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VMFA314Knights

Airfix 1/48 EA-6B Prowler

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Seeing as I have been on a theme of posting U.S. Navy aircraft lately, I may as well continue that theme with my 1/48 EA-6B Prowler by Airfix. I could tell going into this build that this kit was going to have its challenges...and it did. The Airfix kit has many problems with accuracy, fit, as well as detail. (Thankfully we now have a few choices in 1/48 Prowlers and I will eventually get around to one of those newer releases... but back in the 80's this one was the only game in town that I was aware of.)

The overall shape of the fuselage and wings seems to be correct however, the fit is poor and required much filling and sanding with the resulting requirement of re-scribing panel lines lost during the process. I had some kit parts that were slightly warped which didn't help the build much either.

EA-6B_Prowler_2H_zpsb018cfce.jpg

As I recall, the cockpit was incorrect in layout and lacking a lot in detail. You'll also find little or nothing in the way of wheel well and landing gear detail and some of that 'little' is also incorrect. Many of the parts are way too thick for scale, particularly the gear doors.

The intake and exhaust ducts require filling and sanding where they join the fuselage and have little detail. The electronic countermeasure pods and drop tanks also lack in fit and detail... (have I inspired you to build this Airfix kit yet..?)

EA-6B_Prowler_9_zps05ac4752.jpg

So pressing on, I decided to push past most of the corrections and get this one done. I was concerned that all the sanding would show up too much on a typical U.S. Navy grey/white scheme and figured I could use the help of a unique camouflage finish and therefore chose Afterburner's excellent Prowler sheet 48028.

The markings from VAQ-142, in multi-tone grey, did the job nicely and helped recover what was shaping up to be a disappointing kit.

EA-6B_Prowler_5_zps87782e8e.jpg

One amusing detail of the decals is the crew's emblem on the right-hand side of the Prowler - this would be around the time that the Prowler was being eclipsed by the Growler. The markings from this Bagram, Afghanistan based Prowler (around November 2006) give you an idea of this crew's feeling towards the superiority of the EA-18G :o/>/>

Long live the Prowler!

EA-6B_Prowler_RH_zps39c9b20c.jpg

Electronic Attack Squadron 142 (VAQ-142), known as "The Gray Wolves" (around this period) had an excellent tail emblem that adds to the look of the kit as well. The Gray Wolves deployed in mid-July 2006 to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan and started missions within 16 hours of arriving in country. After flying missions for 187 days, the Gray Wolves headed home in late January 2007. For the Gray Wolves' performance in 2006 they were awarded the 2006 Battle "E" as well as the 2006 CNO Aviation Safety Award.

EA-6B_Prowler_Tail_zpsbde8f94b.jpg

After all the labouring the kit looks good enough to me on the shelf - not a prize winner by any means but a great reminder of an awesome aircraft, that every time I look at - you gotta love it. :coolio:/>/> In the words of the Prowlers - Jam It!

Happy modeling - Thanks for looking,

David

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Thanks - camo was applied using a combination of green masking tape and mac-tac/sticky tack.

Cheers,

David

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David,

Just an outstanding effort. Never would have guessed that it's the very old an outdated Airfix kit. You did a masterful job.

Joel

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Thanks Joel,

Glad to have that one done. I have the Monogram Prowler as well although, that kit has it's own challenges so it could be a while before I get to it. I hear good things about the Kinetic kit but considering its cost I'll stick with the Monogram for the next EA-6B round. (Hate to waste a kit already in the stash ;)

P.S. Nice looking NAVY collection in your signature!

Cheers,

David

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Awesome job on your Prowler. Its my favorite aicraft. I am building one for my father in the desert camo scheme for VAQ-133 Wizzards. After thats done im building another in the Patriots scheme for my daughter. She loves the paint and calls her Miss America.

I have no experiance with the kinetic kit but i have heard horror stories about them. I build the revell kits with little fitment issues except for the intakes.

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DevilLeader501,

I think that is one of the other Prowler marking options on the Afterburner sheet. A/C # 530 with VAQ-133 back in Sept 2007 at Bagram AB (done in the 3-tone desert scheme). The tail has black squadron artwork of a Trident with a lightning bolt as a handle. I debated building that version and selected the grey scheme because of the Wolves emblem.

Hopefully you will post yours here when it is done as I'd like to see that A/C done up again.

Thanks Wild Bill Horton - Seriously I added the figures to distract the viewer from the lack of acuracy and detail in the cockpit! lol

Cheers,

David

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Yeah David, a proud Prowler there-cheers for completing it and choice of scheme!

You have more build drive than I as when looking over the sprues of the one I had,

mine ended up on Ebay! Thanks for posting it-nice!

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phasephantomphixer,

Funny you should say that... I debated doing the same for quite a while before I started this one (and several times after - especially after I bought the Monogram Prowler at a model show and had another option.)

Really it wasn't that bad - but I won't do another. :P/>

Thanks for the comments,

David

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You would be correct David. It's 530 from VAQ-133 Zappers. I have a WIP here on progress so far. I put it down about 6 months ago because I was having issues with my airbrush. I have since gotten a new brush and need to restart my Prowler.

Edited by Devilleader501

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Airfix has produced an EA-6B Prowler? When did this happen and where was I?????? :unsure:

Very nice job David, especially the camo looks fantastic!!!!!

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SERNAK,

I picked this kit up back in February 1984 for $20.00 (Canadian) and maybe should have looked at the box photo closer as it definitely shows some fit issues with the canopies, however I liked the Prowler so much I overlooked it... Of course it took me until December of 2008 to actually build it. I pulled it out of the stash a number of times before that, but always put it back dejected after having a go-over of the kit in preparation to get started.

prowler3.jpg

The Monogram kit looks so much better in the box however it has a long list of inaccuracies as well, so it may be a while before I work up the initiative to get that one completed. In the mean time I've plenty of other model subjects to choose from... and they keep releasing more great kits that I don't have in the collection! So many models - so little time.

:D/>

Thanks for the comments all,

David

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I am sooooo hoping this thing gets made in 1/32 scale I will be on it like white on rice.

Inaccuracies or not they still build into wonderful jets. Looking forward to seeing more.

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There was a video I seen on there that VAQ-209 Star Warriors where there was a slow mo shot of a prowler landing. It had star wars music err coriography with it. Was an awesome video but I cant find it anymore.

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Well that is a really nice job on that Airfix kit. I had bought it when it was first released and kept it until the Monogram kit came out. Then the Airfix kit was given to a needy family :) There was no comparison.

Even with all of the issues with the Monogram kit, the Airfix kit was just not worth it in my mind. That is why I think you are a better man than me sticking with the Airfix kit and getting those results.

Great going :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the comments guys - it was a challenge but, it's done with.

Admittedly I considered donating this one instead of building it a FEW times. I figured I'd cut my teeth on this one before going after the Monogram kit - there are too many great schemes of the EA-6B to build to limit it to just one kit.

Lots of NAVY fans out there, I see. ...and lots of inspiration to break out that Monogram kit. :)/>

Keep on Building,

David

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Awesome paint scheme!

You certainly took a lemon and made lemonade 377.gif !

A timeless model building lesson indeed 70.gif .

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