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BAE Hawk Mk.127 LIF

by Mick Evans

 

BAE SYSTEMS Hawk 127 LIF

images by Brett Green


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Introduction

 

Here are images of the completed, soon-to-be-released, High Planes 1/48 BAE Hawk Mk127. For images of the kit parts during development, click here to see my Preview in the Reviews section of HyperScale.

 

 

Construction

 

High Planes 1/48 Scale BAE Hawk Mk. 127 LIF

Advantages Excellent resin, metal, plastic details.
Exceptional Decals
Disadvantages Some scratch building required.
Some flash on plastic parts.

The kit was easy to build for a multi-media offering.

The plastic parts feature the usual heavy gate injection moulds, and these have to be carefully removed from the sprue with a razor saw or sharp knife. All the recess areas such as the cockpit, wheel wells, engine exhaust, etc, have to be carefully cleaned up from moulding flask and in some cases the area has to be sharpened up a bit. This is a necessary process but not too difficult.

The next step before construction can begin is the cleanup of the mating surfaces. I started by taping a sheet of 500 wet and dry paper to my workbench, and softly sanded the mating surfaces until they were smooth. The fuselage halves were then taped together and the cockpit, nose wheel well, and engine exhaust were cleaned up and aligned. The engine exhaust aperture was smoothed up using a large round file, as the opening is circular. The nose wheel well area needs some plastic to be removed from the bottom of the fuselage halves to achieve a square fit. The spine area needs to be reduced to a flat surface across the fuselage; this was done using a coarse flat file.

 



During the filing process it is paramount to keep trial fitting the spine panel until a flush fit is achieved. The same needs to be done for the lower wing area, until the lower wing fits snug into the recess. Once these two areas are complete the fuselage halves can be reduced in width.

Tape the cockpit halves in place and see how much slack is available, this will give an indication as to the correct width on the nose area. Taping the spine and lower wing into position will give the correct aft fuselage dimensions. Reduce the fuselage halves on the wet and dry paper until the correct width dimensions are achieved. Once this is done correctly there will be no fit problems with the kit.

Before assembling the fuselage, the intakes should be cleaned up and dry fitted.

Assemble the splitter plate to the intakes and then trial fit them to the fuselage. A bit of cleanup work may be required on the fuselage halves to achieve a good fit. Assemble the fuselage, lower wing and intakes using tape and Blue Tack.

Trial fit the upper wing surfaces then clean up the inner wing to fuselage mating surface. If this is done correctly then no filler will be needed on the upper wing to fuselage join. Once this is done the intakes can be glued into place using the rear edge and upper wings for alignment. Fill the rear join before proceeding as there is no panel line there, and it is much easier to fill and sand at this point. Disassemble all the taped temporary construction and start assembly of the cockpit as per the instructions. Trial fit the jet pipe adding a support and end stop from scrap sprue. Assemble the fuselage as per the instructions.

I deliberately left the nose wheel well out and then installed it though the cockpit, this way achieving correct alignment and fit.

 

 

The spine was next. I drilled out the APU aperture and added and exhaust duct. I then drilled out the inlet and exhaust ducts for the heat exchangers, adding a mesh faceplate for the heat exchanger fronts, and some ducting from plastic card for the exhaust ducts. The spine was then glued in place. A minor error in the kit is evident at this point. The rear cockpit bulkhead should have a ledge that is flush with the canopy sills, but falls a few millimetres short. A strip of thick plastic card was a quick solution in this case and hides the gap between the cockpit tub and the spine bulkhead.

The wings were the next assembly stage. A piece of wheel well detail needs to be removed from the lower wings. This is where Highplanes changed design after the wing master was complete. They now include the detail as a drop in box, which is a much better idea. The lower and upper wing was assembled using tape, and fitted in place to the fuselage. Only the lower wing was glued to the fuselage at this point. When dry the upper wings were removed, final upper wing to fuselage trimming carried out and then glued in place. There should be a very large panel line on the lower forward wing to fuselage join, as there is approx a 20mm gap filled with a recessed rubber seal, so donít go crazy with the filler.

The tail planes are the next fit. These require drilling and a piece of rod to be attached for fitment. The correct angle for these and the lower fins are supplied in the instructions.

The cockpit is fitted out at this point, and is very straightforward with no fit problems. A small pipe needs to be removed from the MK10 ejection seats, as it is not fitted to the Hawk MK10s. The wing fences and antenna bases are manufactured from plastic card using the templates supplied on the instruction sheets and then fitted in place.

The final assembly work is the trimming of the beautiful Falcon vac-formed canopy. This was then masked and painted black ready to receive a final coat when the kit is painted.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

Any remaining seams on the assembled airframe were finished with Mr Surfacer 500 and sanded smooth. Touch up scribing was performed and then the whole model was polished with steel wool.

Painting was then carried out with Xtra Color paints, and some subtle panel highlighting was done with oils paints - Burnt Sienna for panel lines, and Raw Umber for control surfaces, flaps, speed brake and Ram Air Turbine doors.

 

 

The decals were then applied before a coat of semi gloss was sprayed to seal the kit. They go on very well with no silvering and conform to the surface detail. The decal for the canopy MDC is spot on. The MDC is a shaped charge that is held in place with resin and this is replicated perfectly. The decal film conveniently forms the resin. Many kit manufacturers etch this into the canopy, and this is incorrect.

 

 

Fnishing Touches

 

Assembly of the undercarriage presents no problem, with angles for the main undercarriage doors being provided in the instructions. This will ensure clearance for the gun pod if fitted at a later stage. The antennas were then manufactured from plastic card and fitted. The canopy bows were painted and then fitted. I manufactured some side rails from plastic and fitted these to the canopy.

Highplanes may do a detail set in the future for the Hawk that will include etched metal antennas and wing fences, resin dropped flaps, Sidewinder missiles and outer wing pylons. These were not included in the kit as they are considered optional and would increase the price.


 

Conclusion

 

High Planes has produced a very nice kit that requires no extra detail sets other than some scratch building from plastic card.

The canopy is typical of Falcon - cleanly moulded and crystal clear.

The decals are exceptional and accurate.

 

 

The key to building the kit is trial fit, trim, trial fit, trial fit again, and then glue. Spend the time in preparation and you will be rewarded with an exact replica. This version supplied to me from High Planes was the prototype moulding, and I have since received the production run parts, which are even crisper.

Thanks to High Planes Models for the review parts.

The kit retails for around AUD$70.00 (approx. USD$41.00).

 


Available from:

High Planes Models hiplanes@corryongcec.net.au

Snowy Mountains Models http://www.users.bigpond.com/smmodels/
or email at
smmodels@bigpond.com
 


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Mick Evans 
Page Created 03 February, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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