E-2C Hawkeye - VAW 126 Seahawks

Published on
November 17, 2012
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Hasegawa - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Hobbico
Box Art


Since its entry into Navy service in January of 1969, the Hawkeye has been the carrier-borne “eye in the sky” of the fleet. First flown October 21, 1969, the E-2 series has participated in every US combat action since Vietnam. After a rough start due to some teething problems with the electronics on board, the E-2 series is ready to serve into the foreseeable future in the form of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. This model represents the E-2C series serving with VAW 126, The Seahawks. The Seahawks began operations with the Hawkeye back in April, 1969. The squadron has served around the world aboard 8 different carriers. Sporting an upgraded electronics suite and the wicked looking scimitar propellers, the E-2C has a utilitarian look that matches its mission.

The Kit

I seem to have an attraction to this manufacturer, as the last few reviews I’ve done have come from them. This offering is right up there with their other products. This is a limited edition, meaning a re-pop kit with new decals. Cast in grey and clear, the 174 parts have fine recessed panel details with options to build four of the Seahawks birds. The clear parts are very clear and nylon washers are included to allow the props and radome/disk to be removed. A colorful decal sheet rounds out a very nice presentation.

The Build

Starting with the cockpit, I only had to add some seatbelts from the PE box. There’s a lot of window to look through so you want it to be right. Decals are included to represent the instrument panels, including the overhead panels. The rear fuselage is empty but you can't see in through the tiny windows back there. Don’t forget to weight the nose down. With the radar dome on its back, you need to make sure you add enough to counterbalance it. The wing assembly is next and includes the option to drop the flaps. The only issue I find is when the flaps are dropped on the real thing, the ailerons also droop. I didn’t want to do the surgery needed for that, so I glued them in the up position. Try as I might, I couldn’t get them to retract fully, even after clamping them overnight. If I had to do it again I would leave off hinge parts G-21 thru G-28. The other area of concern was the bottom/ventral panel parts (D-1 or E-1, depending on which version you build). The panel did not match the width of the fuselage. I flush-glued it to the side that would be hardest to fix and puttied the other side to blend it in. The tail surfaces and engine nacelles are built up next. The tail unit fits perfectly. That is really helpful for painting, since it’s easier to mask as a separate part. The engine nacelles didn’t quite match up. A few passes with a file and sandpaper took care of the steps. The super cool-looking scimitar props are two four-bladed parts that overlap each other to form the eight-bladed airscrews. The radome and the props are retained by nylon bushings trapped inside the nacelles and the radar pylon. I must admit, I found it very helpful to be able to remove these items during assembly. The windows for the cockpit are a clear part that requires masking and blending into the fuselage to look right. The side windows are separate parts to replicate the bulges seen on the real aircraft. You also have the option of painting the wingtip position lights or cutting away the wingtip and fitting the clear parts provided. I did the latter.


This one is simple. The entire aircraft is FS16440 Gloss Gull Grey. All the colors are called out in the instructions with the FS numbers, where applicable. The other colors are black for the de-ice boots, antiglare panel, tip of the nose, the propellers, upper intake, and the area over the exhaust on the flaps. There’s a few metal spots all clearly pointed out in the instructions or on the box photo.


Let’s face it, the decals are the only thing that bring a solid grey aircraft to life. The decals sheet is comprehensive. All the stencils are there, along with the colorful Seahawks markings. Pay attention, especially if you model No 601, as it has a number of decals that differ from the other three aircraft. Be prepared to take a few sessions, as there’s a lot of decals to apply. As for the decals themselves, they come off the sheet quickly in warm water and allow enough time to move around. I rolled a few up and managed to save them, so I guess you could say they are pretty tough. The glossy paint eliminates the need for a coat of Future. For the propellers, you have a few options. You can paint all 16 blades by hand, or use the white tip decals and paint the metal edge by hand, or you can use the decals that cover all that for you. I used the decals and was very satisfied with the result. A quick pass with a silver leaf pen finished the edges up and the props looked really cool.

Details, Details

You’re not quite done with the tedious stuff when the decals are on. This is an electronic aircraft and that means antennas, lots of antennas! I put the landing gear on, then all the bottom antennas. Then I flipped it over to set it on its gear and did the topside. The only issue here is the wire antenna clearly shown on the box top photo. There is no clear diagram in the instructions as to where it attaches. I went on the internet, but it was hard to see even then. I think I got that part right, but don’t hold me to it. The “wire” is stretched plastic sprue. I recently saw one of these aircraft at an airshow and it was very clean, so I didn’t weather mine.


What you get here is a typical Hasegawa product, which means a good quality kit that will produce a nice model if you take your time. Strong points include great fit on the tail unit and the radome mount. That really helps painting and decaling because they can be fitted after finishing. Weak points are the aforementioned ventral panel that needed filler, flaps that wouldn’t fully retract, and decals for the antiglare panel and nose spot would have been nice. I think a 9 out of 10 is in order for this kit. It was fun to build and I love those props!

Thank you to IPMS and Hobbico for the review kit.


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