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AFV Club HAWK MIM-23

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model rocket launcher kit
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Since aircraft first appeared over the battlefield, ground forces have sought protection. The U.S. Army put the Homing All-The-Way Killer (HAWK) system in service in 1959; the U.S. Marine Corps followed suit in 1960. Missiles were designated MIM-23A, the launcher M192.

AFV Club now has released the first 1/35 scale plastic kit of the HAWK system, with injection-molded parts in dark green, vinyl tires, a small photo-etch (PE) sheet, two polycaps, and a vinyl hose. Crisply molded, the parts show no flash; all knockout marks are well hidden. There are several mold seams to clean up, but make sure you don’t remove any of the fine detail.

There are many microscopic parts, and AFV Club has included extras for some of them in case they disappear. Paint callouts are for GSI Creos, Humbrol, Revell, and LifeColor colors. Four marking choices are shown in color profiles, with five side views of the trailer and four side views of the missile. Two photos show placement of cables that are represented by the vinyl tubing. A color sheet of the box art also is included.

Before starting on the trailer, you will have to decide on showing it deployed or in transport mode; I chose the deployed version. Assembly started with the outrigger arms, which were then sandwiched between the floor of the trailer and the upper part of the one-piece trailer. Caution is needed around the outriggers, which stick out from the trailer.

Removing delicate parts from the trees is troublesome, especially parts E21 and the hand brakes C26 and C27. I broke C27 and replaced part of it with wire. Oddly, many of the parts for the transport mode are on one of the three A sprues, thus leaving many parts in the box.

The lack of air-brake cables is curious: They are shown in the artwork and in the detail picture in Step 19, but not in the assembly. I used left-over vinyl tubing for these. If you show the model deployed, the remote launcher box is included. But you will have to supply the cable to attach it to the trailer.

The launcher unit is straightforward. But in Step 17, instead of gluing the end connecter (E24) to the vinyl tube I glued it to the launcher; I glued the vinyl tubes after painting.

Assembly of the missiles is where the engineering of this model really shines. The rockets are molded in halves, and the mold seam is covered by molding strip. The nose cones fit so well I left them off to paint separately. Control fins remain movable by sandwiching them between the body of the missile and the tail cone. Two different wings are included in the kit, but the directions do not specify which ones go with which markings. After studying the painting diagrams, I deduced that A14 is for marking choice B, while A15 is for the other three sets of markings. I did leave the wings off for painting; they snapped into place afterward.

The four marking choices are: USMC during Desert Storm; U.S. Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis; Republic of China (Taiwan) air force; and Israeli air force. I chose the U.S. Army markings.

The decals were in good register, and even some of the smallest stencils were legible. I did have some silvering; multiple setting solutions got those decals to settle.
 
This model was the perfect change of pace, with a relatively low parts count and easy assembly. I spent 29 hours on it, mostly for painting and decals. If AFV Club will release some of the support vehicles, we’ll have a complete battery.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2018 issue.

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