Revell 1/32 Hunter FGA.9 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2006||Manufacturer||Revell/Germany|
|Kit Number||4703||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Best Hunter in any scale||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$56.00|
The first Hunter prototype took to the air in 1951, with initial operational examples entering service by 1954. The early Hunters experienced a number of teething problems, from engine surges to fuel capacity. By the time the Hunter F.6 became operational in 1957, most of the 'bugs' had been worked out and the Hunter became one of the principal fighters of the RAF.
The Hunter was a solid machine and stable through all flight regimes, including supersonic. A good example of the Hunter's solidity was an incident where the engine had flamed-out on a long final approach to the runway. The pilot elected to eject from the aircraft. The unmanned Hunter continued to glide down final approach and slid to a stop on the runway on its belly. Damage to the aircraft was light enough to have the aircraft back in service within a few weeks. The pilot took a few weeks longer to mend from his ejection seat ride and subsequent parachute landing.
When the English Electric Lightning entered service as the RAF's supersonic fighter/interceptor, Hunter F.6s were being released for conversion into the FGA.9 (Fighter, Ground Attack Mark 9) configuration. Like all good fighters that have become 'second string', the Hunter was promoted to air-to-ground strike duties. The Hunter served in Air Forces around the world, some well into the 1990s! In addition to Great Britain, Hunter operators included the Sweden, Denmark, Peru, India, Switzerland, Jordan, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Rhodesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Singapore, Qatar, Kenya, and Oman.
This is one of my favorite kits from Revell AG (Revell of Germany) - the 1/32 Hawker Hunter. First released in 1998, this kit is still the best Hunter kit produced in any scale. If you'd like to see how this model goes together, click here to see a build-up article I produced shortly after this kit was first released.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on six parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. The US release of the FGA.9 only provided five parts trees plus the clear parts as the tree with the larger external tanks and Maverick missiles was excluded.
The cockpit is really nicely done with different instrument panels to facilitate the FGA.9 and Swiss F.58 versions.
The ejection seat turns out to be one of the most visible interior details in this kit and during my build-up, I acquired the TAC Scale Dynamics (now CAM) ejection seat for the build-up. Just for contrast, I built the kit seat and painted the resin and plastic seats together. You can see in the build-up that the resin seat has nicer belt/harness detail, but I ended up using the kit seat in the project. Note that the kit actually provides both the Martin Baker Type 2H and Type 3H seats, so check your references to see which type was fitted to the aircraft you're modeling.
The majority of the parts in this kit are common to the F.6 and the FGA.9. The exceptions are the fourth and sixth parts trees in this table to the right. The tailpipe fairing and landing flaps are different between the two types - this being on the fourth tree. As mentioned earlier, the sixth tree isn't provided in the US release of the FGA.9, but the Revell AG release (also now available in the US) has this tree and it was the first kit to offer the AGM-65 Maverick missile in 1/32 styrene.
Markings are provided for four aircraft:
- Hunter FGA.9, XF376, 208 Sqn, RAF, Kuwait, 1961
- Hunter FGA.9, XK137, 45 Sqn, RAF, Wittering, 1976
- Hunter F.58, Patrouille Suisse, Swiss AF, Dubendorf AB, 1991
- Hunter F.58, J-4068, Fliegerstaffel 20, Swiss AF, Mollis AB, 1993
This kit is a beauty and it was a fun build as well. It must have been - I bought two more!