AFV Club 1/35 MIM-23 Hawk

KIT #: 35283
PRICE: $10.00 'started'
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2017 tooling


The Raytheon MIM-23 HAWK ("Homing All the Way Killer") is an American medium-range surface-to-air missile. It was designed to be a much more mobile counterpart to the MIM-14 Nike Hercules, trading off range and altitude capability for a much smaller size and weight. Its low-level performance was greatly improved over Nike through the adoption of new radars and a continuous wave semi-active radar homing guidance system. It entered service with the US Army in 1959.

In 1971 it underwent a major improvement program as the Improved Hawk, or I-Hawk, which made several improvements to the missile and replaced all of the radar systems with new models. Improvements continued throughout the next twenty years, adding improved ECCM, a potential home-on-jam feature, and in 1995, a new warhead that made it capable against short-range tactical ballistic missiles. Jane's reported that the original system's single shot kill probability was 0.56; I-Hawk improved this to 0.85.

Hawk was superseded by the MIM-104 Patriot in US Army service by 1994. The last US user was the US Marine Corps, who used theirs until 2002 when they were replaced with the man-portable short-range FIM-92 Stinger. The missile was also produced outside the US in Western Europe, Japan and Iran. The US never used the Hawk in combat, but it has been employed numerous times by other nations. Approximately 40,000 of the missiles were produced.


This is a kit I bought that was already started at an IPMS meeting. The previous builder had begun to assemble the platform, but hadn't gotten all that far on it so most of the kit was still unstarted. Molded in olive drab plastic, the kit is divided into two major construction sections. One is the base and this can be built in either transport or emplacement mode. One needs to determine which to do from the very start as it involves the placement of the braces.

Not surprising is that there are a lot of small detail parts to go on this. The kit provides hard rubber tires to fit on the wheels, which can be made to roll if one wishes. A nice touch is that the instructions divide the platform into transporting or emplacement sections so one simply follows the construction sequence depending on how one wishes to model things.

The missile mount is in itself nearly as complex as the launch platform base. This assembly is provided with some vinyl tubing to act as the flexible hydraulic lines found on the real deal. This assembly will be able to move in both azimuth and elevation when done. There is also a small tripod mounted control panel included. The last items are the construction of the missiles themselves, which are probably the easiest part of the build. A small p.e. fret is used to add a bit of detail to the missile mount assembly.

Instructions are quite well done and provide color info in a number of paint lines as well as FS 595 colors. Four different options are provided with systems used by the US during Gulf War I and the Cuban Missile Crisis. A Republic of China and an Israeli system round out the options. Each has different shades of color for the base and missiles. A fairly large decal sheet is included that provides a lot of stencils.


In all, it looks like a really nice kit of this system. Though it doesn't include the radar trailer that the old 1/32 Revell kit had, it is certainly more detailed. I only hope it isn't missing bits. 


March 2024

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