by: HG Barnes [ ]
INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY
The Sea Hawk began to enter service in 1953 with 806 squadron at Brawdy. By 1955 the Sea Hawk performance was already considered mediocre which led to the installation of the more powerful 5,200 lb thrust Nene 103 and the use of the Sea Hawk as a ground attack aircraft, cleared to carry external stores, a task at which the Sea hawk excelled. In all 434 Sea Hawks were built for the Royal Navy, the largest production run for any British naval jet fighter. The Sea Hawk remained in service until 1960 with the Royal Navy, but the Sea Hawk story does not end there. The Sea Hawk was a major export success, the Indian Navy finally retiring it's last example in 1984. The Sea Hawk FGA MK.100/101 were special versions designed for the federal German Republic. A plan for two versions, the MK.100 fair-weather day fighter-bomber and the MK.101 bad-weather day fighter. Length: 12.09m; Wing span: 11.89m; Height: 2.98m; Weight empty: 4,335kg; max: 7,350kg Max speed: 962km/h Range: 770km
Length:249 mm Wingspan:245 mm Height: mm
Total Parts 109pcs
Photo Etched Parts 1pcs
Film Parts instrument panel
Total Sprues 4pcs
Paint Schemes " VA 229 of MFG 1 or 2, West Germany Navy 1958
RB 242 of MFG2, West Germany Navy 1960
IN238/W, 300Sqn INS Vikrant 1960"
Released Date 2007-10
More Features " The kit consists of 104 parts in grey plastic, 5 clear plastic
parts for canopy, 1 transparent film for instrument panel,
1 sheet brass PE part for the instrument pannel and seat harness.
Thanks to TRUMPETER for the box content images and the information.
I began with, as many of us do, by collecting as many resource pictures as possible. Net-Marquettes.com is one of many places to find good photos and were very helpful in the assembly and fine aspects of the aircraft. While there are many after market detailing sets for this kit I wanted to keep the cost low and have a fun out of the box build. A few scratch built parts were added and you'll find the link to the photo walk around below.
The HUD was painted in clear green but could have been a muted orange or clear. Green is my favorite color. The cockpit is pretty well detailed with with the PE. There are aftermarket resin ones, but with some wiring and thinning parts you can make something really nice.
The parts are thick so you'll have to decide if the extra time invested to scale them down is worth it. Almost all of this effort was worth it except for one area that I'll point out later. The "F" clamps are needed to make the landing gear bays fit.
She is a definite tail-dragger and sadly there is no reference AT ALL to any nose weight. This was a frustrating part of the build because I had to move many steps along to build the tail section. You'll have to tape it in place to figure how much led to add. I simply rested it on my finger and kept adding led sheets until it was right. To save you the time, add 50 grams. The clear parts are fantastic and super easy to mask and cut.
The top and bottom front section have a step in the area of some important detail that would be a nightmare to re-scribe. I suggest using a high quality sanding sponge and work at it slowly and as locally as possible. I use Flory Models sanders because the material in the grit is made for plastic.
The tail section fit is pretty good yet I'd recommend getting a good set of templates and a scribing pen. The best way to fill the gaps and have something to rivet and scribe into is polystyrene filler. You can find many videos on how to make it and I like adding a pinch of black pigment to give me a better idea of how much I'm adding and it helps with sanding later. After a few coats and the majority of the sanding is done I use a polisher to buff it. This helps with aiding in examining the area for further filler.
Front and tail fit for the plastic was not good and you'll have to decide if the top or the bottom will be the one to have all the filling and sanding. I opted to have the best fit on the bottom since I knew the panel lines on the top did not match up AT ALL! Use a good quality scriber and work slowly.
The rockets are two piece and I made the mistake of cleaning them up before assembly... DO NOT do that! Put them together and let the cement cure overnight then use all that extra flash and cement to give you an even look.
COLOR and MARKINGS
I was really torn between the 242 (42) and the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy was appealing because of a world record mishap. As the story goes, a catapult on the INS Vikrant failed sending the plane into the water in front of the ship. The pilot watched as the ship passed over and had to wait before making the record setting underwater ejection. I really like the look of the German Navy markings and opted for that one.
These planes had a dark gull grey over white. The decals were a bit on the thick side and one of the iron crosses was faded at the tip, but generally went down ok after the usually 3 coats of Micro-SOL.
Then the project came to a screeching halt! I don't blame the Flory Models wash or Vallejo Premium varnish. It was my own mistake not to allow the varnish time to harden. I thought a few hours would be enough and was in error. The wash and varnish are water based so you can imagine my "DOH!" reaction when it spidered up. After hearing from everyone that it was a lost cause to try and save the decals I was tempted to put it on the shelf of doom. Then the thought occurred that if I waited another few weeks the varnish might skin off. With many hours of re-hydrating it and using a tooth brush, soft sander and paper towels the clear coat slowly came away. The finish, however, was mottled slightly, but the decals were saved. From many photos it seamed that this look was common before planes went in to be overhauled so I decided to give mine the story of "Last Flight" after one of my upcoming sci-fi novels about a ship that is headed to the bone yard but has an unexpected adventure to turn the tide of a battle. This is why my Sea Hawk has a very weathered look.
In my zeal to make every part look as thin as possible, such as the cockpit and landing gear bays, I used the same idea for the exhaust nozzles. Please don't do this since the parts were designed to fit as is. The weathering comes from using a variety of 502 oils, washes, and making some of the panels dulled or repainted. The mast in the middle was something I made to use as a spacer for the folded wings. I would strongly suggest reinforcing the wings as I did with hand made parts which closely approximate the mechanical parts used on the real plane. This is definitely a weak area of the kits and while there is a photo-etched upgrade, it's expensive and you don't get that much and even it isn't that strong.
This was an interesting build and a first in many ways. I had never built a Trumpeter Kit before, never used oils, never used a clay wash and had never built a folding wing Jet Plane. I have to say, regardless of all challenges and setting aside doubt of doing something new, this was a real skill stretcher. The happy mistakes have made me a better modeler. Special Thanks to Rod at The Kit Bunker for supplying the kit and a HUGE thanks to Angelo at Sunward Hobbies who mailed my supplies extra quick when I needed them. Give them a look at www.sunwardhobbies.ca and thanks for following along.
The next time you're at retailer or online looking for anything pertaining to this build please mention you read an article on KitMaker Network Aeroscale website.
Click here for additional images for this review.