Clear Prop 1/48 Hawk 75N
|KIT #:||CP 4804|
|PRICE:||@$40.00 plus shipping|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Hawk 75N was a variant of the P-36 developed with fixed landing gear
for several nations, including Argentina, China, and Thailand. The fixed landing
gear was easier to maintain and more robust than the retracting version so was
perfect for the nations who ordered the type. In Thailand, the type had a
relatively long service life for aircraft of this type. During the WWII era, a
few Hawk 75Ns were used by Thailand during the French-Thai War. They also fought
at the Battle of Prachuab Khirikhan against Japanese forces during the Japanese
Invasion of Thailand. On 28 January 1941, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF)
dispatched nine Ki-30 Nagoyas, escorted by three Hawk 75s, to bomb Pailin and
Sisophon in French Indochina. Thailand was perhaps the only country operating
both Japanese and American aircraft just before World War II. One of the Thai
Hawk 75Ns is still extant in the Thai Air Force Museum.
Clear Prop models is a fairly new company out of Ukraine and this kit was ordered direct. So far they have released this kit and one for Argentina. Based on the sprue layout, I would expect there to be other variations of the Hawk 75/P-36 released in the near future. Most of their other kits are in 1/72 kit so it is nice to see them offering this one. Tooling is excellent with finely engraved detailing that includes all the rivets as tiny indentations. Two bags of sprues are provided with one bag being a much darker grey plastic than the other.
The kit has a photo etch fret for the instrument panel, seat harness, various interior sidewall bits, external gun sight pieces, and a number of rudder, elevator, and trim tab hinges. Ailerons, rudder, and elevator are separate items with the rudder being a left and right half. All are molded in the neutral position.
The interior takes a fair amount of the p.e. and itself is very nicely detailed. The molding on the sidewalls is especially well done. You have two instrument panel pieces. One is raised instrument faces and the other is blank. On this one you are to use the p.e. instrument panel. There is a decal that can be used with either panel. The floor of the cockpit is properly curved. Jutting into the cockpit area are the butts for the two nose machine guns. Once the cockpit tub is built up, it is trapped in the fuselage halves.
Next is a nicely detailed 12 piece engine. Wings are a lower section with two upper halves. Holes need to be drilled for the machine gun pods. Note that there are a few places in the instructions where you need to drill these holes and they are clearly noted. With the wing complete, it and the engine are attached to the fuselage and the cowling built around the engine. Then the flight control surfaces are added.
This is followed by building the wheels, machine gun pods, and the landing gear. The gear housings trap the wheel within. Then the exhaust housings and tail gear are built and attached. The next to last construction section involves the windscreen and canopy along with the rear quarter windows, prop and pitot. The last step is the attachment of all the p.e. hinges. This will be a bit complicated if using the full rudder stripe so you'll have to figure that out.
Instructions are very nicely drawn and use both Mr.Color and MiG paints. Four options are offered giving a choice of every basic scheme used. One is unpainted aluminum with roundels and a flag on the fin. Then there are three camouflaged options similar to the one on the box art. One has the roundels, one has flags, and the third has the elephant flags. The decal sheet is nicely printed and should be no issue when using it.
This kit makes a nice upgrade from the older Hobbycraft kit. It is certainly better detailed, though I wouldn't toss the HC kit as it still makes into a nice model and is simpler. As expected, the more unusual offerings are offered first. I'm sure that many are awaiting the P-36 types as they were used by a variety of nations in the early years of the war. Still, this is a very nice looking kit and from reports on other Clear Prop kits, should build well.
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