1/48 Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

Gallery Article by Michael Bagdonas on May 27 2009


I wanted to give my father a unique Christmas gift while honoring his 30+ years in the Navy, so I picked an aircraft that I always found interesting plus I was able to find a kit with the squadron decals I needed.  My father was an avionics technician in VA-15 in the 70's and I remember going to the base and watching the planes getting worked on in the hangar and on the tarmac.

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The Hasegawa kit unfortunately took me several years to build only due to the lack of time I could devote to it.  I built the kit out of the box and then added Eduard photo-etched details to the avionics bay and landing gear bays.  The cockpit was entirely replaced with a resin Aires cockpit set and ejector seat.  Using the gallery photos from this site, I added some scratch details with different gauge wiring and solder.  I added quite a bit of solder in the wheel bays to match the photos, but it is quite hidden from notice.  The kit assembles nicely other than some extra time spent puttying the intake area and the wing to fuselage connection.  I didn't have to mess with the armament since they would not have been attached at a local air base as I depicted the model.

I airbrushed the model with Testors enamel and weathered the panel lines using a toothpick and diluted acrylic paint.  I used the hi-vis decals provided with the kit and applied them with Micro-sol.  The entire model was then sprayed with Testors Dullcoat.

The base and glass case were purchased at an art store and I added a pre-printed runway from custom dioramics that I sprayed with dullcoat.   I cut-out the 3D "VA-15" lettering using white mattboard and the emblems are custom inkjet decals.

Overall, I tried to find satisfaction in making something special while enjoying the process.  I feel that I achieved both goals.  My father proudly displays the model in the Living room which makes all the effort worth it!  Only problem is that I now have to top it with a better model in the future...

Michael Bagdonas

Photos and text by Michael Bagdonas