The Supermarine Spitfire was the first model made by the mighty Airfix. For many people, regardless of decade, it was the first model they built too. I was no exception to this rule, creating a cherished memory with my father. The BAe Hawk is no different; attracting the eye of many children who want to recreate their favourite display team at home.
Airfix has taken advantage of 2 fantastic kits they produce by making a ‘Best of British’ set. The set includes a slightly different tooling of their Spitfire and Hawk – having cute bases to match the aircraft. The kits are also due to be released in Q4 2021.
The kits are unique tools compared to the regular Hawk model. This relates to the stands that are present for each model, the bases of which reflect the profile of the aircraft themselves. The Spitfire’s stand attaches on the bottom of the aircraft where there is a circular section which it slots into. The Hawk’s slips into the engine exhaust. This means the models are designed to be displayed in a flying position which is a lovely touch.
The kit contains ‘everything you need’ to assemble and finish the models. Miniature pots of paint (which have more than enough in them), glue, and paint brushes. I decided that in this instance that it would be appropriate to view this kit as a self-contained project.
The Spitfire is the easiest of the 2 to build, but that isn’t saying a lot. The duo are remarkably simple and the parts slide together without any force. This would be the perfect kit for beginners – age irrelevant!
The paint scheme for the aircraft is a dark grey and similar tone green. I found that the grey paint had already dried up a significant amount. I mixed water to the congealed mixture and managed to salvage some paint…but I am sceptical about my model looking how it should. It turns out that several of the paints in the set were less than ideal. I have a sneaking suspicion that the paints were older stock (despite being a newly released kit) as they were some of the worst I’ve ever had.
The camouflage pattern was simple to reproduce despite the questionable paints. I did chose to supplement in a yellow paint to give it a pleasant nose. Rivet counters be damned, but I just can’t stand having no colour in my projects!
The decals are of the usual standard for current Humbrol. I used Decalfix in order to make sure they flattened against the panel lines. They are relatively easy to manipulate and the risk of tearing, at least for the Spittie’s declas, is minimal.
The Hawk is, again, an easy kit to assemble. It follows a fairly regular construction for a modern aircraft. I particularly like that when merging the fuselage the tail section is completely on one half. It means the old days of having to line these up is gone. The guiding pins throughout the kit are fabulous, and I found that I had very few areas where I would have needed some filler. There was a small line on the nose and a section on the bottom of the fuselage (middle rear).
The red paint was actually great. It went on smoothly and I didn’t have many issues with brush marks. Given that the aircraft is one colour, I had nothing more to add here.
The decals for this look absolutely stunning. As many who have looked for reviews on my website before can attest to, I love bright, beautiful, and unique aircraft liveries. Display teams often encapsulate this spirit, and the Red Arrows livery looks more beautiful than ever here. I did however, in my naivety (having not done modelling for some time due to personal reasons) manage to almost destroy one of the decals – but that’s no fault of the kit, that is me relearning the craft.
One interesting point that I didn’t even think about until watching a display of the Red Arrows online was that this kit either doesn’t have the underwing white “arrow” shape. I thought it might just be my kit, but from looking at the item listing on the website I saw this.
The above image shows the decals as applied and as you can see there is no white under the the wings. You can see the decals on the spitfire, so I assume this means that my kit was not faulty, but there was, indeed, no decal included. Considering I used the entire decal sheet I feel this is just a choice Airfix made for one reason or another.
I finished both aircraft with a coat of gloss varnish. I unfortunately don’t have a Satin varnish, which would be my much preferred finish for the Spitfire. The stands were given a matt finish in order to make sure they maintained their crisp blackness, without stealing the show from the aircraft themselves
Worth a Buy?
If you’re looking for a new Hawk in Red Arrows livery, a weekend project, or an introduction to the hobby then I highly recommend this – particually for the latter. I built this kit with only the default supplies bar the following:
- Revell glue (with the metal spout for accuracy/control)
- Humbrol Gloss and Matt Acrylic spray varnish
The kit retails for around £19.99, but the kits are due to be around £9.99 each when the launch independently in Q4 2021. I got mine on special offer so paid a bit less, but I didn’t know this when I was paying and would have happily paid the full price for this double whammy of a kit.