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Dan DeSilva
72 articles

1/48 Hobbycraft A-4PTM

March 30, 2024 · in Aviation · · 18 · 140

Here is the A-4C, which comes with Malaysian markings, and a number of issues to be fixed! I built this as an A-4PTM (Peculiar To Malaysia) a long while back, when the kit was first issued. The A-4PTM was developed from A-4C or L airframes. I bought three of the Hobbycraft A-4C kits without closely looking at the pictures in reviews, and hoped they would be great... but… I want to be sure to mention that with its issues, the Hobbycraft kit provides you with both one large and two standard drop tanks and some very nice Mk. 82's and fairly decent Aim-9's. The A-4PTM retained the A-4C/L windscreen wiper, so I added a spare one I had from a Hasegawa A-4E kit.

While the Hobbycraft kit can be thought of as an “improved” Monogram kit, the canopy on the Hobbycraft A-4 line of kits is even worse to look at than the one on the Monogram kit. I tried to adjust that issue on this kit, as I did on my Monogram kits by fitting the ESCI canopy- I had a dozen of them that came “extra” in a few ESCI A-4 boxings I got. While not perfect, I feel it is a vast improvement over the Hobbycraft and Monogram canopies. Using an ESCI canopy also requires narrowing the fuselage in the canopy area to fair it in.
The second most noticeable of the issues are the intakes. The Hobbycraft intakes are modelled loosely after A-4C intakes. When I first built this kit, I was not versed on what A-4C intakes should look like, so went with what was in the box. Many years later, after growing to really love the A-4, I was embarrassed about the way my build looked, and because of wanting to build a TA-4PTM (also posted here), I decided to fix it so that both of my Malaysian Skyhawks would look comparable. I made resin copies of Hasegawa 1/48 A-4C intakes to replace the awful HC kit ones. When I fit them, I learned that the Hobbycraft fuselage was a bit narrow at the intake shoulders, so that got fixed too.

Once all was in place, I learned that I didn't have any Testors MM Medium Green left in the stash to touch up the S.E.A. scheme- horror! In Bermuda we can't run out to a hobby store or order it to arrive in a few days. So, with a little creative mixing, I was surprisingly able to match the colour with other MM greens. Lastly, I set up the antennae fit to be what the A-4PTM carried in the early stages of its service life. I also set it up with a possible armament load, as it was almost an A-4L. After taking all the photos I realized I forgot the landing light on the starboard main gear door- which I have put on since then.
I have also included a shot of the Wings Magazine I used to help with research. Free to anyone who might want it, as I am done my builds now.

Reader reactions:
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9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. Great looking Scooter Dan!
    Nice work!

  2. Wonderful result.

  3. When it comes to adding obscure A-4s to his collection, DeSilva bows to no one! 🙂

    Nice work, Dan.

  4. Excellent job with really great improvements, Dan!

  5. A nice “hunchbacked” Scooter.
    Great build, Dan!

  6. Great result with all the corrections and improvements you made.

  7. Fully-loaded & looking for a fight. Fine build & finish.

  8. A wonderful A4, Dan @danfrombermuda
    The chosen Malaysian scheme is rarely seen but looks great.

  9. Looks nice in those markings! Well done.

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