Italeri 1/72 T-45 Goshawk
KIT #: 173
PRICE: $15.00
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Gordon Zammit
NOTES: Same basic molds as Italeri Hawks, with some added and modified T-45 bits.


After the success of the British BAe Hawk, both in the UK and export versions, the design was further improved to perform other roles, such as the Mk.100 attack version, the not so successful Mk.200 single seater and finally as a carrier based basic trainer for the US Navy. This was in response to the US Navy VTXTS advanced trainer program in 1978, with the contract awarded to MDD in 1981 as the T-45. To meet the rigors of carrier based operations, the Hawk had to go through a considerable change, which might not be so obvious from the outside. First of all the airframe was strengthened. Obviously the undercarriage was upgraded for carrier operations, including the twin nose wheels and a catapult attachment together with an arrestor hook. To improve the slow speed handling of the aircraft, the wings were given leading edge slats and larger flaps. A new larger ventral fin was also added, and a complete new cockpit to US Navy specifications was also part of the modifications. At present, the T-45C is the standard model with a revised cockpit and all Goshawk are, or were, upgraded to T-45C standards.


 The Italeri T-45 is the same basic mold as the BAe Hawk, which is not bad as the kit is quite good, although the surface detail is not as crisply molded as we have come to expect nowadays. This means that there are several errors to correct in the wings and other areas. Also the decals supplied are for the first prototype and are not the most comprehensive.

There is another review here on modeling madness and you can see the parts of the unbuilt kit and the excellent completed model by Joel Hamm  at this link.


 Construction starts at the cockpit, and here I nearly built everything according to the instructions and following some online and Model Alliance decal sheet cockpit photos of real Goshawks. As is usual for me, I finish my models in a clean parked configuration with the canopy closed as I like to see the smooth streamlined shape of the aircraft in the model representing it. After completing the cockpit, some weight was placed in the nose and the fuselage halves were cemented together as per instructions. The intakes were next, and a little filler especially on the lower sides is need but nothing too serious. The wings were modified to represent those of the T-45. The wingtips were modified to the more squarish form of the Goshawk with wingtip navigation lights, and the leading edges at the wing roots sanded to a straight line right up to the intakes. After smoothing everything out, the leading edge slats were scribed. The fences that are present on Hawks and all gone on the T-45 wings and the leading edge is a perfect straight line with a small straight top at around a third of the wingspan which was made from small pieces of styrene. The ventral fin was made from sheet styrene according to the photos online. The tailplanes complete the basic airframe, and I also glued all the undercarriage and doors since these are all finished in white, so one might as well spray everything as one complete piece. Antennas were replaced or added as per T-45C and it was off for painting.


 The cockpit centre frame was first masked and airbrushed a light cream colour. The cockpit was then masked and a coat of automotive white spray airbrushed over the whole aircraft. This is a really nice white finish, but it does not adhere too well to the plastic, and I had two spots were it came off with the masking and had to be sanded and sprayed again. The masking for the orange panels was then applied, and Model Master (Testors) International orange airbrushed over these parts. The jet intakes and antiglare panels were masked and airbrushed in red and matt black respectively. With all the airbrushing completed, a coat of Klear was applied overall, and it was time for decals. These came from Model Alliance sheet no MAS-729031 and some from the kit decals as well. The intake warning triangles had some of the clear film removed to help them settled around the compound curves of the intake and they settled in finely. The decals from the Model Alliance sheet were of good quality and went on trouble free. After all the decals were applied the model was given another coat of Klear, and a grey wash added to the panel lines, while the undercarriage doors and airbrake were given red edges with a small 00 brush using enamel paint so that any mistakes could be easily wiped off the Klear coating. Another coating of Klear was applied and the masking removed from the canopy. The tail hook and wheels which were already painted were glued and its done.


 While not really a correct rendering of the T-45C, the Italeri kit is a good starting point for the latest US Navy trainer, and with little modifications can be improved a lot. One thing that I did not correct, is the wider track of the main undercarriage, but according to photos of real aircraft it is not really visible and I can live with it as it is!


Model Alliance instruction sheet.

Online references.

Gordon Zammit

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