1/48 Italeri E-2C Hawkeye 2000

Gallery Article by Konstantinos Vergos on Apr 4 2012

 

 

Hawkeye is one of the most recognizable silhouettes aboard the US Carriers decks for many years and probably for more to come. The last version currently in use is the -2000 one, which differs exoterically from its ancestors by the eight-bladed rotors and some extra antennae on the fuselage. Hawkeye 2000s first deployed in 2003 aboard USS Nimitz with VAW-117, the "Wallbangers" and this model represents one of their birds in a scheme from October 2009.

 

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Kinetic first released a kit of the plane in 1/48 scale with Italeri following with the -2000 variation and probably reboxing Kinetic’s one. Well, I don’t know about the first but this one suffers by various mistakes, serious or not, that demand special care and extra work for fixing. 

So, many things here are overscaled including stencils (that cannot be shrunk!) and panel lines, especially at the lower tail section. The engraved panel lines on the front and the back parts of the fuselage of the model simply do not exist on the plane. The correct move is filling and sanding all these lines but I just didn’t shade them in order to hide them from view! The turning mechanism position on the front wheel leg is wrong too. In order to fix this and add some more strength and detail I provided the metal landing gear parts by “Scale Aircraft Conversions”, but they proved to be just metal copies of the original and wrong too! So I rearrange things on the kit part, as it was easier to cut. Some parts from SAC set were used at the main landing gear structure for reinforcing it. The positions for the small loop antennae that are on both sides of the rotodome support structure are given correct on port side with the ones for the starboard side being mirror images of the first. It is wrong too, but difficult to correct and too small to be seen, so I let them as they were and only add small wires for the antennae. A similar problem appears for the positions of the hydraulic actuators inside the main wheel bays, so extra care is needed there too.

The instructions don’t give much information about the antennae positions and the differences between the two versions given, so photo research is needed for them. Well I noticed that almost every plane is unique, but late versions usually carry the conical sat antenna on top of the dome combined with the loop ones on the front part of the fuselage. 

And don’t forget to use plenty of balance weight inside the front fuselage or you’ll have the perfect tail-sitting plane.

The model was painted with Gunze Aqueous acrylics and weathering was done with preshading, oils and pastels. The decal set comes from “Bingo Decals” and I have to say that is very accurate and perfect in quality. They also offered great help (thanks Steve!) by providing some pictures of the aircraft. 

Finally I have to say that this model took many hours to complete ‘cause it is big and heavy, it has many colour variations (although monochrome!) and many parts to glue strongly at the right angle! But surely stands as a jewel on the shelf, being by its nature weird and imposing at the same time. 

Konstantinos Vergos

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Photos and text © by Konstantinos Vergos