Updated: June 8, 2008
British Aerospace Hawk is an advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft. It was designed in the early 70s, when tight budget and misguided thinking led military strategists around the globe to believe that light, inexpensive jets could take the place of the Century-era behemoths.
Very quickly, it turned out that multipurpose fighters like F-15 and F-16 are much better suited for all combat roles - and the light jets fell out of favor as potential warbirds. Among the unlucky ones were the F-5 and its successor F-20, MB.326, BAe Hawk, and others.
However, this actually helped British Hawk excel in what it was really meant to do - train jet pilots. While it is used as a would-be combat aircraft by many small air forces, its primary role is advanced jet training. Hawk is a robust machine and relatively cheap, making it well suited for its tasks. It also boasts great maneuverability; combined with its small silhouette, this makes it ideal for dissimilar air combat engagements.
What made me buy and build this model was the fact I could use the Swiss insignia. We all know the Swiss are crazy - and they paint their aircraft accordingly. So I decided to make a Hawk Mk.66, 20 of which were sold to the Swiss Air Force and later resold to Finland.
The model I build was in 1/72 scale, made by Italeri, with approx. 100+ pieces. I liked the fact the canopy could be raised, so I could play with the instrumentation panels.
If you are wondering, yes, that is the original Swiss paint scheme! Just like the national flag! Bright gloss white and red, with shy gray patches on inner wings and a spot of black here and there. Boy, it was great fun painting this little thing.
The Hawk has quite a menacing appearance.
What makes the real difference are the tiny details. I paid extra care decorating the cockpit, using a needle point for switches and dials.
Notice the "seat belts" laid over the ejection seats. If you pay attention, you will notice the throttle stick, with tiny red buttons, peeking just left of the front-seat HUD. The shine on the engine intake is also rather impressive. Not the best color for camouflage in the sky, but it sure makes a sight at air shows.
I knew the Swiss Hawks were not capable of carrying the latest Sidewinders, so I painted the missiles in the AIM-9C scheme, in the dreary colors of the 60s.
It simply looks dashing ...
That's it, I think. I do not have that many photos of this model. It was definitely one of the more interesting models I've made. Alongside Jaguar, the stark differences in the camouflage scheme really show up the artistic freedom of, what are essentially, war machines. Which reminds me ...
I'd give it a nice solid 9. Enjoy!