Friday, December 15, 2017

Hawker Hunter FGA.9

It has been argued that the Hawker Hunter is the most Beautiful jet Aircraft ever built. I'm not sure about that, although it is quite aesthetic with a long fuselage bracketed by both curved and swept-back wings over large triangular air intakes. The Hawker Hunter was also one of the most successful British aircraft exports of the post-WW2 era, with almost 2,000 Hunters being build and used by in all 22 nations.

The FROG model is a late ground-attack version of the Hunter, the F.G.A.9, in this case armed with cannon and rocket pods. This kit is probably from the late 1960s or very early 1970s, and it is typical of FROG models of this era: thick, hard plastic, raised panel lines, but decent fit and accurate proportions. The kit comes with RAF and Swiss Air Force markings, and I chose the markings of a Hunter from No. 58 Squadron based at West Raynham around 1968. Painting was done with Vallejo colors, and the kit is built entirely out-of-the box while being seconded to Riga, Latvia. Further reviews can be found here:

Convair F-102A Delta Dagger, California Air National Guard

High-performance jets of the 1950s and 1960s have a certain charm. It was the era of faster and higher, of a Few Good Men, and of everlasting technological optimism. The Convair F-102 was part of that era, being a supersonic interceptor meant to be guided by Air-Ground Intercept (AGI) to shoot down Soviet bombers before they dropped their nuclear payloads over American cities. This kit featured the markings of the California Air National Guard's 194th Fighter Squadron. They flew F-102A Delta Daggers from July 1, 1964, having replaced the old F-86Ls with the all-missile Mach 1,25 interceptor. The Delta Daggers were in turn retired on January 1, 1984 and replaced by F-4D Phantom IIs.

It seems as if this kit was released just before recessed panel lines became the norm. The raised lines are subtle, and yet they convey the image of this interceptor. There are several quirks, though: the fin has a third of its plastic presence on the left hull and roughly two thirds on the right side, which means that careful fitting, filling and sanding is required. The tail decal fortunately covers up much of this. The lower wings are also fitted behind the front leading edge of the upper wing, and this requires careful fitting. Although I chose to display the model in flight, the landing gear can be improved. The pilot is underscale or just representing a rather diminutive aviator..The Falcon missiles are crude, although resin replacements can be purchased. Finally, all online sources warned against assembling a closed missile bay. There are insertable closed missile bays available in resin, but I opted for an ascending Dagger, ready to pounce on Soviet strategic aviation approaching the West Coast. On the Bright side, other aspects of the fit are quite good. The cockpit is rather decent for a late 1960s/early 1970s kit, and there are decals to further highlight the instrument panels. The decals were still quite useable, and the canopy was reasonably clear. Above all, great fun was had from a kit that cost roughly $10 at Hobbybokhandeln in Stockholm, a really good used model shop and book store.