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Building an Airfix Red Arrow Scale Model (A02005) In Pictures
Building the BAE Red Arrow Hawk Kit A02005
As a child I remember spending many happy hours building model aircraft kits, painting them, and usually crashing them too, so it was a pleasant surprise when a colleague bought me a 1:72 scale Spitfire with the challenge of building it while on tour (at the time I was tour managing a touring theatre production). Over the next few days I managed to put the thing together and paint it to a prettty good standard considering I was working in hotel rooms and theatre dressing rooms with only my touring toolkit to hand (mostly too big for delicate work like this). What I also found was that I, a 34 year old man, was once again afflicted with the model making bug, which leads us here.
Having finished the Spitfire I needed a new kit to get into and saw this simple kit in a shop. I have always been a fan of the Red Arrows and the attraction of this particular kit (product code A02005) was it contained all the correct paints so I didn't need to buy anything extra. I also decided to keep a photographic record of the build which is what this page is all about. NB - all photos were taken by myself using a Canon 550D with stock lens.
This is the box the kit came in, as you can see all the paints and glue come as a part of the kit. Excuse the box damage, I was a bit too eager to get stuck in before taking the first picture
The Kit Contents
Here are the entire contents of the kit. Four racks of plastic parts plus a small rack of clear plastic parts, 6 pots of acrylic paint, 2 paint brushes, a tube of glue, and a sheet of transfers
The Pilot - Removing the first part
Here is the first part removed from the frame, the pilot. Many people advise using a craft knife to remove and trim parts, and sandpaper to remove any rough edges, however I find the blade and file on my trusty Leatherman do just fine for both tasks.
Painting The First Bits
The first part to build in the plans is the cockpit and as this is enclosed it is a good idea to paint it before fitting it inside the fuselage. Note on the left of the picture the painted fuselage interior, and at the bottom, the pilot having had a first coat of paint
Final Coat on Cockpit Parts And Transfers
Here the cockpit components are finished painting and transfers detailing the instruments have been added.
Pilot is Painted
Here the pilot is finished painted in his final colour with detail on the hands, feet, and head. The kit doesn't contain any flesh tone so for the face I used a roughly 50:50 mix of red and white to make a pinkish tone.
Detail Inside The Fuselage
This is the inside of the cockpit that will be visible through the canopy. It is painted in a base colour then I used a technique called dry brushing to add some detail. This involves wetting the brush in black paint, wiping it on paper until no more colour comes off, then brushing over the surface to pick out the fine detail of the moulding so it looks worn and well used.
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Here we have the finished pilot. I used a technique called washing, which involves diluting black paint and brushing it all over the model, then pat drying with a paper towel after a few minutes, to get black pigment into the deeper grooves on the model which has the effect of enhancing the detail of the moulded parts
Here we see the full cockpit assembly with the pilot glued into place. The sharper among you will have noticed the washing effect used on the undercarriage assembly.
Here you see I have painted the body areas around the engine intakes to avoid having to squeeze my brush into any tight spaces later on. The small round object to the top right of the picture is the engine outlet which is painted in a mixture of 3 parts silver to one part black. I have to say the red paint in this kit is of pretty poor quality as it took three coats to achieve coverage on these parts, though this may be a result of the kit sitting on the shelf too long and the pigment and solvent separating.
Engine Intakes Attached
In this picture we see the first parts of the intakes attached to the fuselage. The white stripe on each one is a transfer and will eventually form part of the white stripe that runs the length of the fuselage
Engine Intakes Finished
Here we see the final parts of the intakes fitted to the fuselage.
Here we see the bare wings of the aircraft having been removed from their frames and generally trimmed, filed, and tidied up.
Wings Glued Together
Here we see the wings glued together. I dry fitted them first to see that they were a snug fit with no gaps to worry about and then applied the glue. The masking tape is wrapped around to hold the pieces firmly together while the glue cures.
Test Fitting the Fuselage
This picture shows the two halves of the fuselage detached from their frame, cleaned up and dry assembled to check for a good fit. As you can see there is quite a wide crack running along the front of the cockpit.
Mounting The Cockpit To The Fuselage
This picture shows the cockpit being glued to one half of the fuselage, while being held in place with masking tape to ensure the best possible fit.
Whilst waiting for the cockpit glue to dry I de-taped the wing section and finished it off by attaching the 6 small winglets to the underside. I should also point out here that the instruction manual for this kit is wrong and tells you to attach the winglets in the wrong order, though fortunately I dry assembled the parts before gluing and spotted the mistake.
In this picture the cockpit is securely fixed to one half of the fuselage. The pieces of wire under the cockpit are there as counterweights, as I will eventually be displaying this model with its undercarriage down, and it is often necessary to weight the front of jet models to stop them overbalancing. You can also see in this picture where the engine exhaust piece is fitted.
Gluing the Fuselage
Here we see the two halves of the fuselage held together with masking tape as the glue dries.
Here we see the fuselage after the glue has dried, as you can see the gap at the front of the fuselage is still quite big and needs filling. Unfortunately I had no filler to hand, so after a quick purchase on ebay I decided to press on regardless as much as possible and return to fix the gap when the filler arrived.
The Second Cockup
When trying to fit the blanking section that divides the two pilot seats in the cockpit, I realised I had set the rear instrument panel too high and the piece wouldn't fit. Bringing out the trusty Leatherman I trimmed the top of the instrument panel until it fitted.
Blanking Piece Fitted
Once the panel had been trimmed, the blanking panel fitted snugly into place, hiding the rough edge left by the knife.
Attaching The Wings
The next step was to attach the wings to the fuselage, as you can see I used plenty of tape to hold the two sections tight while the glue dried.
Attaching The Tail
Here you see the tail section has also been attached. This fitted very snugly, and at the correct angle so no taping was required.
Test Fitting The Canopy
While the glue was drying on the other parts I decided to test fit the canopy to make sure it fitted snugly. Here you get the best idea so far of what the finished model will look like.
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The wings have dried and the main body of the model is complete.
Painting The Body
I decided this would be a good point to start the painting of the main body, however the red paint supplied with the kit was absolutely terrible and just did not want to stick to the plane. Sometimes models leave the factory with an oily residue on the plastic which is an additive used in manufacturing to help the sprues pop out of their moulds easily. This residue can sometimes prevent paint from sticking well to a model, however a good wash with soapy water before starting a build will normally remove this residue. This was clearly going to take several coats.
Coat Number 4
The Fifth Coat!!!!!!
At this point I ran out of the red paint, so I sent the missus to pick up another pot (she works next to a Modelzone)
The Sixth and Final Coat!
Unfortunately she returned with enamel paint not acrylic, nevertheless I pressed on and it covered much better though the finish was far from even.
Painting The Canopy
This picture shows the canopy masked in order to paint the red stripe onto the clear plastic. As I was using enamel I only had one chance to get it right.
Filling The Gap In The Fuselage
The Revell Plasto filler I ordered from ebay finally arrived so I filled the gap where the fuselage didn't join properly
Finishing The Cockpit
This picture shows the cockpit prepped to finish painting the interior.
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Finished Painting The Cockpit
Here some of the smaller body parts (having been prepainted) are attached to the underside of the plane.
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Painting Underside Details
Here the inside of the undercarriage housing and airbrake are painted.
Finishing The Cockpit
Here the small piece of glass separating the two seats is glued into place. I painted the rim of this in black as it would be visible through the canopy when it was fitted and would be a cleaner job than trying to paint the outside of the canopy without a guideline.
Finished The Canopy
Here the cockpit is finished and the canopy glued into place.
Weathering The Undercarriage Housing
Using dry brushing I added some detail to the inside of the undercarriage housing.
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Assembling The Undercarriage
Before attaching the undercarriage I painted all the parts separately before assembling the whole unit.
Filler Around The Canopy
Once the canopy had dried it was apparent there was a small gap between it and the fuselage, so using some Revell Plasto filler I plugged the gap.
Attaching The Undercarriage
Here you can see the undercarriage glued into position. Also towards the rear of the aircraft you can also see the airbrake which is also attached, displayed in its deployed position.
Starting The Decals
Here we see the first decals have been applied to the aircraft.
This was a fun build which took about two weeks on and off to complete. Compared to some of the models I built as a child, this one was very well produced, most of the parts fitted well and there was very little flashing on the sprues. The detailing of the body panels is also very good and I would definitely recommend this kit to anyone wanting to get back into modelling. On reflection there are things I would have done differently such as stripping off the lumpy red acrylic paint before painting in enamel, and fixing the underwing winglets after first applying the large arrow shaped decal, but its all a learning curve. I think for my second build after 20 years out of the game it went pretty well, and now its time to get on my next project.
Finishing The Decals
Here we see the rest of the decals fitted to this model. The only exceptions are a couple of very tiny decals which I somehow lost, and also the large arrow on the base of the aircraft. I left out the arrow because it doesn't fit over the winglets on the underside of the wings, however I have since learned that this kit works much better if you paint the winglets separately and fit them on top of the decal at the very end. A lesson learned for next time but not a huge issue as the model is displayed on its wheels and the underside is not very visible.
Here we see the aircraft with all the small fine detail parts painted and fitted.
Leave your comments on this page here, constructive criticism of the build is welcomed, share your modelling tips, or suggest what I should build next.