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Douglas A-4C Skyhawk

by David W. Aungst

 

Douglas A-4C Skyhawk

 


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale A-4C Skyhawk is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

This is number two in the gradual release of Skyhawk kits from Hasegawa. Half of me would like to see them release these kits faster. The other half of me is happy they are taking their time, as this allows me time to build each as it is released.

 

 

The Kit

 

After what I saw in the A-4E Skyhawk kit (see my "Diamondbacks Skyhawk" posting), there were no surprises in the A-4C Skyhawk kit. The kit is mostly the same. One tree has a few different parts on it -- the tree holding the fuselage halves. The actual fuselage halves are changed from the original kit. New nose cone pieces are included for the A-4C nose. Having separate pieces for the nose indicates that an A-4B (and possibly A-4A / A4D-1) is in the works. This is no real surprise. The rest of this tree is unchanged from the A-4E kit.

 

 

Another tree has been swapped for a new one -- the tree with the engine intakes. One of the more substancial changes in the A-4 Skyhawk between the A-4C and A-4E was the engine intakes. On the A-4C, there is no splitter plate separating the intake from the fuselage. The fuselage side is the inside surface of the intake. On the A-4E, the intake was revised to include a splitter plate that separates the "dirty" boundary layer air along the fuselage from the undisturbed air that is channelled into the engine intake.

 

Construction

I built the model mostly out-of-the-box.

The only change I made was to replace the kit ejection seat with one from the Cutting Edge range. The Cutting Edge seat is really nice. Only a careful paint job is required to make a great addition to the cockpit.

The instruction sheet is rather complete in showing all the items to "fix" in the kit to model the A-4C. Pay close attention to it to learn that there are numerous little things to fill or cut away to correct the kit. This is to be expected from a kit where the moldings have been generalized to provide so many versions. On completing the kit, there are even more items to add to the spares box than what came out of the A-4E kit.

The weapons load is one I have seen a lot in pictures from the Vietnam conflict. I hung a Multiple Ejector Rack (MER) on the centerline weapons pylon and attached six Mk82 "Snakeye" 500lb bombs to it. I obtained these weapons from a Hasegawa weapons set. I also retained the external wing fuel tanks provided in the Hasegawa kit.

 

 

 

Camouflage and Markings

 

The camouflage on the model is the old standard of L.Gull Gray (F.S.36440) over a white bottom with the tops of the flight control surfaces also being white. I painted the white first and masked off the flight controls, then I painted the Light.Gull Gray. I free-handed the line between the gray and white along the fuselage sides.

The markings on the model are those of VA-34, the "Blue Blasters". As no after-market company makes these, I needed to create them for myself and print them on my ALPS printer.

The image to the right shows my original artwork for the decals (reduced in size to save space). The "top hat" markings proved to be be the toughest. The one picture I have of the aircraft does not clearly show this marking. I had to guess a bit to come up with the finer details and the words in the writing.

All the aircraft data stencils and the "Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club" emblem on the fuselage sides come from the kit decals.

For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my article on "Weathering Aircraft".

 

 

Conclusion

 

So my list of Skyhawk projects goes on... While the F-4 Phantom II is still my favorite aircraft, the A-4 Skyhawk definitely rates in my Top Five list.

With such an easy kit to build (and relatively small size when finished), it is no wonder that I have been building so many of these kits.

This model was one of four Skyhawks I built together at the same time, so you can definitely expect to see more of them posted in the future.

 

 

Additional Images and Project Summary

 

Click the thumbnails below to view images full-sized.
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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

13 December 2001

Total Building Time:

43.9

Research:

0.2

Construction:

10.9

Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):

16.7

Decals / Markings:

14.6

Extra Detailing / Conversion:

1.5

Model, Description and Images Copyright 2001 by David Aungst
Page Created 28 December, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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