by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
History The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a single-seat subsonic carrier-capable attack aircraft developed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps in the early 1950s. The delta-winged, single turbojet engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later by McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated A4D under the U.S. Navy's pre-1962 designation system.
The A-4F variant was a refinement of the A-4E with extra avionics housed in a hump on the fuselage spine (this feature later retrofitted to A-4Es and some A-4Cs), wing-top spoilers to reduce landing roll out, nose wheel steering, and more powerful J52-P-8A engine with 9,300 lbf (41 kN) of thrust, later upgraded in service to J52-P-408 with 11,200 lbf (50 kN), 147 built. Some served with Blue Angels acrobatic team from 1973 to 1986.
Info from Wikipedia
In the bag Eduard's repackaged Platz A-4F Skyhawk comes in a re-sealable plastic bag, with one aircraft, a set of decals, instructions, and a handy set of masks for the canopy and tyres.
The parts of which there are 33 grey parts on three sprues and one clear part, are superbly moulded with no sign of injection pin marks or flash present.
Internal detail is rather basic, with the cockpit only having an ejection seat. The bang seat is rather plain but it does come with some decals for the harness.
Likewise the main undercarriage and nose bays are devoid of any detail, but the undercarriage doors have a little detail on their inner surfaces.
Most of these areas are improved with the addition of the photo etch set, item No 144010, Eduard have produced which improve the cockpit, seat and main undercarriage bays.
Exterior detail is exquisite with some very fine recessed panel lines adoring the fuselage and wings. The various lumps and bumps found on the aircraft are nicely reproduced.
A refueling probe for the starboard side of the aircraft is supplied. For marking option B the probe needs to be kinked in two places, so care needs to be taken doing this as its very thin.
A one piece exhaust slots into the rear of the A4, and has a rather thick exhaust ring moulded inside, but it's better then nothing I suppose. The air inlets at the front is pretty much blocked off inside.
Undercarriage legs although simplistic do look rather nice with a fair bit of detail, and come with seperate wheels.
One improvement over the Platz boxing, is the main undercarriage doors which are supplied as one piece, Platz's instructions fail to mention they need cutting in two, something which Eduard have corrected.
Underwing stores for the Skyhawk are only two underwing drop tanks, although there are pylons for the center fuselage point and two more for the wings supplied, so if aftermarket stores are bought they can be used.
The holes for the center pylon are already open, but the wing holes need opening up.
The canopy is packed in its own bag within the main bag so its well protected from scratches and knocks.
The canopy is one piece and crystal clear with canopy frames as raised areas to help with painting.
Instructions, decals and markings The instructions are printed on a folded A4 size glossy paper, and is full colour. The build sequence takes place over two pages with the remaining 5 pages for the marking options and stencil placement guide.
The build is easy to follow with internal colours highlighted.
A handy mask set for the canopy and wheels are supplied, but unfortunately were not in my sample. The masks cover the windscreen and the outer edges of the main canopy which will really help in painting this tiny part. The tyres get a mask so the hubs can be painted.
The decals are produced by Eduard and are in register with very little carrier film.
Having used Eduard decals before I can't see any problems with their application.
Four marking options are supplied, three of which are gray over white, with marking option B machine sporting a three colour wrap around camo scheme in tan, brown and green.
The four options are -
A - BuNo 154186, VA-192 "Golden Dragons", USS Ticonderoga, 1968.
B - BuNo 154190, VA-127, "Desert Bogeys", NAS Fallon, 1983-1986.
C - BuNo 154190, VA-22, "Fighting Redcocks", USS Bon Homme Richard, 1970.
D - BuNo 155018, VA-164, "Ghostriders", USS Hancock, 1971.
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