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A-4E Skyhawk

by Rafi Ben-Shahar


A-4E Skyhawk


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale A-4 Skyhawks are available online from Squadron.com




Having read the glorifying reviews about Hasegawa's 1/48 Skyhawk I decided to deviate slightly from my favourite Luftwaffe props. It turned out to be a great pleasure to build such a fine kit.

The Skyhawk was a work horse at the Israeli Air Force for many years. Many modifications and deviations from the original US production lines were made over the years, which makes the choice of building an Israeli Skyhawk from the Hasegawa kit rather limited. Having read the detailed review in Weiss & Efrati's book, I chose an A-4E that had English stencils while my friend Guri provided the decals for the serial number, national insignia and squadron emblem. The best fit was for an aircraft from the Knights of the North squadron circa 1972.

The construction was fairly straight forward. I closed the canopy of the tiny cockpit because the interior is not well detailed and does not comply with the high standard of the exterior of the model. I added some wires to represent hydraulic cables to the otherwise beautifully engraved wheel wells. The fine panel lines were slightly enhanced with thinned black oil colour. The camouflage colours were composed of different paints to match my recollections with the aircraft that I was so familiar with. (I am not very popular with the IMPS members because of this habit of ignoring FS and commercial paint numbers). In any case, I had long debates with my friends about the actual colour hues before I applied the final paint layers. Believe me, these guys do not take a second best. In the end however, the model did not pass the authenticity test because I applied a small version of the serial number that was the standard form only after the 1973 War.

Just before I finished the model, disaster struck and hefty amounts of paint spilled from the airbrush's cup over the wing while I was manipulating the tip to get into the fine intake grooves. Although the paint was diluted, I managed to restore the faded panel lines after I quickly whipped the paint with my fingers (never use a cloth!). Unless specifically told, nobody can see the mishap.

In all, the fine panel lines on the model are a true work of art and the fit of most parts is like a dream. Yet, I cannot envisage building another Israeli Skyhawk and paying so much for the after market parts.]


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Model, Images and Article Copyright 2002 by Rafi Ben-Shahar
Page Created 10 November 2002
Last updated 11 November 2002

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