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Dan DeSilva
72 articles

1/48 Monogram OA-4M

August 6, 2017 · in Aviation · · 16 · 3.6K

Here is my 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.

Reader reactions:
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8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Beautiful work there, Dan. I, too, had one of these Monogram classics (never noticed the misspelling you mention).

  2. Thanks Craig-again your encouragement is much appreciated!

  3. Dan, great job! Glad you got the decals you wanted. The result is excellent!

  4. Outstanding work, Dan! The fit, finish and decals look perfect to me. I can't muster up the courage to do a complicated camouflage scheme like yours, but you nailed it. And like you, I've always wondered why Monogram did the OA-4M, instead of the much more numerous and popular TA-4F/J series.

    • The number of Classic Airframe and Hasegawa TA-4J kits in my stash prove my commitment to the Skyhawk two seater- I have a few partial builds languishing that I hope to get a move on and complete by Christmas time. I was going to spray the green, but decided the paint had the right consistency to brush paint, so I did- cut down the completion time immensely, buti wonder if I would have done the same if I had converted a Hasegawa TA-4J?

  5. Given the small numbers of this aircraft produced, I suspect this is gonna be it for 1/48th kits. It is a shame that they didn't do the TA-4F/J, as noted.
    Good to see one built, and done well.

    • Thanks Bernard, one thing I need to add to the article is that I reshaped the exhaust area to fit a Hasegawa exhaust pipe! I am glad I finally got it done!

  6. Beautiful Skyhawk!

  7. Skyhawks are one of my favourite jets and this one looks just great, very glad you managed to finish it in the end.

    • Thanks very much George! I was determined to build at leats one of my OA-4M's as an OA-4M-I originally got them to convert into TA-4J's- I still plan to do that with them even though I have Hasegawa and Classic Airframe TA-4's.

  8. Great looking Skyhawk Dan! When I first got back into modeling in the late 80's, this was my first build! Although I no longer build 1/48 and don't have the model anymore, seeing yours brings back found memories...

    • Thanks Greg- I "had" to build the Monogram A-4E as well- I have a few that I have planned to build for nostalgia even though there are shape and accuracy issues with them!

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