1/48 Monogram OA-4M
Here is my Monogram 1/48 OA-4M. The kit has been around for years- I thought it odd that they released an OA-4M before a TA-4F or J, but maybe the weapons for a FAC role was what they thought would sell the kit? One curiosity of the Monogram OA-4M was that the original box was printed with Marines spelled “Marinies”! It was neat that I looked and found one of my boxes had that anomaly when I first found out about it.
I added the old KMC intake set which is a bit narrow in the area of the intake lips, and the KMC wheels which improve on the kit wheels which are too narrow. I had the kit built and ready for paint a long time ago (so long I can’t say for sure!) with the aim of building it in the livery you see. Noone seemed that interested in producing aftermarket decals for the OA-4M, certainly not this scheme for some reason! After all, there were only 28 OA-4Ms!
I found out that someone produced custom decals in 1/32 for the scheme, and apporached them to do a set in 1/48. after another long wait, about a year ago I painted the green on the grey, clear coated with future, and then tried applying the custom decals…DISASTER! The decals were not opaque, so the grey looked like black/dark grey, and the green looked black when applied to the surface of the paint. I was pretty disappointed, and the kit sat.
Then, FURBALL released a sheet featuring low vis USMC Skyhawks! Featured on the sheet are a selection of OA-4M’s- one being the markings I really wanted! So, I out out a call for spare decals in case someone was not interested in building their kit in the scheme I wanted to do. A modeller in the US saw my post and offered to help. If only Furball would do a 1/32 version of some of their 1/48 decals for the 1/32 Hasegawa OA-4M I have in my stash!
I learned that OA-4M’s had the standard exhaust and intakes of a TA-4F/J, but differed of course in the nose cone, ECM antennae on the sugar scoop and tailfin, and placement of 2 flare dispensers. I also had to recontour the fuselage around the exhaust as i fit the Hasegawa exhaust parts and the Monogram kit is a bit small in that area. Lastly, I neglected to carve the small NACA style intake found on the upper part of the port intake before presenting here, but plan to do that and add a detail shot of its shape and location.
Part of me wishes I had converted a Hasegawa TA-4J to OA-4M instead, but I am glad for following through on completing the Monogram kit.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.