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Hawk III




S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: No.72137 "Upgraded Kit"
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 2 sprues in "limited run" injected plastic, 8 resin parts, 1 sheet of decals, 1 vacform canopy, 1 photoetched sheet with instrument film.
Price: USD$13.96 from Squadron Mail Order
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Nicely cast resin parts that replace some older injected kit parts; finely engraved wing and fuselage detail.
Disadvantages: Some small areas of flash and no locating pins on parts. Rigging required.
Recommendation: Recommended to more experienced modellers due to the complex assembly requirements and the multi-media nature of the kit.


Reviewed by Dale Smith


MPM's 1/72 scale Hawk III kit is available online from Squadron.com



The Hawk III was one of a long line of aircraft developed by the Curtiss Aircraft Company for requirements of both the USAAC (United States Army Air Corps) and the US Navy. 

The subject of this review , the Hawk III, was an export version of the US Navys Curtiss BF2C-1 (F11C-3), that mainly differed from the naval version by its wooden wing structure. US Naval aircraft differed in that they had metal wings, but that design had serious vibration problems and eventually all of that mark of aircraft were withdrawn from service after only a few months service. 

The Hawk III was powered by a Wright SR-1820F-53 Cyclone engine developing 785 hp for take-off and 745hp at 9,600 ft.(2,925 m). Armament consisted of two synchronised 0.3-in. (7.62 mm) machine guns firing through the propeller arc. 

Export success with this aircraft amounted to 1 single example to Turkey in April 1935, 24 aircraft to Thailand in August 1935, 10 aircraft to Argentina in May 1936 and the largest order, 102 aircraft to China starting in March 1936. 90 of these airframes were assembled at the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO) in Hangchow, China.





MPM's 1/72 scale Hawk III is marked as an "Upgraded Kit". This means that a number of the original injected parts are replaced by resin items. 

2 sprues of 'limited run' injection molded plastic are supplied. All of the injected parts are nicely molded, with a small amount of flash evident on some parts. No locating pins are provided on any of the parts, so alignment of the parts before application of the glue is a must. The molding gates are quite large, so careful removal from the sprues will be the order of the day. 



Resin parts include a new cockpit floor and rear bulkhead, cockpit sidewalls, control column, engine, engine exhaust ring, instrument panel and pilots seat. All of the resin parts are nicely molded with no air bubbles or molding deformities present. A separate instruction sheet insert is provided to cover the resin parts and their placement. The resin parts are very fine and careful cutting and sanding from the molding is required. 

Photo-etched parts are supplied that cover the rudder pedals, seat belts, instrument panel and some miscellaneous parts on the instrument panel. A small film is also provided for the instrument dials. 

A small single vacform is provided that covers the 2 small (and I mean tiny) windscreen and rear canopy glazing. Careful with the Exacto knife when removing them.

One decal sheet is provided with markings for 3 aircraft. Two are Chinese Air Force examples of the aircraft flown by H.T.Walker (USA) from the Hangkow base in 1937 in a Forest Green (upper) and Light Grey (lower)scheme. The final marking choice is an aircraft of the Royal Thai Air Force in late 1940 in a Brown, Green (uppers) and Light Blue (lower surfaces). The decals are supplied by Propagteam and are nicely printed, in register, and appear to have good colour density. 

On the subject of rigging, the instructions provide a drawing that show placement of the rigging wires that need to be supplied by the modeller. 

Take note that the rigging wires between the fuselage and the centre of the wing and near the cockpit are single wires and the other wires that run outward from the fuselage and upper wing to the outer struts are dual wires. Two rigging wires are also required to be placed from the horizontal tailplanes to the vertical tailplane. A check of references and a cutaway drawing will help in this area.





The MPM Hawk III should build up with a little care and patience, into a nice replica. The resin parts add a little more finesse to the originally issued model but perhaps rigging the model should be left to the more adventurous amongst us!


Many thanks to 'Squadron Mail Order' for supplying the review kit.

Review Copyright 2001 by Dale Smith
Page Created 18 June, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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