Replica 1/72 Ha.200/220 Saeta/Super Saeta
|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
Simple and straight forward in design and as light and responsive as its ancient namesake (Saeta meaning arrow) in hands of a skilled bowman the Saeta’s slender profile is reminiscent of a shaft from a bow as it streaks across the airfield of San Pablo near Seville, Spain.
Designed and built by Hispano Aviacion, whose design department was then headed by Professor Willy Messerschmitt, the HA-200R-1 Saeta compared most-closely to France’s Potez-Air-Fouga Magister but is smaller and lighter than its French countemporary. It provided Spanish Air Force with a modern jet trainer which was both simpler aned less expensive than those that would otherwise have been produced from abroad.
The first of two Saeta prototypes (EC-AMM) was flown for the first time on August 6th 1955 by Hispano’s test pilot Major Fernando de Juan Valiente at San Pablo, Seville’s main airport. It was quickly ascertained that the Saeta had excellent handling characteristics. Initial flght tests also revealed that some slight modifications were necessary and the wing dihedral was increased to three degrees 50 minutes and dorsal fin area enlarged and vertical fin heightened.
The HA-200 was in production for service with the Spanish Air Force as the E-14 two-seat advanced flying and armament trainer. The two prototypes were followed by five pre-production models and 30 HA-200As (first flight October 11th 1962). The HA-200A had two 880 lbst Turbomeca Marbore’ IIA turbojets and armament of two 7mm machine guns and underwing rockets.
The HA-200B developed for the Egyptian Air Force and was in production at Helwan as Al-Kahira. It differed from the A mainly in having a single 20mm cannon and different equipment. The 55 HA-200Ds built for the Spanish Air Force in 1965-68 have modernised systems and heavier armament.
A further development version was the HA-200E Super Saeta with 1,056 lbst Marbore’ VI turbojets and more extensive and modernised equipment. From this version has evolved the externally similar, single seat HA-220 ground attack aircraft, of which 25 were built for the Spanish Air Force. Maximum speed of the type was 404 mph and a range of 930 miles.
Released in 1992 by Replica of France the resin kit of the Saeta and Super Saeta model is very well done with surprising surface detail. The kit practically comes as a main structure molded in one piece. This consists of a fuselage, wings and tail for all in one as depected on the instructions. This gives the impression that very little work left for the modeler. This can be a bonus for those who like to get the modeling out of the way as quick as possible in order to spend more time on coloring and detailing the model.
Box art cover is beautiful which depicts a Super Saeta (attack version) in action firing underwing rockets while on the side of the box there is a colored side view of the Saeta (trainer version). Besides these color markings that come in decal sheet form, there is also decal for an overall silver trainer of the Saeta B that was in service in 1967 with the Egyptian Air Force. Instructions are in French language there are A4 size detail 4-view drawings showing the camouflage pattern or the placement of the decal sets with respect to all of the three varieties. The exploded assembly view is self explanatory showing all the kit parts and where each item goes on the kit.
The model , being of solid resin tend to be on the heavy side and this gives the impression that the undercarriage is somewhat frail to take the weight. The fuselage and wings are in one piece with two versions for the forward nose and separate air intake in order to make either version of the Saeta.
In this context I took the advantage of the situation and went a step further and made myself a second copy of the fuselage / wing integral part and cast same in Aluminium. Having this extra part I then could add the extra nose items and stores provided to end up with making the two versions.
Smaller parts including seats, undercarriage and tail planes come as separate items that could be easily scratch built for the second kit. Under fuselage and underwing rocket pods or miniguns are provided for the attack version. There is also included a long glazed, well reprodeced canopy.
The porosity free resin fuselage was first cleaned from any tiny fins and was used as pattern to make another copy in cast aluminium alloy. As Aluminium solidifies it undergoes liquid as well as solid contraction, so the pattern was gently rapped and the little oversize cavity made up for the contractions to produce the same nose with same dimensions as the resin one, with the understanding that the resin one contained the exact dimensions in scale. The cast fuselage then had the runner cut, and the fuselage smoothened with files and fine wet and dry paper.
The next stage was to mold a clear canopy identical to the kit one. This entailed making a solid wooden male patern of similar shape and again molded one from acetate using home gas cooker to warm up and soften the clear acetate. Like many vac canopies this had yellowed in no time. Then sorted out a set of wheel legs, wheels, well doors, seats and crew figures all from spares while a new set of tail planes was cut and shaped from soft plastic card.
I have used super glue all the way to join parts together. With a very clear canopy my attention now fell to detailing the cockpit office interior. On this occasion I have made use of locally produced ‘Modelaid’ printed cockpit interior set for the Saeta. Also added instrument panel, column etc., for both kits. A point of note is that the attack version i.e. the Super Saeta, only carried a single crew seat at the front.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I decided on the two Spanish Air Force versions. The Super Saeta HA-220 belonging to 214 squadron was camouflaged in sand and green upper surface and light blue undersurface using Humbrol enamel paint. The box art was good reference to select the correct colors. This ground attack version carried miniaturised roundals and tail markings. The other kit, the one that I cast was completed in overall silver with black anti glare panel. Kit red lightning trim decal decorated the length of the fuselage sides. I have kept the Egyptian roundels for later use when the turn comes to make an Egyptian AF Yak 11 trainer. The resin kit could rest on the front nose wheel but the cast aluminium one was too heavy at the rear and needed a prop to make it rest on the nose wheel.
What can I say about the Replica kit except that it is definitely recommended for the post war jet era trainer enthusiast. Perhaps with an additional increase in price Replica could include a second fuselage-wing solid part with the kit for a small increase in cost to make it easier for the modeler to make the second kit and saves one the extra work I had to go through.
Ref: Warplanes of the world, Ian Allan publication.
Editor's Note: For those who want a standard kit, MPM/Special Hobby do the Ha.200 in normal plastic.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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