- Purchased: 2018
- Wheels Royale Resin
- Decals: Authentic Decals
Being one of Kinetics earlier kits, there are a few sink marks evident on wings, the crew door and the rotordome pylons, easily fixed, as they are quite shallow.
Panel lines are somewhat heavy and ejector pins mar the wheelwells. Options out of the kit allow the modeller to fold the wings, drop the flaps or model the crew door open
Interior detail is fine for what can be seen and full intake trunking is included for the engine intakes. Upon its release, the kit seems to have met with good reviews, some commentators remarking that the 4 bladed propellers would need some minor reshaping to better reflect the full sized blades. All reviewers experienced a nasty step between the upper nacelle and the wing interface. otherwise the kit was found to be well fitting
Kinetic followed up their original boxing with this later boxing that includes parts for upgraded satellite antenna fits, engine cowlings with stiffeners and the 8 bladed propellers. The four bladed props are still included. Both boxing s are let down by the very plain markings offered. Surprising, given the schemes this aircraft has worn and the fact the decals were designed by Fightertown. Italeri have also reboxed the kit with a far more colourful aircraft sporting markings from “Liberty Belles”
I had decided early on to build the model with wings extended as to me, wings that fold along the fuselage hide too much of the aircraft. In the Hawkeys case it would also take away from the greyhound look of the aircraft. Kinetic offer decent spars that go some way towards ensuring the spread wings form a solid join and align with the fixed centre section. Fit is good, but not exceptional. I was left with gaps top and bottom that needed filling and rescribing. Greater care and some fettling on my part would have probably reduced these, as dry fits without the spars revealed tight joints
Sink marks across the wing top surface were dealt with by application of Mr Surfacer 500. Rather than slather on putty, the nacelle step was dealt with by careful sanding of the nacelle mating surfaces where they met the wing undersides, taking care to maintain the contours. Serial dry fits were carried out until the step had been eliminated. The then very minor gaps were filled with Apoxie Sculpt, the excess being removed with a damp finger. The overscale static discharge wicks were cut off, to be replaced with toothbrush bristles. Being the lazy Modeller I am, the ejector pins in the wheelwells were ignored.
As a result of having to wait for the canopy, the kit was built up in sub–assemblies, being the wing, comprising the nacelles, the rotordome and supporting pylons, and finally the fuselage, being I did not want to contend with possibly having to fair a badly fitting canopy into a large and unwieldy model. I carried this method right through to painting and decalling. Dry fits had shown the wing to fuselage fit could be easily dealt with, when the time came, and this method would also allow unfettered access to the inside faces of the nacelles and the fuselage sides that would otherwise be underneath the wing.
Fuselage assembly was unremarkable, an average fitting belly panel required some use of Mr surfacer, and a large amount of lead sheeting was epoxied in behind the cockpit bulkhead with lead shot filling the gaps either side of the nose wheel well to ensure the aircraft sat on all three undercarriage legs. Fitting the clear nose cone left a step on one side. The low side of the step was built up with apoxie sculpt and sanded to shape.
Paint and decals
Not a single chip of paint peeled up on the removal of the tape, unlike most of my Tornado builds. Looks like that old Alcad grey primer was the culprit!
The cockpit tinting was done using a 50:50 mix of tamiya Metallic brown and smoke, overcoated with several layers of future.
Unless you want to build the very boring kit option, aftermarket decal sheets are a must, even then options are few, with the decal manufacturers seeming to offer nothing post 2008. This machine has worn some very colourful markings which have not at all been mirrored by the very uninspired decal sheets out there, save for the Fightertown Liberty belles sheet.
I chose a decal sheet by the-to me- unknown manufacturer, Authentic Decals that included a scheme with a large hawk on the side, and ticked my boxes of having coloured fins and a artwork on the rotordome top surfaces
My concerns about the Authentic decals not performing or breaking apart in the water were unfounded. Turns out they are printed by Bergemot. (EDIT, It seems this sheet is also offered under the Bingo Decals brand, I’m not sure which came first, or if one is a knock off of the other, or printed with permission)
They performed flawlessly and reacted very well to the Micro decal solutions settling down into even the rivets with only two applications. This is more than I can say for the kit decals which had been printed by cartograf. They took multiple applications of setting solution before sinking into the detail, and only after resorting to using Daco strong solution. All walkway decals and fuselage national insignia were left off until the wing had been mated to the fuselage. However this then exposed the fact the Authentic Decals NAVY titles were far too big, when compared to photos of the real machine and how the NAVY titles sat in relation to the national markings. The kit NAVY titles were the correct size, but it was too late as even removing the oversize titles would still leave the ship and squadron designations in the wrong spot in relation to the NAVY titles. There was no choice but to just suck it up, and move on. I decided to do a clean build as photos I had of the real aircraft showed it very clean indeed, like fresh paint clean, plus I was getting to the stage where I wanted it off the bench
Final details were added and EZ line used for the antenna lines. Like all modern aircraft , the model was starting to get hard to pick up, the more you added to it. Royal Resin wheels replaced the rather bland, and in any case far too weighted kit wheels. All those pesky red lines on the wheelwell doors were applied with a fine tipped gundam marker, and she was done, ready to almost take up half a shelf in my cabinet.
SO! The two questions I ask myself after each build
HOW DID I GO?
Well, not bad. I think its an incremental improvement over my Tornado builds. I’m still marring my finish with stupid mistakes, which are only too apparent to the camera lens, damn you macro camera!!Thers some silly construction and finish mistakes as a result of just not taking my time but, overall, I’m pretty happy with it, and just love the look of the finished model. It just looks so busy with the aerial wires, the multi bladed props, deployed flaps and that large Hawk
WOULD I BUILD ANOTHER?
Not another Hawkeye, but if I found the Greyhound at a reasonable price, then possibly!
Thanks for looking in. See you after the next build
Grumman E-2C Hawkeye 2000 VAW-117 Wallbangers United States Navy
U.S.S. Nimitz Pacific Ocean 2009