Hawker Hunter F.6/FGA.9
The Hawker Hunter is a transonic British jet-powered fighter aircraft that was developed by Hawker Aircraft for the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was designed to take advantage of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engine and the swept wing, and was the first jet-powered aircraft produced by Hawker to be procured by the RAF. On 7 September 1953, the modified first prototype broke the world air speed record for jet-powered aircraft, achieving a speed of 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h; 632.29 kn).
The single-seat Hunter was introduced to service in 1954 as a maneuverable day interceptor aircraft, quickly succeeding first-generation jet fighters in RAF service such as the Gloster Meteor and the de Havilland Venom. The all-weather/night fighter role was filled by the Gloster Javelin. Successively improved variants of the type were produced, adopting increasingly more capable engine models and expanding its fuel capacity amongst other modifications being implemented. Hunters were also used by two RAF display teams: the "Black Arrows", who on one occasion looped a record-breaking 24 Hunters in formation, and later the "Blue Diamonds", who flew 16 aircraft. The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with a total of 21 overseas air forces.
During the 1960s, following the introduction of the supersonic English Electric Lightning in the interceptor role, the Hunter transitioned to being operated as a fighter-bomber and for aerial reconnaissance missions, using dedicated variants for these purposes. Two-seat variants remained in use for training and secondary roles with the RAF and the Royal Navy until the early 1990s. Sixty years after its original introduction it was still in active service, being operated by the Lebanese Air Force until 2014.
The Hunter saw combat service in a range of conflicts with several operators, including the Suez Crisis, the Aden Emergency, the Sino-Indian War, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Rhodesian Bush War, the Second Congo War, the Six-Day War, the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, and the 2007 Lebanon conflict. Overall, 1,972 Hunters were manufactured by Hawker Aircraft and its successor, Hawker Siddeley, as well as being produced under license overseas. In British service, the Hunter was replaced in its principal roles by the Lightning, the Hawker Siddeley Harrier and the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.
Academy has re-released their Hunter kit once again with a limited edition decal sheet. The kit is about 19 years old now and remains the best Hunter kit in this scale. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. You can build your choice of F.6 or FGA.9 with this release. All panel lines and rivet details are nicely scribed.
As with most builds I started out with the cockpit, upon removal of the interior parts and fuselage halves from the sprues you will notice the basic cockpit tub is too shallow and the ejection seat looks to be more of 1/72 than 1/48 scale. After this observation I added a KMC #48-6016 interior set to correct these flaws and give added detail. After detailing the interior and ejection seat I’m now ready to attack fuselage.
After the interior was completed and glued in place the fuselage and wings where ready to be assembled. Both the fuselage and the wings went together with no problems as long as you test fit before assembly, the rest of the build leaves you with choices in many areas including positionable flaps, positionable rudder, positionable ailerons, and positionable speed brake. The instructions call for 10 grams of weight in the nose to allow the plane to sit on nose gear, I would not recommend going more than this in fear of the kit supplied landing gear holding up under the weight. The wheel well detail needed a little more detail for my liking so I added an Aires #4087 detail set to make these more realistic.
I painted the Hunter with Vallejo Model Air Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey. After paint had dried I sprayed gloss over entire plane and was ready to begin with decals. Decal sheet is done by Cartograf and where a pleasure to work, they went on with ease and laid down great with a little help from Solvaset. After another coat of Future had dried and the fine detailing was done, the canopies where ready to be installed.
- Hunter F.6, XF526, 4 FTS, 78, RAF, 1979
- Hunter F.6, XF526, 56 Sqn, C, RAF, 1960
- Hunter F.56, BA360A, 20 Sqn, IAF, 1970s
- Hunter FGA.9, XJ642, 54 Sqn, L, RAF, 1967
- Hunter F.58, J-4026, 'Patrouille Suisse', Swiss AF, 1990s
- Hunter F.58, J-4032, 'Patrouille Suisse', Swiss AF, 1990s
- Hunter F.58, J34, 'Acro Hunters', G, Swedish AF, 2014
This is a nice kit, easy build and only good representation of the Hawker Hunter in 1/48 scale. The fits are good and other than the interior issues this was a pleasure to build. Anyone that has minimal model building experience should be able to build this kit straight from box with no problems and if wanting to make corrections or add more detail there are plenty of aftermarket options available for this kit. I would like to thank MRC and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this kit.
In the weapons provided in the kit only has 12 x 3inch rockets are as far as info we can obtain is for only one outside pylon whereas the aircraft would have carried two sets of rockets for both wings which makes these set in the kit unusable is this correct?