1/48 Hasegawa U.S. Navy A-4F Skyhawk

by Darren McGuinness

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Hello everyone,
Here is my 1/48 Hasegawa model of a U.S. Navy A-4F Skyhawk. I have always loved U.S. Navy aircraft and the "Scooter" is no exception! I first saw this kit in my friends model shop after he had finished building it and I just knew that I wanted one on my display shelf at home.

The Hasegawa kit is a little gem. It's well moulded and very well detailed. I really enjoyed building it as it went together so well. The only problem I had was blending the avionics hump to the airframe as a little sanding was required and I didn't want to lose too much detail, that said I think I did a OK job!

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To paint the model I used Humbrol enamels. After the gull grey and white areas are done, there's a few bits of red to add to the airframe. Hasegawa give you decals for some of these parts, but I preferred to paint them. When painting was completed, I gave the model two coats of gloss varnish and set about weathering the model. For this I used some black water colour paint bought as part of a children's paint set. I paint one section of the model at a time with the black water colour and leave it to dry for about five  minutes . To remove the paint I just wipe it away with a damp kitchen cloth until only the panel lines remain. Another coat of gloss was added to seal in the wash and when dry I set about applying the decals. For this, I used the ones in the box depicting a Vietnam era fighter from VA-22 "The fighting Redcocks".  I have to say that I am yet again impressed with the quality of these decals. They went on with no trouble at all and conformed well to the surfaces with a little micro-sol. I used some weapons from my spares box to make the aircraft look more purposeful and came up with the "iron-hand" warload that was used in the Vietnam conflict.

To display the model, I took a wooden base(MDF) and painted a small section of carrier deck on top and the rest was finished with a wood stain from my local hardware shop. Just to make it more interesting, a friend suggested that I should add a few figures so I got the Hasegawa USN carrier deck personnel set and used three figures from it. I'm not a very good figure painter-but I like to think they look OK in 1/48 scale. The poses available are quite limited, so I chose the three that looked the most natural and tried to make it look like some guys greeting each other before the next mission. A really enjoyable kit-I hope you like it too.

Darren

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Photos and text by Darren McGuinness