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.
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.
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
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).
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.