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E-2C Hawkeye

by David W. Aungst

 

E-2C Hawkeye

 

 

Background

 

Do you ever like to fool around with your hobby and really test just how far you can take a modeling project? This is one such endeavor of mine. I have the 1/350th scale USS Enterprise from Tamiya squirreled away in the attic (next to the USS New Jersey and USS Missouri). I wanted to test my ability to make a super-detailed model out of the kit and see just how far I could take the detailing. I decided to build one of the carrier's aircraft, the E-2C Hawkeye, as my proof-of-concept test for seeing how far the detailing could be taken.

 

 

The Kit

 

The E-2C Hawkeye is provided in Aircraft Set#2 from Tamiya. This set provides all the aircraft that were originally missed when Tamiya first released the USS Enterprise model. Using the aircraft from this set, you can now create a complete carrier air wing. I chose the Hawkeye as the test case for my personal challenge because it provided several unique attributes (like propellers) that would give me a good idea of what could be done in scale. 

I made the following modifications to the stock model kit.

  • Cut and folded the wings.
  • Added new wing flaps on the wings, in the lowered position, using sheet styrene.
  • Sculpted and re-contoured the fuselage where it meets the wing and tail.
  • Reconstructed the support structure for the radar dish using styrene strips.
  • Scratch built new landing gear from brass wire and plastic discs. I punched out the discs with my Waldron punch set from sheet styrene.
  • Added the wheel well doors with thin sheet styrene. The wheel wells, themselves, are merely dark painted areas on the lower part of the model. I felt that hollowing them out was not really worth the effort, considering the model's lack of height and that it would ultimately be glued down to the deck of the carrier.
  • Scratch built new propellers using thin styrene strip stock.
  • Hollowed out all the intakes and exhausts.
  • Scratch built the avionics intake on the right fuselage side using thick styrene strip stock.
  • Scratch built some of the more visible antennas using styrene strip stock.
  • Less obvious, I added weights inside the nose so the model would sit normally on its landing gear.

 

 

Bear in mind that the completed model is a mere two inches in length. The pictures in this posting are done with a macro lens set on my camera. Depending on the screen resloution of your PC, the model pictures show the model at about three times the actual size of the model.

 

 

Camouflage and Markings

 

The paints I used for the project are all Testors Model Master enamels. They were applied with a paint brush. Using the air brush seemed like overkill on such a small model. Although, a lesson was learned that an airbrush with appropriate masking would have provided a nicer finish. The aircraft is finished in the standard L.Gull Gray (F.S.36440) over a white bottom. All the walkways are painted in D.Gull Gray (F.S.36231).

When I built this model, Gold Medal had not yet released their 1/350th scale decals for the carrier air wing aircraft. I also had not progresed far enough in my skills to be printing my own decals, yet. Tamiya only provided the national insignia and NAVY writing on the fuselage, so I hand painted most all of the markings. The aircraft is from VAW-117 which was embarked on the USS Enterprise during the middle 1980s.

I did no weathering to the model, this time. The test did not require it.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I actually enjoyed testing myself on this tiny model. With a carrier air wing strength of about 85 aircraft, I only have about 84 more tests to go. When I get to doing the rest of the air wing, some lessons I learned will be applied to them.

  • I will be air brushing the aircraft, using masks to create whatever camouflages are needed.
  • I have invested in Gold Medal decals, already, but my ALPS printer will also get a good workout on printing markings for the aircraft, even including the more prominent aircraft data markings.
  • I will weather the aircraft. Even in 1/350th scale, some of the dirtier aspects of the aircraft would be visible. For example, the undersides of the outer wing panels on the E-2 get quite dirty from having the engines running while the wings are folded.
  • I want to take on the challenge of having clear canopies and even some open canopies. I'm just not sure what the best way would be to do this. This was one reason I chose not to build an A-6 or F-14 for this initial test.

I guess that somewhere along the way I should also build the ship model, too...

 

Additional Images and Project Summary

 

Click the thumbnails below to view images full-sized.
Click the "Back" arrow on your browser to return to this page.

 

       

  

Project Statistics

Completion Date:

1 July, 1998

Total Building Time:

12.0 Estimated

Research:

0.0

Construction:

0.7

Painting:

5.0

Decals / Markings:

3.0

Extra Detailing / Conversion:

3.3

Models, Description and Images Copyright 2000 by David Aungst
Page Created 28 May, 2000
Last Updated 26 July, 2007

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