1/48 Hasegawa IAF A-4F  Part 1

by Everett McEwan

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My IMPS club in Denver CO is doing a group build of every A-4 Skyhawk variant ever built using the outstanding Hasagawa A-4 kit as our source. For my first of five A-4's I am building I chose to do a A-4H/F of the Israeli Air Force in it's later days of service during the 1980's. I chose this time frame because I wanted to show it with all of the updates that were added to A-4's over the years after the lessons of the Yom Kipur war.
    The main modification being the extended tail pipe to lessen the damage from a shoulder launched SAM. 

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To modify the Hasagawa kit, I used the tail pipe part from the Hobbycraft A-4H kit grafted onto the tail of the kit with a lot of super glue and sanding. The other major difference of the IAF A-4's was the 30 mm gun pod that replaced the 20 mm gun in the wing root, for this I also used the parts from Hobbycraft and a lot of of super glue and sanding and sanding again.

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I also added the Hump that all of the A-4's received over time to provide more space for Avionics such as ECM and weapon systems. This part came from the Hasagawa kit (provided for A-4F), but I now understand from talking to Cutting Edge that the Israeli A-4's had a slightly different hump, because the two vents and panel lines were in different spots.

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On that subject I would recommend to any one wanting to build this version of the Skyhawk, that they buy the Cutting Edge conversion since it has the correct the hump and all the correct parts to do this with out buying the Hobbycraft kit. On that subject I found out when talking with them that Cutting Edge is planning (of course subject to change) several conversions for this great kit, including the A-4M, A-4N, and A-4KU all of which have the large canopy that Cutting edge will provide (injection molded I think). I am planning on building all of these conversions plus the A-4AR Fighting Hawk (FCM decals) which is based on the A-4M. Back to the kit lets' start at the beginning.
    The Cockpit is about the best kit cockpit I have ever seen and builds up great and only needs the addition of True Details ESCAPAC Ejection Seat which cost about $1.50 each (they come in sets of two for $3).

 

 

 

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There are a few after market pits out there like the Aries set, but trust me you don't need them, that is probably why Black Box canceled theirs. Careful painting, dry bushing and washes results in a great interior that will be hard to see given the Skyhawk's small size, but it's worth it for your own satisfaction.

Everett

Photos and text by Everett McEwan