1/48 600 Hawk Curtiss Racer R3C-1 - One Piece Box Issue 1949 - (R3C1)
Plastic Model Kit, Box Condition: Exc++
For the advanced collector. This is a model kit with a fascinating history as it may be among the very first injection molded kits produced in the United States (please see the article about early USA kit production on this website). The Hawk model company was the most innovative in America and had been making constant 1/48 scale models in wood and metal since the late 1920s. During the re-run of the World's Fair in 1933, Hawk may have made the world's first injection molded airplanes models - but they were not kits. The models were completely finished and were on display for the princely sum of $25 each. The Mates brothers, who founded and ran Hawk, were quick to incorporate this new technology by adding injection molded details to the wooden kits in the late 1930s. During the war, Hawk put it's injection molding knowledge to work making ID models for the US Armed Forces. Originally there was a nation-wide program to have children and adults make these from wood, but consistency was an issue - injection molded solved this problem. Immediately after WWII in 1946, Hawk made the Curtiss Racer model injection molded in black tenite. The box was a simple one-color affair. This kit, like Varney's PT-17, met a very cool reception at hobby shops. Hawk quickly changed the box to two colors, added box artwork and molded the kit in bright yellow acetate. That was the second issue, still from 1946. By 1948/49 Hawk was using injection molded styrene plastic and still molding it in high-gloss yellow - that is this kit, the third issue. Other than the material, there are subtle changes to the box. It is still one piece but much larger, has much simpler (and larger) text on the end flaps and the box top says "All Plastic Airplane Assembly Kit" (instead of "...Construction Kit"). The box is in remarkable 'excellent++' condition with great colors, no creases, rips or tears, no splits and all 6 flaps present and 100% attached. The box has not been crushed or flattened, which is unusual as it was not very strong. Inside, the kit has never been started and has been inventoried 100% complete with all parts and instructions. The instructions are in excellent condition. Please note that Hawk did not issue decals with this issue of this kit.