|KIT:||Matchbox 1/72 Hawk 200|
|KIT #:||PK-46 (1987)|
|NOTES:||Major changes to PK-27 Hawk Trainer boxing|
In 1985, construction began of the Hawk Mk 200 to meet a wide demand for a dedicated single-seat tactical attack version of the two-seat Hawk trainer. This nimble aircraft that is largely a Hawk Mk 60 aft of the new forward fuselage can also perform reconnaissance and anti-ship roles in all-weather conditions.
The Hawk 200 was given an extensive array of electronic additions to perform these various tasks. In addition to the standard Hawk equipment, these aircraft boast; Display Processor and Mission Computer, LINS-300 ring laser gyroscope INS, AN/ARN-153 TACAN, AN/ARN-147 VOR/ILS, Raytheon 4720 IFF. The piece of hardware that really improved this aircraft capability was the Westinghouse APG-66 X-band multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar developed from the F-16 version.
Weapons carrying capability on the seven store positions max out at 6000 pounds. This load is almost the same as for the early F-5 versions and superior to the F-104.
Hawks 200s have been exported to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Oman.
This boxing has 40 individual pieces in two shades of grey plastic that are cleanly molded with no flash. The two-piece canopy (instructions show a one-piece canopy) is clear if somewhat thick. As this kit was released 12 years after the original two-seater, a comparison of the molds proved interesting. Though at first they look similar, this boxing is in fact almost entirely new with only the intake splitter plates, main gear tires, ejection seat and control column being the same.
Matchbox returned to a basic cockpit that has a seat glued to a stub floor and electrical box that attaches aft of the seat. There is an instrument panel coaming and a stunted instrument panel set at an odd angle and the last part is the control column. Interestingly, the instructions show a pilot to be added, but one is not provided. The new fuselage and wings have more engraving then the original and it was nice to see that the wing fences added to the main wing.
A decent landing gear is offered with separate retraction arms for the main gear and nice wheel detail on all the tires. Another real plus here is that all gear positions appear to be framed in with the nose gear too shallow which is normal for these kits. All gear doors are too thick (normal also) and should be sanded thinner or replaced with card. This boxing has lost the Matra rocket pods and replaced these with the large 130 Imp Gallon drop tanks. Other nice touches are the separate wing flap actuators and the two separate intakes on the fuselage top.
Assembly is covered in nine illustrated steps with detailed colour notes offered at the end. This was a boxing meant for the Chinese home market so all the text is in Chinese but the drawings still work.
Due to the fact that this kit came out pretty well as the same time as the actual aircraft, markings are limited to two different paintings of the prototype. You have the choice of either all-black or a camouflaged finish with medium grey over light grey. Both options have the small low-viz national markings (though the ZG200 serial number is not included and this was on the fuselage only) along with the hawk insignia on the vertical tail and the decals look very good with perfect registration. Both schemes are shown in full colour on the back of the box.
Not only is this Hawk one of the better Matchbox kits, it is also a unique 1/72 scale subject that built as offered is limited to a prototype as it lacks the tail RWR and the kit has the fuselage guns in place (these were deleted in favour of carrying the normal Aden gun pod). It would look great with some added sidewinders, Aden gun pod, tail RWR and one of the userís markings and camouflage.
The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes, Bill Gunston, PROSPERO Books
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Second and third Generation BAe Hawks, David James.
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