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oortiz10

TA-4F Skyhawk vs TA-4J?

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Hey gang,

I just picked up Hase's 1/48 TA-4J Skyhawk. While looking for some decals for it, I stumbled across a bunch of nice markings for TA-4Fs. So my question is, what are the external differences between an F & J? Can I build Hase's J as a F, and if so, what do I have to do? Keep in mind that I'm just wondering about the external differences. My kits are built buttoned up, so I'm not too worried about avionics or instrumentation differences.

Thanks in advance for complicating my decal decision. :)

Cheers,

-O

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Hey gang,

I just picked up Hase's 1/48 TA-4J Skyhawk. While looking for some decals for it, I stumbled across a bunch of nice markings for TA-4Fs. So my question is, what are the external differences between an F & J? Can I build Hase's J as a F, and if so, what do I have to do? Keep in mind that I'm just wondering about the external differences. My kits are built buttoned up, so I'm not too worried about avionics or instrumentation differences.

Thanks in advance for complicating my decal decision. :)

Cheers,

-O

The TA-4J differed from the TA-4F through the removal of the tactical weapons system and the installation of a different engine. Some TA-4Fs were converted to the TA-4J configuration.

TA-4F's had the 20mm guns (which are included in the TA-4J kit) so you could use those. Externally there isn't much difference between the F and the J.

Jeff

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Broadly: as built, the TA-4F was a fully armed and combat capable aircraft (basically an A-4F with an extra seat thrown in), while the TA-4J were dedicated trainers without the full weapons systems of the TA-4F and a less powerful engine.

As far as your model is concerned, again - broadly: the TA-4F kept the 20mm guns in the wing roots (although they were deleted on many 'F's later in their service life) and the full set of five wing pylons, while the TA-4J did not have the guns installed and did not have the outboard wing pylons normally fitted in US Navy service, giving only three hardpoints as standard.

There were (why is nobody surprised... :-) ) exceptions to this rule of thumb, as TA-4J's could technically be converted to a fully armed configuration for use in a war emergency, and a few TA-4J's flown by composite units had the outer pylons and guns refitted.

HTH,

Andre

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TA-4F's were converted to OA-4M's as well.....

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and a few TA-4J's flown by composite units had the outer pylons and guns refitted.

I just finished a Hase TA-4J with the guns in place.

You can see it here

Jeff

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There were (why is nobody surprised... :-) ) exceptions to this rule of thumb, as TA-4J's could technically be converted to a fully armed configuration for use in a war emergency, and a few TA-4J's flown by composite units had the outer pylons and guns refitted.

I think it's more than a few - most of my pictures of TA-4J's from the training wings have one gun installed (on the side with the refueling probe).

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Thanks for the input gang. As always, great beta on the boards here...

So, would it be safe to over-simplify by saying that I could build a TA-4F from Hase's -J boxing by including the gun barrels and plyons and slappin' on some fancy markings?

(BTW Jeff, nice build!)

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So, would it be safe to over-simplify by saying that I could build a TA-4F from Hase's -J boxing by including the gun barrels and plyons and slappin' on some fancy markings?

I would say yes......

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I think it's more than a few - most of my pictures of TA-4J's from the training wings have one gun installed (on the side with the refueling probe).

to stop the stundents' twitchy fingers shooting the instructor on his way up the ladder???? :P :P

:thumbsup: couldn't help myself :coolio:

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As far as your model is concerned, again - broadly: the TA-4F kept the 20mm guns in the wing roots (although they were deleted on many 'F's later in their service life) and the full set of five wing pylons, while the TA-4J did not have the guns installed and did not have the outboard wing pylons normally fitted in US Navy service, giving only three hardpoints as standard.

Jeff

IIRC the TA-4Js converted from Fs retained the five hardpoints while new-build Js had only three.

Bjarne

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So, would it be safe to over-simplify by saying that I could build a TA-4F from Hase's -J boxing by including the gun barrels and plyons and slappin' on some fancy markings?

Yes, outside of the guns and the pylons all the rest externally should be the same - same panel lines, same nose shape, same antenna and probes. There were some minor differences in the cockpit instrument panel, I think, related to the gunsight.

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same antenna

I believe most or all TA-4F's had the ECM bumps 'n' lumps around the nose and tail, of the A-4F, while the TA-4J lacked these.

Courtesy of airliners.net: TA-4F vs. TA-4J.

HTH,

Andre

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I believe most or all TA-4F's had the ECM bumps 'n' lumps around the nose and tail, of the A-4F, while the TA-4J lacked these.

That is a very late addition and most TA-4F's never got them. I have also seen a very few photos where they wore those pointy A-4F things under the nose and tail. But in most cases they had nothing, like the TA-4J. Also note that this TA-4F had the bent refueling probe and the probe on the tail, which is also something that most TA-4F's also didn't get, but a few TA-4J's did. Certainly you should check resources for the particular aircraft you are building, but in the majority of cases the Hasegawa TA-4J kit, out of box, will produce a perfectly accurate TA-4F. That's all you can say about any A-4 kit - there were just so many changes and modifications done.

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That's all you can say about any A-4 kit - there were just so many changes and modifications done.

And that's what makes the Skyhawk such a great modeling subject - to me at least. All those little variations and diferences...

Cheers,

Andre

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Unless, when they built the J's they modified the wings (which they didn't) any J would have been able to have 5 racks, 3 racks, 1 rack or what ever. The racks just bolt into the wings. That said, 3 racks looks to be the most common configuration as the out racks (stns 1 and 5) are really only for carrying weapons. I don't know how much weapons training the J's did

Same with the guns they are just roll equipment. They can be removed or fitted as required.

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IIRC the TA-4J had nosewheel steering and the TA-4F didn't, so the TA-4Fs nose gear will be missing that bit on the nose leg.

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IIRC the TA-4J had nosewheel steering and the TA-4F didn't, so the TA-4Fs nose gear will be missing that bit on the nose leg.

Are you sure about that? If they added NWS it would have been very late in production (if they did and I'm not 100% about that). A-4's had a free castoring nose wheel. The small unit you see on the nose gear near the wheel is actually a shimy damper. A steering unit would be a bit bigger.

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Unless, when they built the J's they modified the wings (which they didn't) any J would have been able to have 5 racks, 3 racks, 1 rack or what ever. The racks just bolt into the wings. That said, 3 racks looks to be the most common configuration as the out racks (stns 1 and 5) are really only for carrying weapons. I don't know how much weapons training the J's did

Not much. In all my books and internet pictures I don't see any J's with practice weapons except for those from VC-1 (these decals come with the Hasegawa kit). But there were a few J's that carried live weapons - those from VC-10 which were charged with protecting Guantanamo. No decals for that one, unfortunately.

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IIRC the TA-4J had nosewheel steering and the TA-4F didn't, so the TA-4Fs nose gear will be missing that bit on the nose leg.

The TA-4 had nose gear steering right from the TA-4E, which was the two-seater's designation when it first flew. The addition of the wing spoilers and the nose gear steering was dictated on the trainer by the need to increase the crosswind limit for shore-based operation. The most obvious indication of nose gear steering is the black tube parallel to the nose gear strut that houses the hydraulic lines. As noted, the steering unit is located on the right side of the nose wheel fork behind the shimmy damper.

A-4NoseGearSteering.jpg

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The TA-4 had nose gear steering right from the TA-4E, which was the two-seater's designation when it first flew. The addition of the wing spoilers and the nose gear steering was dictated on the trainer by the need to increase the crosswind limit for shore-based operation. The most obvious indication of nose gear steering is the black tube parallel to the nose gear strut that houses the hydraulic lines. As noted, the steering unit is located on the right side of the nose wheel fork behind the shimmy damper.

A-4NoseGearSteering.jpg

Thanks for posting that!

jeff

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The TA-4 had nose gear steering right from the TA-4E, which was the two-seater's designation when it first flew. The addition of the wing spoilers and the nose gear steering was dictated on the trainer by the need to increase the crosswind limit for shore-based operation. The most obvious indication of nose gear steering is the black tube parallel to the nose gear strut that houses the hydraulic lines. As noted, the steering unit is located on the right side of the nose wheel fork behind the shimmy damper.

A-4M's and extremely late A-4F's (Marine Reserve aircraft) had this as well. The Hasegawa 1/48 A-4 kits all have the tube as part D21. In the instructions in the TA-4J kits they have you install it, but in the instructions for the Brazilian AF-1 (and probably other A-4M kits) they incorrectly miss this step. The Classic Airframes 1/48 TA-4J does not have this part at all. And you won't find it in any 1/72 or 1/144 kit. But I don't think there is a more easily scratchbuilt feature in all modeldom. We just needed a reminder it was there, so thanks.

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And you won't find it in any 1/72 or 1/144 kit.

Don't some Fujimi 1/72nd kits come with them..? Some of my boxings definetely have two different nose gear struts.

Cheers,

Andre

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Don't some Fujimi 1/72nd kits come with them..? Some of my boxings definetely have two different nose gear struts.

You are right - I relied on looking at the instructions instead of looking at the actual kit part. I dug the kit out and the part does have the tube - but the part, according to the stamp on the sprue, is for E's and F's as well as M's and J's and OA-4M's, so it has to be removed for those versions. I only have the A-4M and OA-4M boxings of those kits so I don't know which ones had different or multiple strut parts.

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And that's what makes the Skyhawk such a great modeling subject - to me at least. All those little variations and diferences...

Cheers,

Andre

Get the Ginter USN/USMC Two-Seat Skyhawks book. Only real change in the cockpit between a TA-4F and a TA-4J is where the radar scope goes on both instrument panels in the center right side is blanked off in the -4J since they lacked the radar the -4F had. The Ginter book has information for both model cockpits. Hope this helps.

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resurrecting old thread, differences between the J and the F as used as USN Adversary (top gun)?  I'm doing the 48th Hasegawa TA-4J kit as an USN Adversary F.  Thanks. 

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