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Aussie A-4G Skyhawk FINISHED.


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G'day guys,


A quick break from my 1/48 Concorde build: http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=58251has seen me building Trumpeters A-4E converted to an Aussie spec A-4G of the Royal Australian Navy. I know I have quite a few other large scale models on the go at the moment but this one is being built in honour of my good mate Bruce Chapman who recently passed away. Bruce was a big fan of the Skyhawk and he lent me his excellent photo albums that contained a really good walkaround of RNZAF Skyhawks that he took when they were operational.


The kit is quite nice with only a few things required to bring it to standard.


First up is the wing. The slats wells are stepped into the wing on the kit and require to be cut out and repositioned flush with the rest of the wing.




The Vortex generators are far too fat and are also at the wrong angle on the kit. I have thinned each one down with a file whilst also using the fatness of each protrusion to change its angle. You can see some yet to be modified generators at the top right hand side of the pic.




Next up is the filling of the chaff/flare dispensers. I have used plastic card to fill the holes in the rear one and reversed the 2 plastic dispensers to fill the forward units.




The top of the rudder was moulded integrally with the top of the fin. This was cut off and glued to the rudder and then smoothed.




The bottom of the rudder contains a rather large gap between it and the fuselage. This was filled with plastic card and then I made an actuator rod from Brass and plastic card.




I want to pose the horizontal stabilizers and the elevators in the up position. This required cutting a hole through both sides of the tail in order to depict the large gap that is visible when they are in this position. There are a few other mods happening in this area but more on that later. The small piece of plastic card that I have inserted in the hole is a cheat to square up the cut that I made.




I have used the Aires detail set on this build including their excellent wheel bays. Practically a drop in fit.




I also used the Aires cockpit. I chose to not use the Aires instruments though the clear IP, rather painting the IP and then laying down Airscale instrument decals, which has turned out nicely. Interestingly, I used mostly 1/48 decals to fill each instrument as they fit far better than their 1/32 version (but don't tell anyone)




A week or so's work has revealed this nice little build. Noticeable is the AMS intakes and wheels, as well as the Quickboost scoops.



Edited by ericg
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Some more work.


I made the plates that the horizontal stabilizers mount to smaller. The Trumpeter parts were a little oversized. I also shifted the pivot point up by approx 2mm to closer represent the reference pics that I have. You can also see the small semi circular fairing that I made that covers the aft edge of the plate. Also visible in the picture is the fairing that joins the fuselage to the jet pipe. This was a little underdone in the kit.




Compared to the above pic, here is the way the kit depicts the same area.




The Skyhawk is really coming together. As per some of my other builds, I am in touch with an ex-RAN Skyhawk pilot, who is assisting me with getting a particular loadout correct for when he flew the actual aircraft that I am wishing to depict. Here is is with part of the loadout, fitted for size. I will spend some time assessing the model in this way to determine whether it sits on its undercarriage correctly to represent the distinctive Skyhawk stance.



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Eric, awesome work mate. As always you are knocking this one out of the park!


Now, one thing to note on this kit is that fairing behind the canopy tapers back to a point in plan view. It needs more radius to it. For me it detracts from the look as it is so visible when looking down on the kit. But take a look for yourself and see if it bothers you.


Either way mate, I am loving this




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Thanks for the input Anthony. I have started working on the mod that you have identified.


The problem with Trumpeter kits, is that they sometimes lack character and are very CAD sterile. That is, whilst the model will more or less look like what it is supposed to be, it is obvious that the designer glossed over some of the finer and more subtle stuff that will really bring the model to life. Either that or it was almost home time on a Friday and they have rushed certain aspects of the design work. Here are a few more tweaks.


Here is the fairing behind the canopy as Trumpeter have depicted. The way they have tapered it off is far too sharp and it is worth correcting.




I cut approx 1.5mm off the end of the fairing and have radiused it to a more appropriate blunt end. This will be further worked on in conjunction with another mod that I have been planning in this area. More on that later (letting some filler dry)




There is a small vent pipe on the right hand side of the fuselage that could do with a bit of work.




I filled the hole and re-drilled it and then inserted some brass rod to better represent this area.



Edited by ericg
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