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Trumpeter 1/32 RNZAF A-4K "Kahu Upgrade"

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Hi all


Well, it had to happen didnt it! I just had to start the new Trumpeter Skyhawk as a Kiwi one.


First, a little inspiration and pics of our Kiwi ones for those of you unfamiliar with the modded "K"s.


Sorry I dont know who to credit all the photo's to. But one of my favourite sites is Calum's A-4 Alley and some come from that source. Thank you Calum, I hope you dont mind me using an image or 2 for the purpose of this build.










The last photo is probably the config I will do, but not sure wether to do the Euro 1 or overall green....

Edited by Anthony in NZ
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Ok, now on to the build.


Personally I love this kit and I reakon it can be built up straight out of the box as a great model.


However I am very partial to Skyhawks and want to really go to town on it. The Kahu Modded RNZAF Skyhawks incorporated essentially F-16 avionics/software, and in this little hotrod made for a very potent wee machine.


I decided that I wasn't going to display the engine so I glued the forward and rear halves together. It was pretty much a perfect fit. All that really needs doing is to put a bevel on the mating surface of the rear fuse to make the join more pronounced.


The insert was also added at the base of the fin and again was a great fit with virtually no filler being used.


I was not really happy with the intake just behind the fuse break and decided to drill it out and bevel it back into the airframe. This left me with a hole with a bevel to the front. I then added plastic card around the inner edge to deepen the scoop and filed the scoop to a more acceptable profile, added the flange around the back half and glued it in. This in my opinion give a far better look.






An avionics cooling scoop was also added just forward of the fuse break






As you can also see the small NACA intake was filled with CA and buffed smooth


Next up more on the rear fuse.fin.....


Thanks for looking in.

Edited by Anthony in NZ
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OK now on the Stbd side there is a fuel vent pipe that sits flush with the airframe. Trumpeter mould this as a rectangular indent. I drilled this out and inserted a section of rod at the appropiate angle and filled the outer edge with CA and sanded it all smooth. Then I inserted a section of metal tube with a bevelled edge into the plastic rod. This gave the appropiate look of the vent pipe.




I just love the all moving tailplanes and often you see A-4's parked with the stick full back and the tailplane/elevators at the appropiate angles.


I added a radius to the elevator leading edge and did a little tweaking of the hinge attach points as well as adding an outboard hinge. A mould line on the elevator was cleaned up and rivet detail fixed up. The swashplate then had a hole drilled in behind the tailplane for the torque tube for the elevator to pass through. The rear end of it had the guide trimmed off as this attaches to the fin on the real plane.


The trailing edge was a little thick for my liking so I blocked it back to put more of a flat on it and added an extension that I then filed down to a thin edge.




Of course there is an opening in the fin where you can see right through the airframe. This was opened up to give a better look.












As you can see the tip of the fin has been removed for the new extension to be added and the first mounting plate for the VOR/ILS antenna'son the fin.


Thanks for looking




Edited by Anthony in NZ
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Thanks Jamme and Keith.


Keith the squared off fin tip is not included. Actually for those wanting to do the squared off fin, the fin and rudder are both slightly taller than the rounded one. Not just as easy as filing the top square.


Finished extending the rudder tip and profiling it to the correct cross section as well as the correct shape in side profile. Also I sanded each gluing surface to wafer thin before gluing them together and addiing the tip.






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Hi Anthony, great looking build so far and very timely with the announcement just this last week that the Kiwi A4's will finally be disposed of. The last 15 (I think) Kiwi 'Squawks' along with 17 Air Maccis have been in storage since 2001 when the Government of the day decided New Zealand didn't need a Air Combat Wing (ACW) - the Maccis were the ACW jet trainers. I'll be staying at Woodbourne Air Base where they are stored over Easter so will go and have a final look at the aircraft before they are fed out to museums or broken up.


Take a look at the website below for some history on the Kiwi A4s http://a4skyhawk.org/2e/newzealand/newzealand.htm


Thanks for sharing Anthony, I'm warming to the idea of getting one of these...Rgds Brent

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