Tamiya A-1H Skyraider 1/48 scale
Everyone knows about VA-176’s ‘Bumblebee’ MiG killer, with its giant killer bee artwork, but the first USN Skyraider to shoot down a MiG-17 seems to be lost in the shuffle.
Tamiya’s A-1H USN kit, fortunately, includes markings for VA-25’s ‘Canasta 77,’ flown by Lt. Clint Johnson when he and his wingman brought down a Fresco on June 20, 1965.
Tamiya’s Spad has held up well over two decades, with generally crisp molding and minimal flash. I referred to Osprey’s “USN Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War”, Wayne Mutza’s “The A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam” and Squadron’s “A-1 Skyraider Walkaround” to determine Johnson’s stores loadout before his kill – two 300-gallon drop tanks and four LAU-3 19-shot rocket pods from the kit’s stores sprues.
Added details include:
– shackle detail on all racks
– scratchbuilt sway braces on the centerline racks
– modified True Details swaybraces with added pad bolts on the outboard wing racks
– detailed swaybraces on the inboard wing racks
– clear gun camera cover added to port wing
– new helmet and added boom mike and coiled commo lead on the pilot
– lead wire internal grab handles on the main canopy
– internal windscreen armor glass and rear view mirror
– air vents and instrument fairing on the upper dash panel
– scratchbuilt propeller governor linkage on crankcase shield
– ‘helmet hook’ below port canopy sill
– fin tip beacon cover made from turned clear sprue
– new fin tip pitot boom made from quilting pin
– lead wire brake lines
– main gear strut stabilizing oleos from styrene rod
– antenna lead wire from EZ Line.
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.