AZ Model 1/72 Hawker Hart B.4A

KIT #: AZ7226R
PRICE: $14.00 from www.greatmodels.com (on sale) ($34.95 SRP)
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run with resin and photo etch parts

HISTORY

The Hawker Hart was a British two-seater biplane light bomber of the Royal Air Force (RAF), which had a prominent role during the RAF's inter-war period. The Hart was designed during the 1920s by Sydney Camm and built by Hawker Aircraft. It spawned several variants, including a naval version.

The Hart entered service with No. 33 Squadron RAF in February 1930, replacing the larger and slower Hawker Horsley. No. 12 Squadron replaced its Foxes with Harts in January 1931, with a further two British-based Hart light bomber squadrons forming during 1931.

Harts were deployed to the Middle East during the Abyssinia Crisis of 19351936. The Hart saw extensive and successful service on the North-West Frontier, British India during the inter-war period. Four Hawker Harts from the Swedish Air Force saw action as dive bombers during the 1939-1940 Winter War as part of a Swedish volunteer squadron, designated F19, fighting on the Finnish side. Though obsolete compared to the United Kingdom's opposition at the start of the Second World War, the Hart continued in service, mainly performing in the communications and training roles until being declared obsolete in 1943.

The Hart proved to be a successful export, seeing service with the Royal Egyptian Air Force, Royal Indian Air Force, South African Air Force, Estonian Air Force, Southern Rhodesia, Sweden (where it was designated B4) and Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

The Hart B.4A was a light bomber for Swedish Air Force. Four Hawker-built pattern aircraft, powered by a Bristol Pegasus IM2 radial piston engine were delivered in 1934. Following successful evaluation, 42 were built under license in Sweden, powered by a Swedish-built NOHAB Pegasus IU2.

Swedish Air Force General Bjorn Bjuggren wrote in his memoirs how his squadron developed dive-bombing techniques in the mid-1930s for their B4s.  When the Hawker engineers found out, they issued a formal objection, saying that the aircraft had not been designed for that purpose; however, Swedish pilots proved that the aircraft was up to that task and dispelled their concern.

THE KIT

Typical of many AZ Model kits, this one has a single sprue of injected plastic, a bag of resin bits, a photo etch fret and an acetate sheet that has instruments and windscreens.

The overall look of the plastic bits is quite good. There is the usual flash on a few parts (more like large mold seams) that will be easily removed. The resin is particularly well done with a very nicely molded engine included in the bag. The exhaust collector will be a bear to remove from the pour block so one will need to be very careful when sawing it away. Photo etch is used for the seat harness, most of the rear gun mount, control hinges and a few other bits and pieces. The builder will need to supply plastic rods for the fuselage guns, tail struts and the forward sight as well as the radio masts and linkages if one is installing the skis.

There is interior wall detail with the cockpit consisting of basically a floor, seats and rudder pedals. The engine cowling is two pieces that will need some seam work done prior to installing the engine. All the flight surfaces are butt fit, but should provide no problems for those used to short run kits. The only real option is the ski installation. Wheels are provided for those not wanting to go the ski route. The skis are in resin and very nicely molded.

Instructions are well drawn and hopefully more useful than the ones that came with their 1/48 Kellet kit. Colors from Gunze and Agama paints are provided, but this is a pretty simple paint scheme so should be no real issues. Markings are provided for three aircraft, two in aluminum dope and a third with the upper surfaces painted in a dark green. Decals are well printed, but I should caution the builder that my experience with them is that they are very thin and quite prone to tearing.

CONCLUSIONS

One has to go into building any short run kit with a bit of caution. They frequently require more work than the seemingly low parts count might indicate. I am sure this one will be no exception, but it is the price we pay for the more unusual subjects.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hart

February 2012

I got this one and GreatModels where you can find a ton of neat kits and accessories.

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