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I have always had a soft spot for early naval aviation planes in
1/48 scale. This important era seems to have been underrepresented by the major
I made my first Vigilante as a kid in the early 1970s. This kit
was nothing to write home about in retrospect but boy, back then it was my
favorite jet. With all those big "bombs" under the wings, what a cool jet it
was! Years went by and I got back into modeling wanting to build all those jets
I loved and red about.
Its funny that almost none of my favourite subjects are
available from any major injection company. Happily, Collect-Aire came to my
rescue in this case. I am always amazed that one company can have so many of my
favourites in their inventory . Collect-Aire kits are pricey, but if you view it
as hours of building fun per dollar then they are priced just right!
This is the Collect-Aire RA-5C Vigilante in 1/48 scale. It
represents an RVAH-7 reconnaissance squadron bird. I believe that this was the
last squadron that used the Vigilante before it was decommissioned.
The Collect-Aire Vigilante is not a very easy build. It requires patience and
planning. Each individual part needs to be prepared by filling pinholes, sanding
and Dremeling, polishing, detailing, etc. This is standard process for most
I chose to add a little more detail than the kit offers. There is no end to how
much you can superdetail any kit so you need to know when to stop.
Since I chose to pose my Vigilante in a canopies up position I
wanted to spice up the interior. The Aerofax publication on the Vigilante was
very valuable for this project.
I used styrene sheets, wire, and Reheat cockpit detail parts for
the cockpit. This took a while to accomplish but I felt that it was worth it. I
have included pictures of the cockpit before priming, after priming and after
painting but before putting up the canopies that hide some of the work that went
Click the thumbnails below to view
The kit scales out okay based on my 1/48 scale Warpaint plans.
There was some talk some years ago when it was first released about its length
being on the short side. It matches the plans I have fine but most importantly
to me at least is that it captures the slender look of the Vigilante very well
when all is said and done.
I certainly enjoyed this kit a lot. I am hoping, in due time, to
share my other Collect-Aire builds with the Hyperscale crowd if there is enough
interest in non W.W.II subjects.
Click on the thumbnails to
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Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by
Page Created 20 October, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
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