I won a raffle prize at a contest yesterday, a Hawk 1/48 scale Lysander, the chrome-plated version.
Did this kit come shrinkwrapped? The kit I won is shrinkwrapped, but I'm suspicious if it is really the original SW:
The SW has a seam across the end panels of the box, as opposed to the folder under style a lot of older kits used for the wrap.
The box has the old "kit number, hyphen, price" printed on the end flap. On my kit, the price has been deleted, by a couple of round hole punches. Obvisouly, this had to have been done before the kit was shrinkwrapped. Now I suppose it is possible that this was done to allow stores to re-price the it, maybe Hawk was re-using old box art....
I'm tempted to just open the kit, but I thought I'd check here first, in case my kit as is actually normal. (I'm going to sell the kit, and don't want to decrease the value by breaking the shrinkwrap if I don't have to.)
This is a 70's issue of the kit from after Hawk was sold. The early ones from the 60's had the folded cellophane and the later ones had the polyethyline with the single seam, but with this type of wrap it may well have been re-sealed. Usually the seams on a re-seal are a bit large and rough, more so than a factory seal.
The first clear wraps were first Cellophane (which was brittle, split easily), which was followed by a clear plastic wrap, which like Cellophane was mechanically folded and heat-sealed at the ends of the box.
Monogram and Aurora used Cellophane to begin with, followed by plastic wrap. The primary reason for their wrapping kits originally was to prevent not only pilferage, but also to reduce "shop-wear", from the kits being slid on and off shelves, in and out from between other kit boxes.
Shrink wrap began in the late 1960's, and the early shrink wrap was characterized by the wrap actually compressing kit boxes, rippling the boxtops on the larger, flat boxes, such as your Hawk kit. The early plastic films used in shrink wrap tended to dry out fairly quickly, and this made it prone to splitting. Another characteristic of early shrink-wrapped kits was a small hole in the wrap, melted there by, of all things, a Weller or Ungar soldering pencil mounted on an automatic arm, poised to touch the brand new wrap as it was heat sealed at the ends, but just before it went through the infrared lights to shrink it tight. Most rewrapped kits don't have this, as the modern shrink wrappers don't make very airtight seals at the ends of the box.
Another characteristic, and one I look for in the infrequent chance I might buy an old, "factory sealed" kit, is the presence of an old price sticker on the outside of the shrink wrap.
All in all, without these characteristic clues, and if the wrap appears too water-clear, shiny and perfect, better than even chance it was done recently.
As for the hole punches through the price codes, pre-priced product (with a standard, or MSRP price as part of the stock number) began to disappear in the late 1960's, due to the courts throwing out the last vestiges of the "fair trade laws", state and federal laws which allowed manufacturers to set a retail price on their products, with some expectation that those prices would be maintained (something that came out of the Great Depression, and the efforts to end it).
How do I know some of this stuff? By working in a hobby shop for about 10 years, in and out of college, and as a manager of the place for a couple of years after graduation.