Italeri, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Italeri No 2671 - A-4E/F/G Skyhawk
|Contents and Media:
||90 light grey plastic parts on three sprues; three clear plastic parts; markings for four aircraft
available online from Hannants
USD$28.80 available online from Squadron
and hobby retailers worldwide
||Accurate outine; simple parts breakdown; separate slats; plenty of ordnance options.
||Mixture of raised and recessed surface detail; poorly detailed cockpit; no provision for posing canopy open; strange Australian roundels
||Reissue of ESCI kit, including marking options. More accurate than Hobbycraft but less detailed than Hasegawa, this should be a fast easy build.
by Brett Green
Italeri's 1/48 scale A-4E/F/G Skyhawk is available online from Squadron.com
Italeri has released a 1/48 scale A-4E/F/G Skyhawk.
If this kit looks familiar, that is because it is a re-release of the 1980s vintage ESCI Skyhawk kit, right down to the same marking options.
This is not necesarily a bad thing. The ESCI kit remains more accurate in outline than the recent Hobbycraft kit and closer to scale than the Fujimi offering. It must be said that the Hasegawa kit is much better detailed and has more refined surface features, but the ESCI tooling probably comes second even after two decades.
Italeri's 1/48 scale A-4E/F/G Skyhawk comprises 90 parts in light grey plastic, three parts in clear and a decal sheet with four marking options.
Moulding quality is good, with no flash and only minimal flaws (some hints of sink marks on some smaller parts) evident on my sample.
The fuselage and ordnance feature slightly soft recessed panel line detail. These surface features should look better under a coat of paint. Strangely, the wings and spine have raised surface detail.
It is nice to see separate leading edge slats that are designed to be posed open. The large dorsal spine of the A-4F is supplied as an option.
A good selection of bombs and drop tanks are provided too.
Cockpit detail is very basic, with a slab of a seat, flat instrument panel and side consoles, and a control column. Decals are supplied for the instrument panel and side consoles, but these are only representative.
The clear parts are well moulded. The windscreen and opening section of the canopy are supplied separately, but there is no provision for posing the canopy open as the hinges are not moulded in place. Some surgery to the canopy and the upper fuselage will be required if you want to display your cockpit.
The large decal sheet contains the following four options:
A-4F US Navy VA-55, USS Hancock (CVA 19), Vietnam 1972.
A-4F US Navy VC-5, "Checktails", NAS Cubi Point, Philippines 1972.
A-4E US Navy VC-2, "Blue Falcons" NAS Oceana, Va 1970.
A-4G Royal Australian Navy, 805 Sqn 1973.
All four options are finished in Gull Grey and White.
The decal sheet is large and colourful, and printed in perfect regsiter. Decals include stencils, non-skid walkways for the wings and anti-glare panel in front of the windscreen. The Dali-esque "melted" US marking (decal 14) is not a printing error. It is designed to partially wrap around the refuelling probe. The RAN Kangaroo roundels are awful and should be replaced with after-market items.
Although the source of the plastic and decals is the 1980s ESCI kit, Italeri's 1/48 scale A-4E/F/G Skyhawk still has its charms. It is accurate and offers some useful options, although the cockpit detail is undeniably poor.
The cockpit may easily be upgraded with an aftermarket seat and perhaps photo-etched consoles and instrument panel. Alternatively, if you are superdetailing a Hasegawa Skyhawk, perhaps a leftover cockpit could be installed in this fuselage.
Either way, this kit is still worthy of consideration as a fast, easy build.
Thanks to Italeri for the review sample
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2008 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 7 October, 2008
Last updated 7 October, 2008
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