The Catacombs Catacombs Model Gallery

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The Hawk featured only in the episode War Games. The sleek warships annihilated Moonbase Alpha's Eagle fleet and devastated the base.

This is the Mark IX Hawk. The eight previous versions and the formidable performance of the warship suggests there must have been a space war in the late 1980s or 1990s. The episode Rules Of Luton talks of a global conflict in 1987 which may be the war that produced the Hawks. Alternatively they may be a relic of the cold war technological race, shooting down ICBMs in Ronald Reagan's Star Wars vision of hunter killer satellites. David Hirsch proposed that they are a development of the Interceptors (from the series UFO) designed to protect Earth from attacking alien ships. The technological resemblance to the Eagles shows the Hawks were on the winning (American?) side.

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The nose cone is very Eagle-like, although only the top has the characteristic viewport insets. The design is more sleek than the Eagle, emphasised by the pointed nose, and also more angular. The line of latches around the spine of the Hawk indicates the command module is detachable. Latches around the rear section suggest it can also be ejected from the central section. From the size of the spine, the command module is the only part that contains crew (the rear and central sections probably contain propellant tanks for the main engine, while the square panels on the central section could be small radiators for the avionics). The two windows indicates a two man crew like the Eagle (pilot and gunner?). There is no obvious hatch or door; perhaps the top panels are access hatches.

Like the Eagle Transporter, the Hawk probably can operate in manned as well as unmanned mode. The small size of the command module suggests the spacecraft is only capable of short duration manned missions (unmanned Hawks may be permanently based in Earth orbit as a safeguard against ICBM attacks).

The ship's large single rocket with side boosters indicate this is a fast, manoeuvrable craft. The War Games script states that the Hawks are twice as fast as the Eagles. The spherical main engine resembles a "gas core" nuclear rocket (see diagram); this type of engine produces a very high exhaust velocity (20km/s+) although the huge mass of the engine itself + associated radiation protection systems somewhat reduces the overall performance. The gas core engine uses liquid hydrogen rocket propellant; the nuclear fuel is gaseous uranium 235 while beryllium oxide is used as a neutron moderator. The propellant exhaust is radioactive since some of the uranium 235 is lost as well; it is presumably better suited for use in deep space. The engine would also provide lots of electrical power for e.g. the laser weapons. Note that a gas core rocket would require large radiator panels so the black square panels in front of the main engine may, in fact, be deployable fold-out radiators rather than solar panels.

The side boosters point outwards, allowing fast lateral movement. Eight vertical boosters on the underside of the ship allow powerful upwards manoeuvres and perhaps landing. There are no corresponding rockets on the top or side, only small attitude control rockets laterally.

The Hawk has no obvious landing gear and may be an entirely space-based craft. The vertical rockets suggest operations in at least lunar gravity are possible, although atmospheric flight might be a problem for the unaerodynamic design.

The main armament seems to be the cylinders at the end of the stubby wings. They flash like machine guns, with no visible laser beams; perhaps, as in real life, projectiles are more effective than laser beams. The rectangles hanging under the wings suggest missile launchers, although no missiles are seen. Alternatively the dots along the front ends of the wing and rectangles may be conventional lasers.

The Hawk has three colour schemes. Before filming, the ship was white with black viewport notches. The film editor protested that the Hawk and Eagle looked too similar, so Cyril Forster painted the window notches white and added orange stripes. After filming, the viewports became black again, as shown in the model photos.

The original Hawk photographed in Bray studios. Before filming War Games, the windows were painted white, and orange stripes were added. See more photos.

This photo at Bray Studios in 1976 shows the Hawk windows painted black. After filming War Games, they obviously reconsidered the white windows and painted them black again. This suggests they considered using the model in later episodes.

Copyright Martin Willey