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MiG-killing Skyhawk: Hobbycraft’s 1/48 A-4C

June 22, 2013 in Aviation

Here’s the 1/48 Hobbycraft Skyhawk, the A-4C ‘Vietnam’ boxing. The Hobbycraft A-4C is a decent rendering of the venerable Skyhawk, and will provide a fair example of the A-4 out of the box, with generally good fit. But it has some missing details, and others are poorly rendered. I’d place it third behind the Hasegawa and Monogram A-4’s respectively. I made these improvements to address some of the accuracy issues:

A True Details ESCAPAC seat went into the cockpit, along with a scratch-built gun sight. I replaced the way overscale tail hook and refueling probe with scratch-built examples, and added catapult bridle hooks in the main gear wells, wires to the nose gear well, and added a tailpipe with flame holder. I also added an anti-collision light to the spine, a temperature probe to the nose, and drilled an engine oil exhaust port on the left side. Finally, I replaced the kit 20mm cannon barrels with better resin examples from Quickboost.

I used kit decals to depict ‘Sunglass 685′, BuNo 148609, the A-4C flown by LCDR. Ted Swartz when he shot down a MiG-17 with a Zuni rocket on May 1, 1967. Since I didn’t have the appropriate Zuni pods, I’ve portrayed his jet after the Mig-killing mission, loaded with two Mk 84 iron bombs.

9 additional images. Click to enlarge

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17 responses to MiG-killing Skyhawk: Hobbycraft’s 1/48 A-4C

  1. Well done Scooter, Drew… top-notch pics, too (and a nice touch on the base as well).

  2. If you’d like to give that model to Ted, Drew, contact me privately. He’s a very cool guy, and I am sure he would love to see something this good.

  3. It looks really nice, Drew, much admired.

  4. Nice to see another scooter, and yours looks great! Makes me want to build more of mine.
    If you ever want to do another Hobbycraft one- look into squadron’s vac canopies, I have a few of them for my Hobbycraft kits- when I looked closer at their rendition of the A-4 canopy. I got a few more when I inspected the monogram canopy more closely, as I have a few of them too. The squadron vac canopy is based on the Hasegawa one.

    • Thanks, Dan! Yes, I need to look into getting the incorrect Hobbycraft canopy replaced. Both Hobbycraft and Monogram windscreens and canopies on their A-4 kits are too wide and flat.

  5. Drew .. the shot on the “carrier deck” IS so real looking .. AWESOME
    photography .. as they say .. “WELL DONE” !!!

  6. VERY nice Drew how about some pics of the gear bay would love to see your mods in the nose bay

  7. beautiful…looks every bit as good as the hase……fine scooter

  8. The plane looks good and your decals look Great! They appear to be “painted on” the look is so flat, do you have a secret process? Super job on the flight deck…

    • Thanks, Mike! I have no special technique for decals, but here’s what I do:

      After painting, I apply a gloss coat, either by brush-painting a coat of Future floor polish, or Testor’s Glosscoat with an airburush or spray can. I apply decals using Solvaset. It’s one of the strongest setting solutions available, and you have to be careful, but it makes decals snuggle down in recesses like nothing else. After decaling, I apply another coat of Future or Testor’s Glosscoat, then finally apply Dullcoat or a semi-gloss finish.

      The flight deck base is a printed cardboard section I ordered from Squadron, but I’ve forgotten the manufacturer (maybe Verlinden?)

      I hope this was helpful, and thanks again for your comments!


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