by: Matthew Robeson [ ]
The Cyber-hobby kit has been seen on the market once before as the FAW.1 version, but this is the updated FAW.2 boxing. The artwork on the box isn't the most dramatic or exciting, but does offer a good view of the very distinctive Sea Vixen shape. On the side of the box are the six decal options that are provided, so you can at least see the schemes before deciding to buy it.
The Sea Vixen was a twin-boom, twin engine all-weather fighter and interceptor built in the 1950s for carrier-based operations. The large aircraft accommodated a pilot and radar operator to control the large radar in front. The original FAW.1 version was cleared to fire the Firestreak missiles, while the FAW.2 version added the Bullpup and Red Top missiles to the arsenal. The FAW.2 version also added enlarged tail booms that could house more fuel for longer missions.
Opening the box, you're presented with 5 sprues of light gray plastic, and one small clear sprue. This was a pretty sizable aircraft, and that is apparent with the size of the box and sprues.
Looking at the major components, the molding is very well done, with no trace of flash or sink marks on my copy. The scribing is very nice, and should look good under the EDSG/White camp that will adorn the plane. Since the kit is made to be both the FAW.1 and FAW.2 versions, the tail booms are in multiple pieces, so that will take some work to get together and lined up.
Pulling the fuselage out of the bag presents the first confusing part of the kit. There is a large hole in the lower fuselage for the air brake, which can be displayed open. The only problem with this is that there is no air brake bay provided for it. So if you were to mount it open on your model, there would be a nice big hole to look inside and see the back of the cockpit.
This sprue also contains the much-maligned nose, which really does look to cone-shaped and too blunt at the tip. Luckily, Pavla and Qiuckboost offer replacement noses that get the shape right. This isn't a deal-breaker, but something that will be noticeable if you're a fan of the Vixen.
The wings are molded in inner and outer halves, giving the builder the chance to fold up the wings. This is a nice proposition, as it does save some space in the display case. The detail though could be better in the wing-fold, and hopefully the hinges are strong enough to hold it. Wolfpack makes a resin wing-fold set if you are looking for an alternative to the kit. If you plan to have the wings extended, Cyber-Hobby does include a nice square spar system to keep the wings from drooping.
The cockpit detail isn't really anything amazing, but it's also not bare. Considering that the cockpit will be painted black, and it's 1/72, what is there should be adequate for most builders. The seats even come with molded on belts that appear to be correctly in scale. Again if you're looking for more detail, Eduard and Pavla make sets to spice up the cockpit more. The wheel bays are also provided on this sprue, and are nice and realistically deep. They could use a few more wires to busy them up, but should be just fine OOB, since the Vixen does sit close to the ground.
The intake is provided in two pieces, which means that there are both ejector pins and a seam to fill in. That will require a bit of careful work to make sure everything is nice and smooth. Fans for the end of the intakes are provided, so there won't be any see-through models here. The exhausts though are molded as one-piece, so there will be no annoying seams to get rid of in that assembly, and look to be reasonably deep in the fuselage.
In terms of weapons, you are provided with the basic load-out for a Vixen FAW.2. You get two Firestreak missiles, two rocket pods, and two extra fuel tanks. Sadly no Red Top or Bullpup missiles, but those can probably be sourced if you desire to put them on your model.
The instructions are standard Dragon fare, so moderately confusing, with just enough options to keep you paying attention. Color call-outs are all in Gunze shades, but there are conversion charts online if that is not your preferred paint. The decal sheet looks very nice, and offers six different options. All of them look very nice and distinctive, it will be a challenge choosing one to do. The 899 and 893 squadron birds are my personal favorites.
The clear parts are as nice as everything else in the kit, and luckily are provided as complete units. That means no gluing clear parts onto frames, just need some masking tape and a No.11 blade to get these ready for painting. The windscreen is provided separately from the canopy, so you can display it open.