Hobby Boss 1/48 Bae Hawk T.1A

KIT #: 81733
PRICE: $56.99 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2014 tooling


The Hawk entered RAF service in April 1976, replacing the Folland Gnat and Hawker Hunter in the advanced training and weapons training roles respectively. The Hawk T1 ("Trainer Mark 1") was the original version used by the RAF, deliveries commencing in November 1976, with 176 being ordered.

From 1983 to 1986, some Hawks were equipped as the short-range interceptor aircraft for point defence. 88 T1s were modified to carry two AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles (AAMs) in addition to the centreline gun pod carrying a single 30 mm ADEN cannon. These aircraft were designated Hawk T1A. In the event of war, they would have worked in collaboration with Tornado F3 aircraft, which would use their Foxhunter search radars to vector the radarless Hawks against enemy targets. Such missions would have been flown by instructor pilots. Conversions were completed in 1986. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, RAF Hawks are no longer tasked with this role. Hawks were used also as "aggressors", simulating air combat with Tornado ADVs.

The most famous RAF operator of the Hawk is the Red Arrows aerobatic team, which adopted the plane in 1979.

The Hawk subsequently replaced the English Electric Canberra in the target towing role.

The Royal Navy acquired a dozen Hawk T1/1As from the RAF, for use as aerial targets for the training of ships' gunners and radar operators.

Eighty Hawk T1/1A aircraft have been upgraded under the Fuselage Replacement Programme (FRP), which involves the replacement of the aft, centre and rear fuselage sections, using new build sections derived from the Mk. 60.

In 2009, the RAF began receiving the first Hawk T2 aircraft, which will replace the T1 in the advanced trainer role.


This is the third Hawk done in this scale, if memory serves. First there was the Premier kit which was much welcomed until one actually built it. To say it was short run would be appropriate. After many years, Airfix finally produced one. This was a major improvement and since it is only a few years old, is still widely available. I am not sure why Hobby Boss would want to do the same subject, but here it is.

Initial impressions are good as the kit is nicely molded. It has a separate nose and rear fuselage section to enable the molding to be used for the later Hawk variants. The kit provided a decent cockpit with a nicely done seat. It is here where the photo etch is used as it seems to be mostly for the seats. There are two identical frets. Using p.e. for the harness is an appropriate use of this material and I'm glad to see it included. There are decals for the instrument panels but not the side consoles. Both have raised surfaces if you wish to paint them.The cockpit is trapped in the forward fuselage halves along with the nose gear well. No indication of any weight is provided, but I'd put in some just to be sure.

The rear fusleage includes a separate speed brake well and looks like it fits well behind the forward fuselage. There is no intake trunking with a single cast intake gluing to the front of the rear section. I found it interesting the the rear piece with a short tailpipe section is separate so no worries about rear seams.

The fin in two pieces with one half including the rudder and the other side more of a filler. Tailplanes are a single piece. The wing has separate main gear wells and there are several holes that need to be opened for missile pylons or guns. I'd do some research prior to doing this. This kit has the wings with multiple wing fences, so if not using kit markings, research would be advisable to see if they are required. Since they are molded in place, sanding will be needed to erase them. The kit has separate flap and aileron fairings and there are clear wing tip lights.

There are two different pylons for under each wing with each pylon having separate anti-sway braces. The speed brake can be posed open if you so wish.  Landing gear are nicely molded with separate wheels and even the little main gear attachment struts. The ventral strakes are butt joins. I like that these are separate. Many Hawk kits include them with the speed brake well and it can make any join work difficult. The T.1A was a development that included the ability to carry Sidewinder missiles so the planes could be used as a last ditch air to air fighter. Hawks were capable of carrying a centerline gun for use at weapons training squadrons as well as the ability to carry rocket pods or bombs. All of these are included as are wing tanks. You will need to make a choice of what the plane will be carrying. The canopy and windscreen are clear and while the instructions show them being attached in the closed position, you can pose the canopy open if you wish. Hobby Boss did miss the clear blash shield that goes between the front and rear cockpit.

Instructions are well drawn and only offer color information for the cockpit. Usually, the landing gear and wheel wells were light aircraft grey (FS 16473). Markings are for three aircraft. One is the box art plane with 2 Tactical Weapons Unit (63 squadron) in 1981. It would not have had the additional wing fences, just like shown on the box art. Another is in the three color 'Raspberry Ripple' scheme with the Empire Test Pilot's School in 2000. The final option is in the current all black training color with 4 FTS (74 Squadron) in 2001. This option has the large tiger head on the fin. Decals are nicely done and while quite glossy, should be good to go.


I bought this kit because it was on sale and since I really like the early Hawk, will probably build it in a scheme I've not used before. There are lots of aftermarket decals for this aircraft, Xtradecal having quite a nice selection. I caution the builder to be sure to have a photo of the plane you are building as few of them will have all the ordnance. For instance, it is normal for the 2 TWU plane to have the gun pod and perhaps the rocket pods. The ETPS plane would probably be clean and more often than not, so would the 4 FTS version as advanced trainers don't need guns, rockets or missiles.



February 2017

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Thanks to me and a sale for this one.

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