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John Healy
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1/48 AD-4 - Korean War Group Build.

January 25, 2023 · in Aviation · · 34 · 1K

This is the Tamiya A-1H kit backdated to a late model -4. The model depicts an aircraft assigned to VA-95 aboard USS Philippine Sea during 1952-53. The main things involved in backdating a Viet Nam era to a Korean War AD-4 are removal and replacement of antennas on the spine, removal of the beacon on the vertical fin, removal and replacement of the late style centerline pylon, and replacement of the large inboard wing pylons with the original short ones. I used MDC resin replacements for the last item.

Some Korean War Skyraiders did carry the aluminum appliqué armor around the cockpit and forward belly. The armor was introduced late in the AD-4 production run and was retrofitted to many earlier AD-4s and AD-3s.

I configured the plane for the ASW “Gator” mission. As such, it carries two Mk.54 depth bombs sourced from an Accurate Miniatures TBM and six HVARs from the Tamiya kit. Each CV flew ASW patrols using an AD-4 or -4N in the “Gator/killer” role paired with an AD-4W operating in the “Guppy/Hunter” role. Soviet submarines were a potential threat during the entire war.

I painted the model with 40-45 year old Humbrol Authentic GSB. It pays to stock up early!

Decals were scrounged from Aeromaster and Three Guys Skyraider sheets, along with generic letters and numbers.

I'm glad to finally add this one to my KW collection. Now if someone would please produce a decent F-80 kit…..

*And of course I just noticed that I forgot to paint the rocket nose tips silver.

Reader reactions:
18  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

34 responses

  1. She turned out beautifully, John @j-healy
    The old Humbrol delivered a great result, togehter with a modeller who knows how to use an airbrush ofcourse.
    Nice and learningful building thread, thanks for sharing.
    Those silver tips should be no problem to still get it done.
    I can imagine that you are happy to add this to your collection.

  2. Great work on this Skyraider...John @j-healy ...

  3. Well done, John (@j-healy). Nothing looks better than a Skyraider in an all-blue paint scheme.

  4. Great work on this conversion, John.

  5. Turned out wonderful, John! A fantastic looking AD-4, an equally fantastic entry to the Korean War GB! Excellent allover, looks so mean! No worries about the rocket tips.
    Your build thread was a joy to follow.

  6. This is a real beauty, great job! I have seen the real plane next to an Avenger and Helldiver. The Skyraider is pretty big! Your build must look great next to all of your builds.

  7. John, Looks really good, and some really good info in your write up!

  8. Terrific build John. Love the glossy blue. Funny how photos reveal our mistakes and what we forgot to do, almost every time.

    • Thanks, Eric. I like GSB. The trick is to tone it down a bit with clear coats. I used my usual Testors gloss/dull mix on this one. I honestly don’t think these products are as good as they used to be. I’m thinking of trying some different brand clear coats in the future. Might try Mr. Color clears on my next project.

  9. A beautiful KW GSB SPAD, John! And I'm with you on the new up-to-date and accurate F-80!

  10. Beautifully done John, looks great! Don't you just love scrounging decals to get a bird you want?

  11. Well done build.

  12. Painting turns out great. I’m impressed!

  13. Lovely work John, sadly my stocks of authentic are running down too but I still have a couple of tins of GSB, and a Skyraider somewhere! You've inspired me, I wonder if I can find the kit, and the paint!

  14. Nice finish on that blue beauty!

  15. Hello, John Healy (@j-healy)
    I'm sorry I didn't get to follow along with this one as much as I would have liked to. Both my wife and I got sick. I have not been on Imodeler for a Month now. Today is my first time back online here, and I have a lot of catching up to do. I have missed out on a lot.

    Thank you for building another one for our Korean War group build. It will soon be winding down, and I was hoping to get a 1/48 Monogram B-29 done for the group. I have always wanted to build a Skyraider in overall Gloss Sea Blue like you have done. I will definitely be using your build journal as a guide when that time eventually comes.

    It looks magnificent.

    Thanks again,
    and take care.

  16. Well done John, that's one good looking Spad. I've seen the movie Devotion twice now and I'm trying to decide if they used at lease one actual Skyraider in the shots or was it all CGI. I believe there is at lease one still flying and sometimes shows up at airshows.

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