Saturday, December 29, 2012

HAWK U.S. Navy TV-2

I remember buying the Hawk Lockheed TV-2 at Peterson's Hobbies & Crafts because the picture of the assembled model on the box looked very colorful and detailed. Upon opening the box at home however, I discovered a pretty basic kit molded in translucent white plastic! The decals were not the ones shown on the box cover, and the instructions also showed a different version. I built and painted the thing any way, and it looked horrible. I didn't paint the translucent white parts, and the red I hand-brushed using Testors flat insignia red - awful! But, I remember having lots of fun building it because the instructions had Captain Hawk, an illustrated character yelling out commands such as, "You're getting sloppy with that paint!"
In rebuilding this kit, I discovered why the kit shown on the box top differs from the kit inside. Apparently Hawk's original TV-2 kit from 1959 (shown left) had the correct early Navy version illustrated on the box, which jived with the decals and instructions. Hawk reissued the kit in 1965, but chose to show a TV-2 built by a professional modeler on the box top. This pro apparently decided to model a TV-2 in a later Navy scheme, and used his own decals from the scrap box. It's a nice looking model, but unfortunately deceives the buyer into thinking he can build the same thing.
I chose to build the kit in the original 1950s scheme. To my delight the parts were molded in a thick, semi-gloss white styrene, which meant I didn't have to paint them white. The red panel I painted using Tamiya gloss red. I stuck to Captain Hawk's painting suggestions in the plans, which results in a pretty decent looking model. The original decals had yellowed a bit, but went on nicely. This is one of Hawk's semi-action kits, with removable tail section and engine ala-Lindberg. The canopy also moves up and down; other than that there are no moving parts.


  1. Glad to finally see a new post, Don. I've read that the yellowing on decals can be removed by exposure to sunlight. Put the decal sheet in a baggie and allow the sun to shine on it for a day or two and the yellow should go away. I have to admit I haven't tried it myself, but I just learned about this technique and where I live we won't see much sun until April.

  2. I tried sun bleaching the decals for the Aurora XB-70. I left them in the sun for two weeks and it only made a slight difference. Perhaps different decals react better than some. Like you, I don't get enough steady sunlight where I live except in summer!