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MPC 1/48 scale Hawk Mk.IX fighter plastic model kit review

Good fits and comprehensive decals produce a sharp replica
Kit:MPC947 // Scale:1.48 // Price:$51.99
MPC (Sample courtesy of mfr.)
Nice detail; excellent fits
Painting and marking diagrams printed on the side of the box; stiff decals; orange decals appear too dark
Injection-molded plastic (off-white, black, clear); 119 parts (1 metal rod); decals
Round 2
For the Space: 1999 first-season episode “War Games,” the show’s model shop produced 5-inch, 16-inch, and 31-inch models of the Hawk Mk.IX fighter. The models were initially painted overall white to match the Eagles, but during filming, there were concerns that the ships looked too similar, so the Hawks were quickly repainted with orange trim (reportedly Tamiya Orange).

Despite appearing in one episode, the Hawk has been popular with the show’s fans. A few years ago, MPC released a new-tool Hawk in 1/72 scale and has now introduced a kit in 1/48 to complement its 1/48 Eagle. Molded in cream-colored plastic, the parts show good detail. A large decal sheet provides all the markings for the Hawk in “War Games,” as well as optional black window panels to match a post-show repaint. The four-page instruction booklet has clear assembly diagrams, but the color marking and painting diagrams are inconveniently printed on the sides of the box.

After studying the instructions, I came up with an assembly plan to minimize masking. Starting with the main hull, I masked the cockpit windows. There is no cockpit detail, so I painted the backside of the clear parts flat black.

The fit of the upper and lower body halves is good and requires just a few spots of filler on the seam. The same was true for the outboard engines and the nose; the filler mostly needed to smooth divots left where I trimmed the parts from the trees. The gun pod halves needed only sanding to eliminate seams. I assembled the wing pods, winglets, rear engine halves, upper panel, and the main nozzle.

The rest of the parts were removed from the trees and prepared for painting. Take your time cleaning up the underside framework (Part 42), which I dubbed “the spider.” It’s delicate work removing all of the mold seams. Similarly, the upper ladder frame (Part 17) — I nicknamed it “the centipede” — also requires a lot of cleanup, but the part is sturdier.

I primed the subassemblies and parts with Mr. Hobby Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 White, then airbrushed the parts that will be white with Tamiya White lacquer (No. LP-2). The rocket nozzles were painted with Tamiya Bare-Metal Silver (No. AS-12) decanted and sprayed through my airbrush. Initially, I painted the orange areas with Tamiya Orange (No. X-6). Rather than use the decals for the bands on the engines and rectangular panels on the body, I masked and painted them orange, avoiding the need to match the decals. After it dried, I decided the orange was too bright, so I re-masked everything and airbrushed a mix of 9 parts Tamiya Orange and 1 part Red (No. XF-7).

The decals are well printed, but I found the film to be rigid. They responded to Microscale decal solutions, though they took longer to settle than most decals. The biggest issue was the bands on the upper ladder frame; they just didn’t want to wrap around the rails. I ended up balancing them on the top of the rail and carefully applied a drop of Solvaset; eventually they softened enough to wrap around the rail. After a sealing coat of clear flat, I brought the subassemblies together.

Leaving out the time spent to re-spray the orange, I spent about 15 hours on my 1/48 scale Space: 1999 Hawk Mk.IX. Of that, about five hours focused on cleanup and assembly, and the rest was painting and applying decals. The finished model matches the dimensions for the Hawk I found on the Moonbase Alpha wiki. I was quite pleased with how it turned out, and it makes a good companion to my 1/48 scale Eagle. While I think even a beginner modeler could assemble this kit, you’ll need some painting and decaling experience to do it justice.

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