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Manuel Magrinho
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A-7P Corsair II; 1/48 scale

May 16, 2023 · in Aviation · · 20 · 0.7K

The 5523 (sep 2022 build)

On October 8, 1984, the day of Squadron 304 – ‘Magnificos’ (Magnificent), his first Corsair A7-P arrived, in this case the 5523 (registration 153159 in US NAVY). This aircraft would become a symbol of the squadron, (even bearing the symbol of the 304 for a brief period on the tail) as it was the first to be operated by the 'Magníficos'.
The 5523 flew just 527 hours in Portugal (in addition to the 3884 flown in US service). Unfortunately, it would crash during the approach to Air Base nº 6 - Montijo on April 29, 1992, dying in the accident her Pilot, Aviator António José Henrique dos Santos.


The engine suffered a bird-strike and, in order to avoid hitting the residential area, the pilot tried to reach the runway ending up crashing a few hundred meters from the beginning of the runway. A failure in the system prevented the ejection of the pilot, who did not survive the impact with the ground.

Building and painting the model

Since the Corsair A-7P never existed as such but was an aircraft customization made by the US for Portugal, there is no A-7P kit on the market.
It was therefore important to know the base plane and its alterations in order to be able to visually create a model of the A-7P. Thus, the base cell (A-7A) was identified, as well as the main visual characteristics to be added/guaranteed in the model:
• TACAN antenna
• ILS antennas (similar to the USAF 'D' version)
• ECM antenna
• 2 MK.12-20mm cannons in the fuselage and respective access panels and gas exhausts.
• Transducer, on the fuselage, for better indication of the angle of attack
• AN/ALQ 100 antenna
• Doppler radar
• Flares Dispenser
• Refueling probe (starboard)
• Removal of the launchpad on the front axle

These changes were made using extra parts included in the kit itself, as well as others, or even made from scratch by me.

The building of the model went smoothly, with the usual customizations (in addition to those mentioned above) of the cockpit, ejection seat and repositioning of the rudder and ailerons or even the detail of the avionics compartments and the landing gear, among others.
The model was then painted according to the wrap around scheme, with the American SEA colors: FS 30219, FS 34079 and FS 34102.
Home-printed decals and stencils were applied to these, after which weathering techniques were applied to the entire model.


After prolonged drying of these products, and with the final matt varnish also completely cured, the navigation and positioning lights were applied, as well as the landing gear headlights and RBF tapes.


Finally, and replicating the photo that served as the basis for this construction, a small base / display was made that includes the wheel chocks of the main train.


(Family photo 😊 of BA5 in the last few decades)

Reader reactions:
14  Awesome 2 

20 responses

  1. Profile Photo
    Walt said on May 16, 2023

    That is a "Magnifico" Build! Excellent build and stunning paint work have paid off in a big way. It is truly an eye catching and beautiful piece of modeling excellence.

  2. An amazing build of the iconic A-7, Manuel! Having seen many of them up, close and personal, I can tell you that you have captured the planes looks and posture spot-on!
    Well done!

  3. An excellent Corsair II! The paintwork is lovely.

  4. One of the best A-7 models I’ve seen Manuel. Beautiful painting and detailing. What’s the maker, Hasegawa?

  5. Wow, this result makes me speechless, Manuel @magrus
    Beautiful scheme and ditto weathering.

  6. Excellent build!
    Love the flawless paint job and subtle weathering of this SLUF.

  7. A real beauty of a build, even though the A-7 will never win a beauty contest. I danced with these on the flight deck so many moons ago. that wide mouth of an intake and the low-slung rear fuselage and engine made you become very cautious when navigating around them.

  8. Really nice build, Manuel! Paint schema, weathering and canopy work look incredible.

  9. Maravilhoso Magrus,

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