Kit: Hunter T. Mk 7 / F. Mk 58

Scale: 1/72

Kit Number: 40117

Manufacturer: Matchbox

Price: œ4.50UK

Media: Injected plastic

Decals: Two versions: Swiss F Mk58 1982 / RAF T Mk7 1966

Reviewer: Simon Hedge

Date of Review: 23 June 1998

To steal a phrase from Scale Aviation Modeller, the Hunter is surely one of the 'sexy' aircraft of the world. It's sleek lines are everything an idealist's design for a jet fighter would be.

This is a typical Matchbox kit, with trench-like panel lines, thick plastic and poor fit. Interior detail is quite basic, consisting of seats and crew figures. There are decals for the instrument panels, although the instructions strangely fail to mention this at any point!

As I said earlier, as with most Matchbox kits, fit is quite poor. The fuselage is split into front and rear halves, to enable the choice of one & two seat variants, and this join was rather problematic, but the wing-roots were probably the worst joins. Bring plenty of wet & dry. Be aware that you'll need some sort of blanking behind the intakes, otherwise you will be able to look in the intakes and see out the wheel-wells, and I personally abhor see-through aircraft. The undercarriage is okay, and underwing stores can be external tanks or rocket pods. The airbrake is a seperate part, so in theory, with an actuating rod of stretched sprue it could easily be positioned open, although I didn't do this.

The two schemes both use the same camoflage scheme of green and grey with bare-metal undersides. The decal sheet is the best part of the kit, with good images, and lots of stencilling. Having had trouble from Matchbox decals before, I decided to try the Johnson's Klear method. I covered the models with a few coats of klear to bring a gloss finish, then as I applied each decal, I covered it in more Klear to act as a setting solution. A white 'gunge' oozed out from under each decal, but this was easily whisked away with a brush, and the end result was truly excellent, with no silvering and that 'painted on' look. I really recommend this method to anyone working with Matchbox decals.

Unlike those hi-tech kits from the Orient we all love, this is the sort of kit the needs a bit of effort. More than I was prepared to give it, really. However, it's the only way you're going to get a two-seat Hunter in your collection, and I will be glad to leave my two examples on the display shelf for a while yet.

Back to Main Page

Back to Reviews Page