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A-1H Skyraider "Miss Eileen', 1st SOS, NKP RTAFB 1969

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Hi - here's my latest project, a 1/32 A-1H Skyraider from the Trumpeter kit. This one took a silver in its class at the IPMS UK Nationals at Telford a couple of weeks ago. The Trumpeter kit is very nice, with one or two notable errors (cockpit too wide, canopy, windshield and prop wrong shape, very poor engine) but I added a lot of details to it. Most notably I scratch built the engine accessory compartment and replaced the terrible kit engine with a resin cast of the Zoukei Mura one. I also removed one of the wings, scratched the area behind the cockpit (on the turtle deck underneath the canopy - normally hidden by a canvas shroud but I couldn't resist showing off the details), scratched the Yankee ejector seat, shoehorned in the Aires resin cockpit (designed for Zoukei Mura kit), scratched the main landing gear (but used the Scale Aircraft Conversions main struts) and added a ton of other details, such as the rudder locking mechanism. Anyway, you can see the entire build thread here:

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Sorry about the pics, but best I could do with my limited photography talents!







Here's one of the scratched wingtip drop-down lights found on USAF machines - made from pewter sheet and clear thermoform:


The rudder locking mechanism - note that the rudder is angled left, hence some slack for the wire on that side




Edited by richdlc
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Here's a 'washed out' rudder - a FUBAR with the dullcote. I think it looks kind of cool!


hand painted commander's stripes - they look better to me than decals, but 3 mil too far forward compared to the other side - uh-oh! Nice red dive brake interior. Dragon's head decal a little too far forward. Zotz decal originally had a small red square just ahead of the dragon's tongue. I finally figured out that Zotz must have thought it was part of the marking - it isn't. In fact, the little red mark is the red reflective strip found on either fuselage side.. behind the dive brake you can just see the 'towel rail' antenna, which I made from flattened sprue (note - the real thing isn't round but 'flattened')


I added Verlinden dry transfer data stencils to each weapons pylon for extra realism. You can just see the red trim tab in this photo - I saw that 'Miss Eileen' had this feature in a photo of the real aircraft found in the Wayne Mutza book.


Dirt, dust and oil… the red wing jury strut was made from plastic rod and brass wire. Strangely, Trumpeter don't seem to include these in the kit, but for folded wings they are essential.


The engine was built and assembled in stages. Mount first, then engine, then exhausts, then attach that lot, add cowling and finally prop. The prop is from AMS resins and is a big improvement on the kit parts.




The folded wing was one of the last things to be attached. Various levers and wires had to be added at this stage, although there are a couple missing in this shot:


I didn't go mad on the underside weathering as it will mostly be hidden… but leaking oil is a must. If anything, this is TOO clean


The canopy had a huge mould seam right down the middle. I removed this and after a few dozen polishing sessions this is how it turned out. There are one or two minor flaws visible in the right light. However, I decided against covering the transparencies in future at this late stage as I didn't want it to go wrong. With me, future always seems to either pool (causing blemishes) or go wrong in some other way. I just didn't trust myself / it enough to risk ruining the only canopy I had. In any case, it looks OK to me. The yellow grab handles are another feature missing in the kit - I made mine from stretched sprue held in the right position whilst it cooled. I attached them VERY carefully with simple plastic cement.


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Some more images of the model...


I found out too late that the kit's windshield (and the windshield of every other Spad kit that has ever been released by the way) is wrong - the glass is simply butted together with a sealant between the panes - there is no framing in the centre. I wasn't too fussed, but it's worth noting if you are building your own Skyraider!








Thanks for looking & feedback is most welcome!


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Hi - thanks for the comments!

In answer to the queries - I used the bucket seat provided in the Trumpeter kit and basically scratch built the Yankee seat around it. This is Trumpeter's early USN AD-6 kit, and at the time I had no idea they would release the A-1J (which only came out a couple of months ago), so I scratch built everything necessary for a USAF machine, which included the Yankee seat, the rocket motor and all the stuff on the turtle deck behind the pilot. It turns out that their 'J' is basically a re-boxing of this kit with different box art - so no real big deal. The kit that sets the standards is the Zoukei Mura one, but the Trumpeter kits are still great.

As for the exhaust stains - firstly the entire model was given an 'oil canning' effect during construction. This gave the skin a rippled look. I then riveted the whole airframe using a riveting tool. If you look at real Spads, the exhaust and oil staining is sometimes very heavy, but nearly always skips over the 'channels' in the skin where the rivets are, and remains on the raised areas. I masked off the channels, then airbrushed the exhaust stains. After that, I got to work with a cotton swab dipped in thinners to blend out the rough edges. I also wanted a heavy rain-streaked effect, so it was a case of removing or adding stains as required. The oil staining was achieved by holding a brush loaded with slightly diluted raw umber oil paint in front of the air stream from my airbrush, set to around 25 PSI, taking care not to blast it all over the rest of the model! Blowing the resulting mess back along the fuselage (mimicking the air flow on the real thing) gives it a nice natural look. I finished off with some white smoke streaks with pastels.

Admittedly, an extreme example, but I've seen numerous pics of Skyraiders with very heavy exhaust stains like this. As for oil leaks, the Spad's engine was notorious for it, and if it wasn't leaking oil, the ground crew knew there was something seriously wrong!

Edited by richdlc
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You may claim limited photography talents--I will submit your photos are better than mine--but you most certainly can't claim limited modeling talents.

Edited by David N Lombard
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