Monogram 1/72 F11C-2 'Goshawk'
KIT #: 6796
PRICE: $0.79 when new
DECALS: One options
REVIEWER: Brian Baker
NOTES: Recently reissued by Starfighter Decals.


The Curtiss “Hawk” biplane fighter series originated in about 1924 when the first  XPW-8B was tested by the Army. This was a development of previous Curtiss racing planes.  The Navy showed interest, and the first Navy “Hawk”, the F6C-1, appeared in 1925, powered by a 400 hp. Curtiss D-12 liquid cooled engine.  Different combinations of fuselage, wing, and engine were tried over the years, and in 1932, the XF11C-2 appeared, powered by a 700 hp. Wright R-1820E
“cyclone” radial engine.
  The prototype had originally been built as a company demonstrator,

and the Navy immediately ordered 28 production models, all of which went to VF-1B aboard the USS Saratoga. About a year later, these planes were rebuilt with different rear fuselages, and partial sliding canopies, and these were redesignated BFC-2 to denote their role as fighter-bombers.  In fact, these airplanes remained in service for some time with various squadrons, and it was this aircraft that served as the prototype for the Navy dive bomber.  They were so impressive that when they were observed by Ernst Udet during the 1933  Cleveland National Air Races, two were bought for the Luftwaffe, and these sold Luftwaffe planners on the idea of the dive bomber, and eventually resulted in the development of the Stuka. There was also an XF11C-1, which was actually a later airplane than the dash 2.  It had a twin row Wright SR-1510 engine and three bladed prop.  Some of its features later were used on the F11C-2.  Check photos for specific details.

 The F11C-2 remained a classic fighter, and was very popular during the thirties.  None survives today, although a BFC-2 is on display in the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.  I don’t know if this is a replica or the real thing, but it is certainly very convincing.  I’ve even seen a Stearman modified to make an F11C-2 lookalike.

 The Curtiss Hawk II, as the commercial version was named,  was exported to quite a few countries over the years, including Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Norway, Siam, and Turkey. These different from the Navy version in tailwheel/skid installation, rudder form (no cutout), fuel tanks (some had flush fitting tanks similar to the Curtiss P-6E), and landing gear, which usually involved smaller low pressure tires in wheel pants similar to those on the Curtiss P-6E, except that the wheels were exposed, and not completely enclosed as on the P-6E.  Incidentally, if you are doing a Hawk II  conversion, the wheel pants from the Monogram P-6E are a good start in making wheel pants for the Hawk II. If you want to do any number of these airplanes, it wouldn’t hurt to stock up on F11C-2 and P-6E kits, as they are quite reasonably priced.


  late sixties, Monogram came out with a series of fighters from the thirties and forties, including the Curtiss F11C-2, P-6E, and P-36A, and the Boeing F4B-4.  These were all state-of-the-art kits for their day.  My kit is copyrighted 1968, which makes it currently 45 years old, and few kits are still up to acceptable standards at that age.  These kits, however, although they have some raised panel lines and little cockpit detail, are still in the running.  They do require the construction of an interior, but basically, they are still up-to-date.

Cast in silver styrene, there are about 22 parts along with, in my example at least, two clear plastic windshields.  One excellent feature is that the landing gear units and cabane struts are

molded directly into the fuselage halves, so that it virtually impossible to get the gear or upper wing assembly out of alignment.  All struts are petite, and they fit into adequate mounting holes on the wing surfaces.  In short, this is a biplane kit that is about as easy to build as most monoplane kits.  There is no real interior, as the pilot is supposed to fit into one side of the fuselage, but there is a decal instrument panel that is supposed to be glued, with paper, into  the little receptacle in front of the cockpit.  A cockpit interior is not difficult to do, but there is also the Starfighter Decals interior available from them for about $15.00. This was done by Alex Bernardo, and although I haven’t seen it  but having done some of his interior conversions, it is probably a first class unit.

 Decals are provided for one airplane,  BuNo 9270, 1-F-4, of VF-1B from USS Saratoga. The decals have stood the test of time, and I used some of them on my model.


After constructing an interior,  the fuselage goes together easily, and only a little filler is required for seam removal.  The lower wing fits into place quite nicely, and again, very little filler is needed, although Monogram’s copyright stamp should be removed from the lower wing underside, a simple job with a knife and sandpaper.  A little flash must be removed from the wheel pants, but this kit is really a no-brainer.  I would suggest painting the airframe before installing the upper wing.  Be sure to make the decision regarding which airplane you are going to model before you go very far, as you’ll need to check out the details from your reference materials.


I decided against using the kit decals, because I had already built that airplane, 1-F-4,  years ago. There is a photo of the first production F11C-2 during acceptance testing at NAS Hampton Roads, VA, in December, 1932 on p. 37 in the Squadron “In-Action” book on the Navy Hawks.  It had standard Navy colors but no markings other than the designator and the bureau number, 9265, on the fin and rudder.  It also has a tall radio mast behind the cockpit, something the squadron airplanes did not have. It also does not appear to have a belly tank installed, although they probably flew the airplanes with and without them.

 Paint the upper wing chrome yellow, and the other parts according to the kit instructions, which are, surprisingly, correct.  All fabric areas were aluminum doped, while the metal parts used a very pale grey color.  The interior should be silver, and the prop is silver with black on the rear prop surfaces as an anti-glare measure.  The prop tips should be red, yellow, and blue, according to Navy custom.  The cowling and squadron markings should be whatever color is specified. Check your sources for this.


 Although this kit was originally issued 45 years ago, it is still a good kit, and can be built into a good display model with only a little effort.  It goes together easier than the more modern issues, and is certainly easier to align.  It has the potential to be converted into any number of variants and nationalities without undue effort, and should certainly be considered by any modeler interested in airplanes of the 1930s.  Highly recommended.


There is quite a bit of material available on the Curtiss Hawks. The old Profiles are useful, as are the Squadron In-Action series. There are a couple of books on Navy color schemes, including one by Bill Kilgrain and another from Squadron entitled Navy Air Colors.  Some of the aftermarket decal sheets will also have some useful information.

Brian Baker

October 2013

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