Trumpeter A3D-2 Sky Warrior
I picked this kit up when it first came out a few years ago…and I finally got around to building it. I was between kits and I thought this Trumpeter kit would be a fast and easy build… I was so wrong!
First of all, this is a large aircraft, and a large kit. The Sky Warrior was made so that the US Navy would have a nuclear strike capability, during a time when air-deliverable nukes were rather large. Consequently, the fuselage and weapons bay had to be made large enough to carry these large nukes. Well, in the event, nuclear weapons became smaller and smaller, while the US Navy (in conjunction with the other US armed services) went the ballistic submarine route, thereby leaving the A3D Sky Warrior as a plane without a mission.
Well, it seems that the capacious Sky Warrior fuselage was too good to discard, so the US Navy repurposed the A-3 airframes, into trainers, tankers, and a bunch of other discrete models that are now usually referred to as “Versions”. So, now we know that the Sky Warrior is basically two kinds of aircraft: the original bomber model (as depicted in my Trumpeter kit), and the “Versions”. My model depicts the original Trumpeter kit release, but Trump has subsequently released several other kits that enable us to build several of the “Versions”.
Construction of this kit requires one to make some decisions early-on, like which options to use, e.g., folding wings, open bomb bay, etc. The decision was already made for me, because the wing fold area didn’t seem to fit very well with the wings extended, so I used the folded wing option. Trumpeter includes some nice photoetch with this kit, which includes several pieces for the wing fold itself. Go slowly, and the PE fits very nicely. I used CA to attach the PE.
Construction is pretty straight-forward, but there are a lot of large pieces, so make sure you have room on your work space, otherwise there are no real surprises in the build. I scratched the jury struts to stabilize the folded wings and tail, since the kit lastic seemed a bit fragile to hold the folded pieces. Also, the wheels hubs had to be modified to represent the original bomber wheel; the kit wheel hubs are the wider hubs found on the heavier “Versions”.
The kit comes with a couple of comprehensive decal sheets, but I used Caracal Models A3D-2 sheet #CD48042 instead.
Overall, an enjoyable build.
5 additional images. Click to enlarge.
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Trumpeter EA-3B Skywarrior Strategic Bomber