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Curtiss Hawk II
Three Kits

RS Models, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

92044 (Cuba, China & Turkey)
92046 (Germany, Bolivia & Siam/Thailand)
92048 (Floatplane: Colombia, Peru & Germany)

Scale:

1/72

Contents & Media

42 x tan styrene, 6 x cream resin, 1x Eduard colour photo-etch (PE) fret, 2 x clear styrene windscreens and decals.

Price:

Available online from Hannants for £12.17: 92044, 92046 & 92048; and  Modelimex for €15.34: 92044, 92046 & 92048

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Nice surface detail, generally simple construction and good detail levels for the scale.

Disadvantages:

Some small parts could have been supplied in resin rather needing to be scratch-built.

Conclusions:

A great little kit of an interesting and attractive subject.


Reviewed by Mark Davies


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Background

 

 

The Hawk II was a member of the ubiquitous Curtis Hawk family that provided sterling service to both the US Army and Navy, plus several export customers (it was in fact the only Hawk version to be exported in quantity). The Hawk II was essentially an export version of the XFIIC-2 with a Wright R1820-F3 Cyclone engine.

Most export sales were made over the period of 1932-34, and so occurred just before the biplane fighter concept was to be superceded by monoplane designs in many air forces.  Turkey took 19, Colombia 26 floatplanes, and Bolivia 9 of which 3 had interchangeable floats. Other customers included Chile 4, China 52, Cuba 4, Norway 1, Peru 4, Siam/Thailand 12 and Germany 2.

This last customer purchased two after Ernst Udet observed Al Williams in a Curtis Gulfhawk I demonstrating precision dive-bombing attacks at the US National Air Races. He was so impressed that he arranged for two Hawks to be imported to Germany. Udet was placed in charge of the Reich Air Ministry’s Development Wing; and this experience and is said to have had a significant influence on the Luftwaffe’s adherence to dive-bombing. These Hawk II’s were also used for aerobatics displays at the 1936 Olympics.

Hawk II’s saw combat between Peru & Colombia, Bolivia & Paraguay (in the Gran Chaco War), China & Japan, Siamese/Thai Hawks fought against the French in Indochina, and for one day against the Japanese prior to a cease-fire being agreed.

 

 

FirstLook


On checking my modelling database I saw that RS Models have previously offered the Curtis Hawk II as a resin kit (Scale Aircraft Modeling of March 1999 has a build review on page 47). So presumably RS models are re-offering their resin subjects as limited run styrene multi-media kits (AZ Models which emerged from Legato Resin seem to be doing the same). Some of these resin Hawk II kits are still for sale at Hannants for £18.09. Having read the review for the resin kit, I feel that the styrene kit seems better value.

All three Hawk II kits have the same contents, including a sprue with the float parts. So with the exception of decal options the following comments apply equally.  The kit comes in a typically Czech end-opening box with attractive artwork on the front, and some simple colour scheme and markings plans on the rear. Parts are contained in two zip-lock plastic bags, the PE fret being protected from bending by a card stiffener.

 

  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • RS Models 1/72 scale Curtiss Hawk II (Three Kits) Review by Mark Davies: Image
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The instructions provide a parts map, and an easy to follow diagrammatic assembly format. Colour call-outs are limited to generic colours for the main airframe. They also provide brief aircraft specifications in Czech and English.

The styrene parts are cleanly moulded limited run items with nice surface detail, although a little cleaning up will be needed here and there. I have built RS Models Avia FL-3, and found the fit to be excellent. I have no reason to think this one will be any different.

Resin parts cover wheels, a belly fuel tank, and give choice of Townend ring and NACA cowl depending on the version being built (note that the colour plans on the box rears all show the NACA cowl regardless of version). The R1820 engine is nicely cast as one piece with cylinders and crankcase but no push rods as the PE fret provides these. I would replace these two-dimensional offerings with plastic rod (In this scale I’d be happy with the convenience of a one- piece casting for the engine with all relevant detail included).

 

 

A photo-etched ignition harness is also supplied. There is a styrene inlet manifold, and the instructions direct the builder to either scratch-build nine 3mm curved stub exhaust pipes for the Townend Ring, or nine 3.5 mm straight stubs, five of which fit to an exhaust pipe on the port side when the NACA cowled version is chosen. Resin is an ideal media for such parts, and could easily have been used here at little extra expense, and is an unnecessary shortcut on RS Models part in my opinion (The same can be said of the tail-plane struts that must also be scratch-built).

 

 

The cockpit detail is adequate for the scale, styrene seat, floor and joystick, with the coloured PE instrument panel and seat belts. The coloured PE details will set things off nicely. Two small and identical injected-styrene windscreens are provided. These are clear and sufficiently delicate to be convincing.

Nearly all the kit schemes are colourful, even where the airframe is in a single colour because of the many multi-colour national markings used. Decals by Box # are as follows:

92044

  • Cuban AF, CAEC Chief Len Povey, Miami1936 (very colourful with a blue, white, red and yellow striped “over the top” scheme).
  • Chinese AF, 8th Fighter Sqn Nanking 1937 (overall green).
  • Turkish AF, (choice of two overall aluminum dope machines).

 

92046

All are overall aluminum dope machines:

  • German Civilian Registration D-IRIK, Ernst Udet’s aircraft 1936.
  • Bolivian AF, Gran Chaco War 1933.
  • Siamese/Thai AF 1936.

 


92048

Floatplane version, all are overall aluminum dope machines:

  • Peruvian AF, Iquitos on the Amazon River1933.
  • Colombian AF, Cartagena 1933 (random green camouflage stripes on the floats).
  • Siamese/Thai AF 1936.

All decal sheets are in good register and appear to be of good opacity.

Minor niggles about engine push rods and scratch-built exhausts aside; this is a very nice limited run kit with a series of attractive schemes on offer in the different boxings. Given the number of export customers there will be many other options open to modellers wishing to choose other markings.  My first build will have to be the Colombian machine with it bright national markings, and camouflaged floats (and because my wife is Colombian).

Thanks to RS Models for the sample


Review Text Copyright 2008 by Mark Davies
Page Created 3 March, 2009
Last updated 3 March, 2009

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