1/48 Hobbycraft A-4E

by Everett McEwan on Sept 13 2003

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   Just when you think you are all done... back in June as Nationals were fast approaching my friend Earl told me that a few people who where part of our A-4 group build came up short and did not have the models they promised, threatening our display. When he told me of the missing models (A-4K, A-4E and maybe even the A-4KU) I said I would do the E, using my half built Hobbycraft A-4H that I had started back when I built my IAF H/F to save some time. I was not optimistic considering the poor quality of the kit but I dug in and did my best and in the end I was shocked that it went so well.

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    I had already glued the fuselage together and done the basic work on the cockpit. I re-did the front cockpit coming so that I could get the Hasegawa canopy onto it (left over from my M, AR and TA-4J) and then began to re-scribe some of the surfaces of the kit. I did not spend too long on this (only a few hours) but in the end the re-scribing made a big difference in the appearance of the kit. While not perfect it does the job from a distance, the wing vortex generators are an example of this, although not exactly perfect the small holes I added are better than not having them there. Again this was a rush job. I used as many of my extra Hasegawa parts as I could like the tail pipe, or the fuel tanks or the small antennas. I finished up the construction quickly in about a week. 

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   Painting went well, I was again using left over Hasegawa decals and as such it was a simple Navy white and Grey scheme (my first hi-vis bird). I used Testors paint and flat coat along with future for the decal prep. I again used my fine sandpaper technique for the decal areas and they all went on nicely except the tip of the fuel tanks but that is a tricky spot. I weathered using the chalk pastel sludge I've used many times before.

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    For the load out I used some Mk 82s and a MER leftover from my Monogram OA-4M kit (the TA-4J) and the Hasegawa tanks.
    All in all it went well and made a nice kit in the end which really surprised me. I had the kit done a week early in fact because it was such an easy build, and got it to Earl along with my other
A-4 and A-4 and he then drove off to Oklahoma City to compete. We got second in the end.

Everett

 

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Photos and text by Everett McEwan