|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Upgraded kit to later mod|
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. Many of these were earlier air frames that had been brought in for upgrade and modification to later variants. The FGA.9 was the last major version and most export planes were of this basic version. The Swiss kept their Mk 58s into the 1990s, upgrading them to carry Sidewinder and Maverick missiles. 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 earlier release of the Mk.6 sold very well indeed, so it was not surprising that a year or so later, the FGA.9 was released.
You get pretty much the same kit as the F.6, which was released in 2005, however, there is a replaced area on the fuselage sprue with the proper parabrake rear exhaust area and a full new sprue with mostly Swiss upgrade parts and some small bits that were used on the FGA.9 as operated by the RAF. The image to the upper left is of the F.6 kit with the updated FGA.9 parts shown to the right. I was surprised to see that there were parts that had a lot of flash on them. This was particularly true of the landing gear legs so clean-up is needed in that regard. I also noticed more sink areas than I'd have liked to have seen, some of them, such as those on the wing leading edge parts and flaps, being quite prominent.
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) with the Swiss planes having an Aluminum underside and the RAF ones listed as White. I'm not sure about that last as I think it is probably supposed to be a light grey. I'm certainly not painting my RAF Hunter with a white underside. First option is for a 1 TWU plane from 1979, painted with Red outer wing panels, tailplanes and large drop tanks. The second RAF bird is a 79 Squadron one, also with 1 TWU in 1984. There are two Swiss Mk.58s. One is a Patrouille Swiss plane from 1991 and the second is a Fliegerstaffel 20 aircraft from 1993. Other reviewers have complained that they are a bit transparent, but that can be overcome by using aftermarket decals if one is concerned. They look fine to me.
I'm sure that many Hunter fans already have several of these in their stash. I built the F.6 a few years back and found it to be a fine kit. I'm sure you will like this as well. June 2009 If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page