager modeling allowance for the kit and immediately decided that it had the potential it needed to make it to the top of my build pile. 
 
     I have only built a couple of Testors kits and have generally found them to be disappointingly clunky and riddled with fit issues.  With this experience I had low expectations and expected a lot of work ahead of me, but I had a great set of markings, so I decided to give it a go.  Wow!  I was very pleasantly surprised by the level of detail and dry fitting the major pieces gave me hope.  The fit was remarkably good and even the ejection seats looks passable for this scale!

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As a former US Marine, I have a soft spot in my heart (and on my display shelves) for any aircraft with MARINES on the side.  

The issue of Combat Aircraft article included a shot or two of a T-45 with the ever coveted MARINES emblazoned on the fuselage.  I knew just had to build mine with those markings!  With a little online research, I turned up a few walkarounds of more T-45's with my choice of markings and decided that I could churn a set of decals out of my ALPS printer.  I used some of the kit markings, such as the national insignia and intake warning triangles, but all of the titles, tail code, grilles, stencils, and other decals were printed out of my ALPS.

 
     I struggled over how to represent the canopy detonation cord.  The cord is nicely molded into the canopy, but the kit didn't come with a nifty little det cord decal like Hasegawa's Harrier's.  I tried to paint it but didn't like the results, it looked too obvious.  I then decided that lightly sanding the cord from inside would turn the clear plastic white.  I gave that a try and I think that it looks just subtle enough to be acceptable. 
 
     This kit really caught me by surprise.  I had a lot of fun building it and it looks great on my shelf next to my F-16N "viggen" scheme. 
 
     By the way - just watch for a commercial release of these markings from a major manufacturer - it happened when I sat down and created the 1/72 markings for my F-16N and the Red Ghost Viggen - maybe it will happen with these too....  OK - maybe not.
 
Semper Fi!
Arrin

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Photos and text by Arrin Holt