|KIT:||Revell AG 1/72 Hunter F.6|
|PRICE:||$14.00 from N.A.Hobbies at the Nationals|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||And a cheer goes up from the crowd|
If you ask an American what the most important jet fighter was of the 1950s, he'll undoubtedly tell you it was the F-86. Ask a Russian and it will be the MiG-15. Ask a Brit and you will hear "Hawker Hunter". There is a good reason for this. The Hunter was the most successful British jet of the time and there can probably be made a case that it was the single most successful post-war export aircraft that ever left the shores of the UK.
Though probably not as sterling a dog-fighter as either the Sabre or the MiG-15, it was an excellent ground attack aircraft and could hold its own in air defense as well. Developed later than the other two, the Hunter lasted well into the 1980s, though no longer in front line service with most nations by that time. In the 1960s it was operated by literally dozens of air forces from South America to the Middle East and throughout Europe and Africa as well. The Swiss kept theirs into the 1990s and many are still extant as warbirds.
I would not be leading you astray to say that a new mold Hunter has been on a lot of lists in the last decade. Previous kits in this scale by Frog, Matchbox and Airfix were fine for their times, but had been overtaken by technology. Today's modelers really want more detail and fidelity to form than what we wanted in the past. All the previous kits were deficient in some way or another in the fidelity to form part of things and this one seems to have corrected all of those.
The kit comes with two large sprues of grey plastic (with blank areas) and two smaller sprues; one with drop tanks and the other with missiles, seat, and tail cone. A separately bagged clear sprue has the windscreen and canopy. The main sprues have the required nicely etched detailing we have come to expect from new mold Revell AG kits. There are a bunch of 'blank' spaces on the airframe and sprues to accommodate the inevitable variants that will come down the pike. I'm rather glad that the fuselage halves are mostly intact. This either means that there will be no two seat version or that compete fuselage halves will be supplied.
Being an F.6 the kit does not include the 'dog tooth' outer wing leading edges, nor the parabrake housing over the exhaust. It does include a well done cockpit with raised detail on the consoles and instrument panel. It also has separate flaps so we can display those deployed, however there is no framework detailing in the underside of the upper wing and Hunters were just as likely to have these raised as not. The nose cone has the proper ram air inlet and the gear doors and bay look very much as they should, a problem with some of the earlier kits. There has been some commentary that the wing leading edge bits are too thick and this same complaint has been made about the wing tips. They do look a bit hefty but construction should bear out the truth in this matter. I should note that there was only a teeny bit of flash on a couple of parts, no ejector pin marks and sink marks were only found on the bang seat and in the seat mount part of the interior.
Instructions are well done and typical of Revell AG with much of it taken up in multi-lingual warnings and hazards to keep the lawyers at bay. Construction sequences are well done with all color information being provided in Revell paints, a continuation of this most irritating trait with Revell and several other model makers. Several of the colors have to be mixed. Why not just give us the generic name of the darn shade and let us go through our Humbrol, Testors or Gunze paints to pick the proper colors?
Markings are provided for four aircraft. All of them are in Dark Green/Dark Sea Grey (I believe) over Silver. The two upper surface colors are the ones that have to be mixed! Two are RAF aircraft with the Fighter Combat School plane being shown on the box art. The other is for 66 Sq. There is also a Belgian and Dutch F.6 on the sheet. The sheet is quite large with a full stencil suite, instrument panel/console decals and missile markings. It is well printed and I saw no registration problems. The lower wing serials show where they need to be cut to apply to the gear doors, a very nice touch. Other reviewers have complained that they are a bit transparent, but that can be overcome by using aftermarket decals.
Despite some of the nay-say commentary of other reviewers, most of us are just very happy to have a new mold Hunter kit. It was long enough in arriving in the US and I know that it will be well received. Most of us will undoubtedly build several and I'm sure Revell AG will be producing other variants as time goes on.
Review kit purchased by me for your reading pleasure.
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