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1/32 Trumpeter A-10C Hog- "Putting Lipstick on a Pig of a Kit"

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It's still mostly winter up here in the great white north of Calgary, so I need to model again! The last "Kicked Up a Notch" entry I made was the 1/32 Tamiya P-51D Mustang, likely the best model aircraft kit at any scale available- ever! Before that was the 1/32 Academy F/A-18D converted into a CF-18B, followed by the 1/32 Tamiya F-4E. All great kits OOB, so the real challenge was to try to make them look even better with lots of aftermarket parts and a few scratch built ones thrown in. The Mustang took me 9 months, the Hornet about a year and the Phantom was a very long 14 months, so don't expect a quick build here in this thread! I am a very impatient person, but for some reason I find modeling plastic aircraft a soothing retreat from the real world of work hassles and everyday problems, so I like to take my time and attempt to do things "correctly", even if I'm wrong at least half the time. This is where I'd appreciate it if you guys came in to tell me when I've screwed something up, hopefully at a stage early enough that I can still fix the problem. As with my other builds at the beginning, I know NOTHING about the A-10, other than what I'm about to learn.

I am making this kit mostly for my 25 year old son, who has always appreciated my prior builds, but he really likes the A-10A "Thunderbolt-II" which everyone calls a "Warthog" or more commonly "Hog", much like the F-16 Falcon is now always called a "Viper" instead. To be honest, while I have always liked the A-10 and have seen it fly many times, I have never loved it like the P-51D, Lancaster, CF-18 or F-4 that I have built before.

With my deteriorating 58 year old eyesight, I like to build in larger 1/32 scale almost all the time and the only act in town for the A-10 Hog at this scale is the Trumpeter kit, Item No. 02244. When you open the kit box, you are immediately impressed with the many large sprues wrapped in plastic, real resin jet engines in bubble wrap, real metal landing gear and a few photo-etch metal parts. "This kit needs nothing more", you tell yourself, until you dig a little deeper. Since I always like to add a few more aftermarket parts, I also bought the Eduard BIG ED kit full of photo-etch parts, Cutting Edge Super Detailed Resin Cockpit (CEC32057) and the Cutting Edge Resin Exterior Detailing Set (CEC32061) which I bought on ebay for not a bad price considering these kits have long been OOP. Before I go on, if you think you might build this kit one day, BUY THEM if you can! These kits are about the best I've seen in terms of quality, including many resin kits I have purchased from Aires in the past. I also accumulated a few rare A-10 decal sets along the way, which I may or may not use.


Opening this kit was a bit of learning experience, because as I extracted each sprue from its protective bag, I was VERY disappointed in the quality of all the plastic parts. Maybe I was spoiled after the terrific Tamiya P-51D kit, but every part is just "so-so" in terms of quality of panel lines, rivets and especially mating surfaces of each part. As Jake Melampy mentioned to me the other day via PM, "This kit is a Dog". He should know, since he has authored the definitive "Hog Guide" which is considered the best A-10 reference book out there, sadly now out of print.

Let's start of this thread with a few pics of what I mean about kit quality. Here is the front fuselage Part A-5. Is that bubbled crap on the bottom a raised panel line or a recessed one, like the rest of the kit?


The front gun area isn't much better. That crooked seam on the gun shroud isn't real and how do I sand down the rough surface without removing the raised rivets?


Dimples and mold flaws are everywhere, especially on the larger parts...


Those beautiful resin engines? I spent 15 minutes with this part rolling it over and over again against pics of a real engine to determine which side went where. I never found out (and never will), because it's mostly fictitious!


With this disappointing information, I pondered whether or not to continue with this particular model. I have a couple of 1/32 Tamiya F-15's I want to make into Israeli Eagles and a Lancaster I want to make into a "Dambuster", which are MUCH better kits and a lot less hassle to build. I then opened the Cutting Edge resin parts, which pulled me back in. They are as good as the Trumpeter parts are bad, which is to say they are TERRIFIC! Here's the Cockpit set, complete with just about everything and about 100X better than the kit cockpit, which is deplorable....


A closer look at the tub. This is how it looks OOB, without hardly any resin cleanup. Yes, I know it's pre-LASTE, but I'll deal with that later.


The resin seat is up there with the best I've ever seen as well....


The Exterior Set has many, many add-ons that improve the Trumpeter kit, especially the rear part of the engines and the front of the gun


Sooooo, with a bad kit and many excellent "band-aid" aftermarket kits, I now have a chance to make this bad boy look half-way decent in the end. I have also just purchased the Cutting Edge wheel set, Squadron Canopy set and the Verlinden Detail Set, because I might expose the big gun to an open door on the bottom with lots of detail missing in the Eduard sets. To accomplish all this, I also have the following two "must have" books from Reid Air Publications....


Stay tuned for a long ride- and thanks for checking in.


Edited by chuck540z3
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I feel like "a notch" is a bit of an understatement. I think the level of modeling you're looking for is " Kicked up to super human proportions"! I can't wait to see how this master piece will turn out.

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Alright Chuck, now you are starting a kit that I truly believe can be a show stopper in the hands of a master and that you are indeed. The kit is old and has problem, lots of them, believe me I've build one, but in the end it is an awesome display of a model that will reward any display/showcase. I have several of these in my pile of kits to build and I can't wait to follow along with you to see what you will/can do with this beautiful/ugly jets :)/>

Good luck... :thumbsup:/>


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So Chuck, can we safely say that this is going to be a new modeling series? If so, Im in for keeping up with these, cause of the excellent info when you do a build! Thanks for the insight and looking forward to seeing this one come together as well!


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Oh Yeah! Here we go again! Sit back and relax, folks! Let's enjoy the ride!

Chuck: this time you seem to be up against a real challenge! It'll be a blast following this new project.


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Thanks for the encouragement Guys! Something tells me, however, that there is a big, "You Go First" mood to this, much like jumping out of an airplane with a parachute. If the first guy's chute opens, you might consider jumping out yourself! :lol:

As mentioned many times this kit is brutal, but I have seen some excellent builds of it already, so I know it's at least possible to make something worthwhile. I also take some comfort that a master like John Wolstenholme made likely the best Lightening model ever, out of vacu-formed parts with NO panel lines or rivets, so at least I've got a head start with the ones that are present! As I read more and more about this bird in Jake's books, I'm starting to like it more and more. Here is an excerpt from The Modern Hog Guide that I found very interesting:

"To date, the A-10 has served in every major conflict since Operation Desert Storm in 1991. In fact, it was its stellar performance over the Iraqi desert that saved its job. By the time the sand and dust settled in March 1991, the A-10 was responsible for the destruction of over one thousand Iraqi tanks, two thousand trucks, and twelve hundred artillery pieces. A pair of A-10s even scored air to air kills vs. Iraqi helicopters. It was said to be the most feared Coalition aircraft and given the nickname" Whistling Death", by the Iraqi soldiers that were later interrogated."

I plan on posting many new things I learn about the A-10 from Jake's book throughout this build, with Jake's permission.

Now I need some help from you guys. Right after Desert Storm, the A-10 was upgraded with LASTE (Low Altitude Safety and Targeting Enhancement) improvements, which included many changes to the cockpit. Since my CE cockpit is pre-LASTE, I should be building a pre-LASTE bird, but I don't want to. The main reason is that the pre-LASTE A-10's were always painted in dark green and sometimes brown camo schemes, which look cool, but they are way overdone and I don't want to do another one so soon after my last F-4E build. I would like to do the modern two tone grey scheme that is standard today, and I also want some cool nose art, so I have a few choices to make:

1) Find a grey pre-LASTE A-10 that fits both criteria. So far I've found a Myrtle Beach A-10 that's grey, but no nose art, so it looks boring.

2) Build a LASTE grey jet with nose art- and don't worry that the cockpit is inaccurate.

3) Still build a pre-LASTE A-10 in camo green.

I'm strongly leaning towards #2, because only an A-10 expert will know the difference and the kit and the Cutting Edge parts are all LASTE, and I hate to not use all the neat upgrades. I also need to decide fairly quickly, because I will need to remove some bits from the front fuselage right away if I do a retro bird. I suppose I could find a LASTE cockpit somewhere, but this CE one is pure modeling heaven and I hate to not use it.

Sooo, two questions: What would you do and WHERE do I get decals in 1/32? I'm also thinking strongly about a particular A-10 that really caught my eye in Neil Dumridge's book from the 163rd Fighter Squadron "Blacksnakes" of the 122 Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard. Take a look at this pic. Now THAT is cool nose art!


Overall Scheme

I have no idea how I'll get decals for this, so maybe I'll get some custom made. If you have any other suggestions, bring it! I'm really having trouble getting decals that might work.

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looking forward to this one.

can I ask a favour? could you post a shot of those painting instructions showing the brown/tan hog, I missed the boat on those decals.

most of the markings are black so I have them already.



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I hate to disappoint you (again!), but the Indiana ANG jets are all A-10Cs, which have a completely new cockpit, even from the LASTE A-10A or A+. they were delivered to Ft. Wayne as A-10Cs, so Ft. Wayne has never flown earlier versions of the Hog. You'll need to do a fair amount of scratch-building to get an A-10C, but nothing that is too hard. Shoot, I've done it, so I'm sure you can, too.

I'm also not convinced you can't simply modify the Cutting Edge cockpit into a LASTE A-10A or A+. That opens up your options for paint and markings drastically. Or, as you say, leave as-is and don't worry about the inaccuracies.

Either way, I'm sure this will be a fun project for you to build and for us to watch.


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really looking forward to this Chuck!

With Jake's update above, if you still want to do an Indiana jet, Caracal Models just released them in 48th, and I think Kursad plans on 32nd. I have walkaround pics of 2 of the Indiana jets from last summer if you need references too

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Well, you could do another USAFE bird, I have a walkaround of a Spangdahlem A-10A+ ( i think A+ not 100% sure) taken at the 2010 Bitburg airshow. DACO (ASTRA) has the decals. No cockpit pics but i got most off the airframe

Some example pics:










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Hello Chuck,

I'll be here throughout the build because I LOVE the HOG, altough I've just build it once in 72.

I am quite curious how will it turn out in 1/32.

Good luck with the build.


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I built one years ago - and put the information on ARC as I was building it - it still might be in the archives. I used a lot of the same stuff you're going to use (and a lot more) - it's not an easy project. You're getting the Cutting Edge cockpit is the biggest help - along with Jake's book. The biggest problem guys have is putting incorrect weapons loads on the model - or loading up every pylon to the point the real A/C would never leave the ground. If you want to make it look like a Tamiya kit - you'll probably give up after awhile. If you want a nice, impressive model - it can be done with some patience. A couple of other big points on this kit is the front windscreen, and the engine intake fans located too far forward. Both can be corrected with a bit of work. If I were to do another - I'd work more in sub-assemblies (fuselage - engines - wings) separately, including paint - then put 'em all together and retouch the paint. It's a beast to handle paint-wise - and some prior planning will help a lot.

Good luck,


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Your 32nd builds are some the best around :thumbsup:/>

I was hoping you were going do a funnier scheme, something other than the gray scheme. Have you thought about doing one of the Spotted JAWS scheme?


Would be an impressive site!

Happy Modeling!

Steven L:wave:/>

I actually plan on doing this for my Trumpeter build. :thumbsup:

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Well, you could do another USAFE bird, I have a walkaround of a Spangdahlem A-10A+ ( i think A+ not 100% sure) taken at the 2010 Bitburg airshow. DACO (ASTRA) has the decals. No cockpit pics but i got most off the airframe


Thanks for the pics Mark, I saved them all. I think I've now got the exact A-10 in mind and I'm close to getting decals for it, but I'll keep this a bit of a secret until I know for sure if I can get them. No sense giving you guys the same ideas to compete with me in the marketplace! I have also decided that I'm going with a full LASTE A-10 with the older CE cockpit, for this simple reason: With this kit, it will NEVER be totally accurate, so why sweat a few cockpit details? For my last build of the Tamiya Mustang, I knew I could get very close to what is "correct", so it was worth trying to make it as accurate as possible. I'll be lucky if I get it half right, so I may as well do what I want to do, rather than worry about accuracy.

Why do I want a dull grey jet? Because it opens many more decal options and I am sick and tired of camo green, AND I just know that it will look more realistic when finished. Trust me!

Now some preliminary progress.

To get the CE cockpit to fit, you need to trim flush the 3 tabs on both front fuselage sides that hold in the kit cockpit, which is so bad In won't even photograph it for you to laugh at...


You can't really use the #11 knife in the previous pic very well to remove these tabs, so I used a sprue cutter to get the big chunks off, then my trusty Dremel tool with the cylinder sander. Take this very slow if you use this power tool, because you'll blow right through to the other side if you're not careful! Note the internal "detail" you'll never see again when this fuselage is closed up. THAT, is a good thing.....


If you get these tabs off cleanly, the cockpit is a pure drop-in, with no further hassle. This has NEVER happened to me before- and usually takes at least 30 dry fits with lots of trimming in between to make a resin cockpit fit properly. The only small downside is that the resin walls are already attached, making future painting very difficult in a tight closed space. With low air pressure and extra thin paint, I think I can pull it off...


The front HUD and coaming is from outer space, or at least the same planet as the resin engine, because it matches no pics of this area that I can find. Thankfully the CE kit has a great replacement....


Carefully trimming the old coaming out, the new one goes in, complete with a brand new HUD that looks a lot closer to the real deal....


I modified the CE HUD by drilling a hole right through the assembly where the circular glass goes, then added a smoked glass part from the stash, which is totally missing in both the Trumpeter kit and the CE resin one. Easy fix- and it looks a LOT better than just a circle etched in the plastic/resin. I will buff the clear part smooth and add some smoked color later...


There's a bit of a gap at the front of the new resin coaming, so I dry fit the Trumpeter windscreen to see if it would show without filling. The windscreen frame will cover it completely, so I don't need to worry about filler...


As I applied the windscreen, I noticed 3 big scratches in the clear plastic part, so I tried to remove them, even though I have a Squadron replacement coming soon. The "scratch" is a molding flaw right in the plastic! Here's how it looks from one angle showing 2 "scratches"...


And another angle showing the third flaw which you couldn't see in the prior pic. Note how the other "scratches" disappear, and the top part is now fuzzy while the bottom is clear. These are all internal flaws in the plastic...


Even the kit HUD glass is flawed the same way. Even if it was clear, it's as thick as a brick, so I'll have to scratch build an new one out of acetate or something similar...


So there you have it! The kit continues to suck and there are solutions- so far- to every problem. I wonder how a contest judge would deal with that windscreen and HUD glass, even though it isn't the modeler's fault? :hmmm:

Thanks for checking in.


Edited by chuck540z3
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