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thierry laurent

Trumpeter Skyhawk tweaks

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Hi!

 

I had the opportunity to look at the Trumpy Skyhawk. The kit is quite good but some aspects are worse than the ones of the old Hasegawa kit...

 

1. Nose wheel: how can they glue a nose wheel on the LG leg on a 1/32th kit?!? This asks for sawing the wheel from the leg, cleaning it and put it a strong metal axle. A true PITA work! Easier options may be the use of a resin wheel or a leftover plastic wheel (such as the one in the OA-4M Hasegawa box).

 

2. Cockpit: it is without any doubt better than the old Hasegawa one except the side consoles: they have no switches, buttons or anything else!?! I may accept this on a 1/72 kit but not on a LSP! Fortunately, on the Skyhawk, they are not very visible. Hence, adding some switches and buttons with a punch & die will noticeably improve the area. At least, the seat and fuselage sides are noticeably better.

 

3. IFR probe: No bent IFR probe! This is stupid as this decreases noticeably the number of scheme options. No way to do a late Adversary bird or an A-4F without converting the straigth one, scratchbuilding one or possibly using one from an Hasegawa kit.

 

4. Wings: Vortex generators are far thicker than the ones of the old Hasegawa kit. This is really a nasty issue as there are more than fifty blades to file or replace...

 

5. The windshield front armored glass does not have the typical elliptical shape. Its base is cut. An opportunity has been missed to do a better job than the one of Japanese engineers... This is not so obvious as the Echo used a deicer device located at the base of the windshield. Unfortunately, this means that backdating the kit to an earlier mark (e.g. using the Condor A-4C set) is not really possible because the early birds did not have this deicing device box but a simple wiper...

 

6. The nose electronic bays details are not very fine. I know that plastic electronic boxes are generally far from being outstanding but was nonetheless disappointed when I compared such details with the ones of older kits.

 

7. A classical issue on many kits: the infamous slat step! This is stupid as the A-4E always has opened slats on the ground! Fortunately, this is not a huge step and this may be corrected quite easily.

 

8. Weapons. Ahem... As Trumpy used one of their standard sprues, the standard problems came as well! misshaped Shrikes and Mk82, Slimmy MER & TER, etc. etc. To build a Navy line squadron bird, I think the Bullpups and Walleye are the best options OOTB. I did not check too closely the tanks but I think they are not the same than the ones in the Corsair or Harrier boxes. They look better. Even if there are less options, I prefer the Hasegawa loads... In their limited edition Adversary Skyhawk, Hasegawa put an ACMI pod and its pylon. Here, you're on your own!

 

9. Decals. The VA-72 scheme is boring to say the least. The VA-212 lion shape in the crest seems a little bit suspect. I need to compare with Microscale or Hasegawa decals and pictures to be sure but the head shape seems off. The VF-43 adversary scheme seems Ok (I've the same one on a Microscale sheet).

 

10. Assembly of the front and rear fuselage part is done without any pin to ensure that subassemblies will be correctly mated. Hence, take car when assembling the engine and air intakes. any misalignment will result in noticeable problems...

 

Fortunately, there are very positive aspects:

 

- The possibility to open the fuselage side engine maintenance doors. This is an excellent idea as this door is often opened on the ground.

- The service bays on the wings are very nice. Engraving them oneself is a real pain...

- The camel hump is included even if no scheme is given for an A-4E using it.

- The LG zones are better detailed.

- The airbrakes depiction is more accurate.

- The flaps may be lowered

 

Conclusion for OOTB builders:

 

The Adversary VF-43 may be built OOTB with or without a little bit of personal work. To build a frontline Skyhawk, the VA-72 scheme is probably the best option with the Bullpups or Walleye.

 

Another easy option may be a Kippour war A-4E (IAF decals are easy to find) or some Microscale decals but you'll have to find better weapons elsewhere.

 

Other options will ask for more aftermaket add-ons...

 

I will buy some Skyhawks as they are amongst my favourite planes. However, I think that the kit is overpriced when you look at the box contents. I'd change my mind if the weapons would be accurately shaped.

 

If you're interested in a full tweak list, let me know.

 

Cheers

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Thanks for the tweak list, Thierry!

 

Regarding the in flight refueling (IFR) probe, the bent version appears on the sprues for the A-4M. In combination with hot water, stout digits, and a properly protruding tongue, I'll bet one can be bent from sprue using the calibrated eyeball (i.e., that looks about right) method.

 

The A-4 is definitely one of my very favorite aircraft. I have looked forward to this kit's release since it was announced. For me, if it's a 90% representation of the airplane, it's good enough!

 

Best,

 

Scott

Edited by M. Scott Borden

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So, compared with the Hasegawa kit, is it worth the extra cash? (especially in context of an Adversary aircraft)

 

Does this have significantly better overall shape or is the Hasegawa alternative OK in that department?

 

What would you add besides an aftermarket cockpit to the Hasegawa to rival this new one?

 

In the end are we talking about engraved (new) versus raised panel lines (old) as the big difference?

 

Tnarg

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Agree with the tweaks above. The cockpit needs a throttle also, which is strange as there is a hole in the side console to out a throttle in if it existed. Also, I'm not sure about the twin dispensers just aft of the wing. AFAIK, the -E only had the offset one further back, which is also in the kit. Even the IAF didn't upgrade their -Es with the dual dispensers according to the Isradecals book.

 

any thoughts on the intake lips? They seem a little thin to me and look to have too square a edge.

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Great discussion Thierry

 

I would love to see your complete tweak list if you dont mind.

 

I agree on these points, however the weapons dont bother me (another good reason to use Chris/Zactoman's awesome AIM missiles!) but on the whole I definately think it is better than the Hasegawa kit.

 

I particularly love the tailplane/elevators how they can be repositioned, thats a great touch.

 

Also the surface detail is beautiful, along with the seperate flaps as you mention.

 

There are a one or 2 areas that I think need tweaking like the fuel vent pipe on the stbd side needs to be made to look like a small tube sitting flush with the fuse (I have already fixed this and it was super easy) and I dont think Hasegawa did this either. The rear fairing behind the canopy is a little pointy where it blends into the fuse (again easy to fix). A few other little things also, but it seems to me there is nothing major wrong.

 

One really important thing to my eye is that the cross section looks really nice on the Trumpeter kit. It looks better to my eye than the Hasegawa kit, and just seems to have captured the 'look' beautifully.

 

I am going to put a build WIP on my RNZAF one soon, showing the areas I am tweaking and how I am doing it. I just havent managed to take any photo's since I got back from holiday a few days ago.

 

I am really keen to hear your feedback on the kit as I am sure there will be things I have overlooked.

 

I imagine Eduard will do an etch set for the AOA and wing vortex generators etc...

 

On the whole, this kit made my year.......oh unless a Tamiya P-51D turns up!!!

 

2 thumbs up Trumpeter!

 

Cheers

Anthony

 

Cheers

Anthony

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Hi!

 

I'll need some time to check the intake lips and cross-section as a friend got my kit. I'll get a new one on Friday, hopefully.

 

Another positive aspect of the Trumpeter kit is the front view of the engine as the Hasegawa has none. But this is not very visible. Oooops, I did not see that the throttle was missing! Regarding the dispensers, I shall check but my memory is telling me Dave is right (only one on early Echoes).

 

If you want an adversary bird, don't mind scribing a kit and don't like airplanes with opened bays, I think that the Hasegawa kit still offers an excellent value for money. I'd even say a better value as the price will probably go down and many kits will be available on the second-hand market. The main difference is indeed the raised versus engraved panel lines; both kits having pluses and minuses. If I had to build an Adversary and had the choice between the Hasegawa Adversary boxing and the Trumpeter kit, I don't know which one would offer the best combination as no glass is full, nor empty in this specific case! Moreover, if you're the kind of people who like aftermarket, I'd say that the global value of the Trumpy kit is decreasing. From a return on investment standpoint, it always makes more sense to add a resin set in a cheap kit rather than in an expensive one as far as both ones are reasonably equivalent in term of shape accuracy. Regarding decals, I'd say that the Hasegawa scooters generally offer a better value but again this is not black or white as there are more stencils in the Chinese kit!

 

To reply to the global value of the kit, I'd say it depends on different parameters. To be frank, I don't think that the quality difference is obvious when I consider the more than thirty years old technology gap and more than twice higher price but this is only a personal standpoint! However, if I just compare the plastic parts, I'd say that the Chinese kit is globally better.

 

Thierry

Edited by thierry laurent

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I'd like to see a list too, Thierry.

 

I already have a Hasegawa RNZAF kit but there is no law against having two.

 

Have you seen anything of interest in my Heinkel thread? I haven't been able to get hold of you.

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Oooops! Sorry Keith, I saw your message but was busy then and stupidly forgot to reply later! Thanks for the reminder. I wanted to inform you regarding the spinner shape but realized it was already notified. I just saved parts of the He-100 thread for future reference ;-)

 

You're right regarding the fact that having two Skyhawks is not forbidden. In fact, I've six different Hasegawa kits (VA-153 "Blue Tail" Navy E with C conversion, "Golden Dragons" Navy E, "humped" Navy F "Lady Jessie", "Top Gun" Adversary E, TA-4J with IAF conversion and USMC OA-4M) and will probably purchase all Trumpy releases! However, I understand the situation of people who are not "Scooter's freaks" and want to purchase a single one. In this perspective, doing the right choice is better...

 

As soon as I'll get another kit, I'll start a detailed list.

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Thanks for the pictures!

 

I guess my kit is still in a box somewhere in a customs wharehouse... Fortunately, my old friend Vincent gave me back my original kit (Thanks pal!). This means I'll be able to do the list next week. I've already identified some other discrepancies or missing items here and there. Mainly small details... fortunately! I'll built the list to help people to convert the kit into other planes (such as IAF or Adversary ones).

 

BTW, I'm finishing a table listing all the features helping in identifying adversary unit Scooters (two A4 pages!). I did it to be able to class the dozens of digital pictures I saved as in many cases, there was no caption and in others they were simply wrong! If there is any interest in such a table, I may publish it on LSP but it will not be the holy grail as there are many holes in the history of Adversary planes schemes...

 

Thierry

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Thanks for the pictures!

 

I guess my kit is still in a box somewhere in a customs wharehouse... Fortunately, my old friend Vincent gave me back my original kit (Thanks pal!). This means I'll be able to do the list next week. I've already identified some other discrepancies or missing items here and there. Mainly small details... fortunately! I'll built the list to help people to convert the kit into other planes (such as IAF or Adversary ones).

 

BTW, I'm finishing a table listing all the features helping in identifying adversary unit Scooters (two A4 pages!). I did it to be able to class the dozens of digital pictures I saved as in many cases, there was no caption and in others they were simply wrong! If there is any interest in such a table, I may publish it on LSP but it will not be the holy grail as there are many holes in the history of Adversary planes schemes...

 

Thierry

 

Hi Thierry,

 

I would be very interested in that listing. Please go ahead and publish it on the site!

 

Cheers,

Erik.

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Hi Thierry,

 

I would be very interested in that listing. Please go ahead and publish it on the site!

 

Cheers,

Erik.

 

Me too...

 

MAK

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I think the kit intakes are oddly shaped to me. Here is a quick fix. I will make them "seamless" and be contoured on the inside. I still have to finish the overall shape and add the plate to the rear.

How about a "super Fox" version??

 

Color0003.jpg

> http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p44/hairoldcut/

Harold,

 

Looking forward to this piece of AM.

How about a C model intake?

 

Barry

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