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Kinetic Grumman E-2C Hawkeye 1/48

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  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Kinetic Grumman E-2C Hawkeye 1/48
Posted by Aggieman on Friday, September 11, 2020 8:10 AM

This is my latest build, Kinetic's E-2C Hawkeye.

I don't tend to build many modern day aircraft subjects, but back in 2012, the wife and I took a football trip to Starkville, Mississippi, to watch Texas A&M throttle Mississippi State. The pre-game fly-over included a Hawkeye which, from my vantage point high up in the stadium, I was actually looking down upon.  I've seen a bunch of fly-overs, mostly at A&M, but this one was one of the most impressive.  Seeing that Hawkeye up close sold me on the notion of building one for myself, so soon after that game, I acquired this Kinetic kit.

This was my first experience with Kinetic kits.  I was not terribly impressed.  The instructions were awful.  In some places they referenced different parts with the same parts number.  A lot of the parts had no indications given as to how they were supposed to be attached.  Some are shown to be attached at a particular spot, but in a later step these parts are shown attached in a different spot.  I had very few references for this aircraft, so I was pretty much at the mercy of these instructions and what I could make out from on-line photos (not much, sadly, in terms of close-up shots).

The plastic was good, but many parts did not fit that well.  The nacelles, primary wing, and stabilizer all attach onto small plastic nubs that did not align well; I ended up slicing off a few of those nubs to allow for proper alignment.  The cowlings don't line up exactly with the rest of the nacelles.  If you have this one in your stash, take your time and test fit everything multiple times, and know that you will still see some of the issues I had.

This airplane is a tail sitter, so I added a bunch of weight in the form of BB's.  I built up the fuselage in its entirety, leaving off the primary wing so that I could add weight. I initially put some CA in there and meticulously added BBs, one by one with long tweezers, and built up a thick layer of BBs, spraying them with accelerant to help with the curing process.  When I thought I might have enough weight to keep her from sitting on her tail, I started to place parts where they roughly belong - the primary wing atop the big hole in the top of the fuselage was first, and so far so good, added the stabilizer, still good but a noticeable wobble, put one of the rudders atop the stabilizer, clunk right onto the tail.  So I found a small Ziplock bag and filled it with BBs, sealed it up, then crammed it into the fuselage to a point right behind the cockpit bulkhead. I then crammed a grocery store plastic bag into the fuselage to keep the bag of BBs in place (I couldn't get glue that far forward through the hole in the top of the fuselage). Then I redid my weight test.  This was sufficient to keep the Hawkeye on its gear even when I added all the AWACs equipment.

Paints are a combo of AK Interactive Real Colors, MIG, Mission Models, Model Master, Tamiya, and Vallejo.  The overall aircraft is painted in AK Light Gull Grey.  I started with a new bottle of that stuff, and quickly discovered how much of a paint hog this beast is. I literally used the entire bottle that I had bought specifically for this build; I thankfully had some older Model Master Light Gull Gray to finish the job.

Decals are from the kit.  I wasn't all that impressed with them.  My sheet had a rough spot on one edge, as if it was older than it is.  I sprayed that part of the sheet with some decal sealant.  Those decals took a long time to release from the sheet but eventually they pulled free without ripping, except for the hawk on the rudder and one of the blue squadron insignias behind the cockpit.  I was able to get them in place with more patience than I usually have for this kind of thing.  There was a lot of carrier film on these decals, also.  I've never really seen that kind of thing on a decal sheet.  Not that big a deal, but it did cause a bit more work to get decals into position, and then I had to blot down the edges of the decals to get all that extra film (which looked really thin) to lay down properly.

My sense of modern day US Navy aircraft is that they are kept pretty clean, so I kept the weathering to a minimum.  There is a light wash of Flory dark dirt on this build.

Next up is Trumpeter's HU-16A Albatross in 1/48.  I've only ever built Monogram's ancient Albatross, so this is one that I'm looking forward to doing in my preferred scale.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, September 11, 2020 8:52 AM

Great build,I have heard that Kinetic kits have bad fit.The markings look eye catching,it must be a big build.

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Friday, September 11, 2020 9:36 AM

    Can't help but notice that the kit box you pictured looks nothing like your finished project.

   There was a company that put a disclaimer on the box that parts may vary from box art but WOW. Not even the same aircraft.

    Great looking build, and you are correct about modern carrier based planes being clean...every 7 days they get a fresh wster and soap bath. Also thanks for a heads up on Kinetic, I have heard mixed reviews about them.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Friday, September 11, 2020 4:43 PM

Tojo72

Great build,I have heard that Kinetic kits have bad fit.The markings look eye catching,it must be a big build.

 

Thank you for your kind words Tojo!

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Friday, September 11, 2020 4:44 PM

armornut

    Can't help but notice that the kit box you pictured looks nothing like your finished project.

   There was a company that put a disclaimer on the box that parts may vary from box art but WOW. Not even the same aircraft.

    Great looking build, and you are correct about modern carrier based planes being clean...every 7 days they get a fresh wster and soap bath. Also thanks for a heads up on Kinetic, I have heard mixed reviews about them.

 

Thank you for your kind words Armornut.  Oh, and yeah, I clearly wasn't looking when I posted the picture of the Tracker.  So much for my supposed attention to detail ...  I will edit with the correct boxtop picture.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, September 11, 2020 8:03 PM

I've heard this kit is a bear.  Which is sad because I'd really like to build this airplane.  You clearly managed through the issues - build looks great.  Really nice!

Thanks,

John

Ain't no reason to hang my head, I could wake up in the mornin' dead 

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, September 12, 2020 8:35 AM

keavdog

I've heard this kit is a bear.  Which is sad because I'd really like to build this airplane.  You clearly managed through the issues - build looks great.  Really nice!

 

Thanks for your kind words, John.

Don't let the kit's issues stop you from building it.  A good bit of dry fitting, constantly checking alignment while applying glue, and perhaps some plastisurgery is really all it takes.  Oh, and some patience.  Smile

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, September 12, 2020 10:18 AM

That is one head turner indeed. Beer Great job overcoming the fit issues. Love the markings on this E2. I have stayed clear from Kninetic just cuz of the fit issues one has to wrestle with. 

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Saturday, September 12, 2020 10:19 AM

I built this kit last year I think. Other than a warped fuselage I had no real issues. It is a tail sitter for sure, tons of weight in the nose. I love the kit and how it looks. You did a wonderful job on it, it looks amazing.

BK

On the bench: Alot !

On Deck: Alot more !

 

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Saturday, September 12, 2020 7:27 PM
Looks great! Nice job on the build. It’s rare to find a kit of this aircraft especially in 1/48.

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Tamiya 1/700 HMS Nelson

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Sunday, September 13, 2020 5:04 AM
Great build. Have been eyeing this for a bit

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, September 13, 2020 2:33 PM

plasticjunkie

That is one head turner indeed. Beer Great job overcoming the fit issues. Love the markings on this E2. I have stayed clear from Kninetic just cuz of the fit issues one has to wrestle with. 

 

Thank you for your kind words, plasticjunkie!

This was the first Kinetic kit for me.  I'd read that the kit has some issues, but nothing that cannot be overcome.  I have another Kinetic kit that will likely find its way to the bench by October, their S-2E Tracker.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, September 13, 2020 2:35 PM

BrandonK

I built this kit last year I think. Other than a warped fuselage I had no real issues. It is a tail sitter for sure, tons of weight in the nose. I love the kit and how it looks. You did a wonderful job on it, it looks amazing.

BK

 

Thank you for your kind words Brandon! 

I only had one issue with the fuselage itself but I was able to sand away a poor alignment issue without much difficulty.  My issues were largely around connecting the primary wing, the stabilizer, and the nacelles; the connection slots didn't line up with the locating pins, and I ended up cutting off some of those pins to be able to get those components into place.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, September 13, 2020 2:35 PM

Chemteacher
Looks great! Nice job on the build. It’s rare to find a kit of this aircraft especially in 1/48.
 

Thank you for your kind words chemteacher!  

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, September 13, 2020 2:36 PM

tempestjohnny
Great build. Have been eyeing this for a bit
 

Thank you for your kind words tempestJohnny!  Pick one up for yourself (assuming it's still available).

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: NYC, USA
Posted by waikong on Monday, September 14, 2020 2:13 PM
Nicely done! I've seen one of these on a contest table, big kit - need to find a big display area.

My website: http://waihobbies.wkhc.net

   

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Monday, September 14, 2020 7:36 PM

waikong
Nicely done! I've seen one of these on a contest table, big kit - need to find a big display area.
 

Thanks for the kind words Waikong!

It is a big model, roughly the same size as a 48th scale B-25 or perhaps a bit closer to a 48th scale C-47.  I have mine displayed on a wall in my work room next to the Trumpeter C-47A that I did last year; soon I will add both the Trumpeter Hu-16A Albatross that I am currently working on, and Kinetic's S-2E Tracker to that wall.

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