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A-4C Skyhawk - VA-36 Roadrunners (1/48 Hasegawa)


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Hi, here's a Skyhawk build (or two), to regain my mojo  : )

 

I was searching up some info on VA-36 Roadrunners and it seems they used the A-4E for just a month before going back to A-4C's.  From wiki:  "The squadron began its transition to A-4Es in October 1967 and in November 1967 transitioned back to A-4Cs."    Anyone know why they went back to C's?     I see the kits are harder to obtain.  I bought a couple but they set me back quite a bit.  

 

I picked up some AOA decals which look fantastic.   50821316458_c614478e6b_h.jpg

 

 

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I'm using common parts from the Hasegawa A-4E for now to start working on the models until the A-4C kits arrive.    Got lots of spare TERs from the Hasegawa weapons boxes as well.  I'll try to use the instrument panel decals included in the kit.

 

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I whittled some folds in the fabric of the parachute pack to make it look like less of a solid slab : )

 

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The swaybars (right side of picture) look really great but there's not a lot in the kit -- just enough for connecting the TERs to the pylons.   

 

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TERs are from the Hasegawa weapons box.   Modifying them a bit by cutting off the firing cables and shaving off the moulded-on breeches (is that what you call them?) on the sides -- as they look smaller than the one at the bottom and harder to paint being moulded-on.

 

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Re-shaping the swaybars from the Hasegawa weapons box.

 

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Also drilled out and reshaped the backs.

 

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Reshaped the tops of the forward section.

 

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Will have to drill out the swaybars to add bolts and add those little round footpads.   

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Thanks for stopping by, BW, hope you can start working on your Scooter soon : )    Hi, Night Owl, I just viewed your thread -- really amazing stuff -- that is some real precision work, thanks for sharing : )   One of the kits I ordered has Cutting Edge details included but I'm not sure what it consists of yet.   I do want to make use of whatever's in the kit as much as possible so I can see how it turns out right out of the box and just add a few scratched details here and there. 

 

 

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Drilled holes in the swaybraces and inserted 0.3mm rods through.

 

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Still need to make some footpads, add the breeches and firing cables to the TERs.  

 

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I'm not sure If I'll be using the console decals as there are a lot of raised knobs and the decal may not flatten well but I used the IP so I wouldn't have to paint and make a mess of the gauges.

 

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I haven't received the A-4C kits yet -- I'm hoping they weren't lost in the mail.   In the meantime I checked out the local ads and found a Hobbycraft A-4C Skyhawk nearby so I grabbed it, thinking I could probably graft the nose and intakes over to my Hasegawa A-4E to convert it.

 

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The panel lines on the Hobbycraft are bigger and more toyish and it just doesn't have that "precision-model" look about it that the Hasegawa possesses although I've seen some really nice builds on the web using this kit so it really depends on one's skill.  If I'd graft the nose I'll probably fill the panel lines and rescribe it.   I'm not good at that so I'll just wait for the Hasegawa kits a bit more.

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I would wait for your Hasagawa kit it looks far superior. I found a good hack if you are going to scribe pannel lines which inevitability like most you skip off the intended trail with a good sctatch. 3M glazing compound super thin great working time, it can be a bit soft not meant for big gaps but great for fixing scratches.

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Crackerjazz,

 

I have to agree with everyone hear your off to a great start. 
 

A word to the wise.

1. If you can get the Hasegawa A-4C kit. It’s a much more accurate and a better detailed kit than the Hobby Craft.

2. Try to take care when handling the wings. The hinges can break off easily if your not careful. You might scratch build a bumper with some material that will cushion the slat hinges. 
 

BTW; Beautiful work on your TER’s and I think you’ll really like the AOA Decals too.

 

Best of luck on your Skyhawk and take care,

 

Mr.Happy

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Mr. Happy, thanks for gracing the thread with your presence.   You always have a word of encouragement to give.    Made a little progress on the cockpit. 

 

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The decal IP looked too flat and cartoonish I just had to drill out the attitude indicator and replace it with a real ball and also replaced some knobs with 0.3mm rod.   It helps -- if just a bit.   Actually, I think the decal would have provided a good backing for a photo-etch frame.  

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I've assembled the Snakeye halves.  These are from Northstar.   The fuzes are missing and I couldn't seem to find them : (

 

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Looking for the missing fuzes turned up some great finds  : )  Building a Scooter makes me want to go back to building this IP.    I've always wondered where this radar indicator went; really need to label my scrap bins.   

 

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Edited by crackerjazz
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  • 3 weeks later...

Strangely I haven't received the kits that were shipped in December.  If it comes down to kissing them goodbye I might be forced to convert the A-4E and graft the Hobbycraft nose and intakes onto it.   Or, to make my life easier, I might just build the A-4E, use decals for another squadron and change the title of the thread  : )    But I'll give it a couple more weeks.   

 

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From pics that I see, the rings look spray-painted on without any masking so I masked the ends in such a way that the sprayed on yellow paint would have a soft edge.  

 

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The serial numbers didn't have those breaks that make stencils look like stencils.  At first I tried handbrushing white lines down the middle of each number but that was a frustrating task as the paint would go on too thick or go where I didn't want it to.   I then tried using a knife with white paint on the very edge of the blade.  That still didn't work too well and  I often had to wipe the paint off to start over and it would somehow blur the numbers.  I realized that wasn't necessarily a bad thing as it somehow made them look less sharp and more like spray-painted and stencilled-on : )      Then I just used the tip of the xacto blade to cut lines down the middle of each number, being very careful not to scratch the paint. 

 

 

For the firing cables I found some very thin plastic line lying around.   I've used very thin wire before for this purpose but this flexible line simulated curves on the cables better.  And it was easier to glue either end to the assigned breeches.   

 

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At first I installed those rear placards on both sides of the TER.  Then I realized the right-hand side doesn't have them.  They peeled off nicely with some masking tape.  Still have to paint the cables and the breeches at the bottom.  Also need to make footpads for the swaybraces and weather the TERs a little.   

 

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Applied decals and weathered the MK-82s.

 

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Just one more step before the Snakeyes get mounted onto the TERs.  Had to turn some footpads for the swaybars on the Dremel.  24 in all for 2 TERs.

 

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Bombs are all gloss-coated.  Just need to flat-coat, attach the fuzes, and they should be ready for mounting.   Taking my time as the kits still aren't here.  This is what I get for even starting a thread without the kits on hand.   Am I the first member here to have done that?  : (    The nose-cone and air intake transplant might become a reality : (

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the kind comments, JackMan, Steve, AFM, Mr. Happy!

 

Fashioned a marker with pins to make sure the hole locations are uniform and attached the Snakeyes with wires.

 

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Just had some trouble with some footpads not touching the bomb casings completely and also had a couple bolts break off.  The assembly is rather sensitive to handling especially with the scratchbuilt bolts and swaybrace footpads;   it's just a relief to get this stage over with.   I'm just worried about more parts snapping off when the TERs are mounted onto the hardpoint swaybraces.  There's little room for holding onto these without having anything break off, but it helped a great deal attaching the MK-82s using David Aungst's wire-mount method instead of gluing them directly onto the footpads.

 

BTW,  I've been doing some back-reading on some threads about Skyhawk ordnance and it looks like the forward inner bomb on the MER is skipped so as not to collide with the main gear door, but I'm not sure about TERs which are way shorter, or if this is true for A-4Es but not for A-4C's.   I faintly remember seeing a photo somewhere with 3 Snakeyes mounted on a TER - will try to look for it.  Otherwise one of the Snakeyes will have to go.

 

Edited by crackerjazz
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9 hours ago, crackerjazz said:

BTW,  I've been doing some back-reading on some threads about Skyhawk ordnance and it looks like the forward inner bomb on the MER is skipped so as not to collide with the main gear door, but I'm not sure about TERs which are way shorter, or if this is true for A-4Es but not for A-4C's.   I faintly remember seeing a photo somewhere with 3 Snakeyes mounted on a TER - will try to look for it.  Otherwise one of the Snakeyes will have to go.

 

 

Mate,first of all your build look terrific,but I don't expect nothing less from you.

Second, you've naticipated my questio/comment about the TERs; despite phisically possible to load three Mk-82s on the racks, and seldom used, the routine was of mount two weapons in slant configuration for clearance with the gear doors. Again mount a full armed TER don't think can be considered an error, only a little out of the standard ..

Another thing were the MK-81s, I see some pics of completely loaded TERs, probably for the smaller dimension of the weapons.

 

Gianni

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Gianni, hi, yes you're right.     I'll have to try wiggling it out.   It's connected using wire but I did cement the wires in place.  Why do these things break off easily only when you don't want them to?

 

I finally got one of the Hasegawa A-4C's (I'm building two).  I'm glad I didn't start grafting Hobby Craft parts onto the Hasegawa fuselage yet -- there's some shape  differences compared to the Hasegawa A-4C.   

 

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A-4Es are just cheaper to source.   And since I've got one A-4C on hand now as a baseline, I compared it to the A-4E to evaluate conversion challenges. 

I've tried looking for SteelBeach conversion parts to backdate the A-4E to an A-4C but it seems like they're OOP.   

 

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But even if the nose and intakes are replaced there's still some panels to scribe.  And the piano hinges might be tough to replicate.   I'll just wait for the other A-4C.  At least I've got one now to work on.  

 

Edit: oh, sorry --- the panels with piano hinges are on the A-4E  : )

Edited by crackerjazz
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On 2/23/2021 at 4:21 PM, crackerjazz said:

Thanks for the kind comments, JackMan, Steve, AFM, Mr. Happy!

 

Fashioned a marker with pins to make sure the hole locations are uniform and attached the Snakeyes with wires.

 

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Just had some trouble with some footpads not touching the bomb casings completely and also had a couple bolts break off.  The assembly is rather sensitive to handling especially with the scratchbuilt bolts and swaybrace footpads;   it's just a relief to get this stage over with.   I'm just worried about more parts snapping off when the TERs are mounted onto the hardpoint swaybraces.  There's little room for holding onto these without having anything break off, but it helped a great deal attaching the MK-82s using David Aungst's wire-mount method instead of gluing them directly onto the footpads.

 

BTW,  I've been doing some back-reading on some threads about Skyhawk ordnance and it looks like the forward inner bomb on the MER is skipped so as not to collide with the main gear door, but I'm not sure about TERs which are way shorter, or if this is true for A-4Es but not for A-4C's.   I faintly remember seeing a photo somewhere with 3 Snakeyes mounted on a TER - will try to look for it.  Otherwise one of the Snakeyes will have to go.

 

Great work on the TER's and bombs.

Welcome to the "using pins for your ordnance" club. Best way to do it IMO.

If it were me, I would have used pins to mount the TER to the pylon, I'd also use pins for mounting the pylon to the wing. I would get those, and the bombs, attached at the end of the build. Just my two cents.

Steve

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If I may;

 

The outboard stations (Sta 1 & 3) on the A-4A/B/C only had a safe working load (SWL) (i.e. capacity) of 1,200 lbs. the centerline (Sta 2) SWL was 3575 lbs.

 

For the A-4E and onward, the outboard stations (Sta 1 & 5) had a SWL of 500 lbs, midboard (Sta 2 & 4) 1,200 lbs and centerline (Sta 3) 3575 lbs.

 

This is why you don't see three Mk 82's loaded on stations 1 and 3 of A-4C's (or station 2 and 4 on A-4E's), the station would be over it's SWL.

 

The station SWL excluded drop tanks, AERO 1C (150 gl) and AERO 1D (300 gl) drop tanks were authorized on station 1 and 3 (A-4A/B/C) or station 2 and 4 (A-4E and up). The stations had to follow the SWL for all other stores.

 

Also, the wing station pylons (all aircraft) titled 5 degrees to outboard, they did not hang straight downward.

 

/r

GW

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Posted (edited)
On 3/10/2021 at 10:34 AM, A-10 LOADER said:

Welcome to the "using pins for your ordnance" club. Best way to do it IMO.

If it were me, I would have used pins to mount the TER to the pylon, I'd also use pins for mounting the pylon to the wing. I would get those, and the bombs, attached at the end of the build. Just my two cents.

Steve

 

Hi Steve, that's a great idea.  Yes, I can attest to the effectivity of the pin method.   I actually had trouble prying the bombs off : )    Thanks for the info, GW, great to have you ordnancemen on the modeling board.   Thanks, too, Kurnass77.

 

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Edited by crackerjazz
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On 3/11/2021 at 3:42 AM, GW8345 said:

If I may;

 

The outboard stations (Sta 1 & 3) on the A-4A/B/C only had a safe working load (SWL) (i.e. capacity) of 1,200 lbs. the centerline (Sta 2) SWL was 3575 lbs.

 

For the A-4E and onward, the outboard stations (Sta 1 & 5) had a SWL of 500 lbs, midboard (Sta 2 & 4) 1,200 lbs and centerline (Sta 3) 3575 lbs.

 

This is why you don't see three Mk 82's loaded on stations 1 and 3 of A-4C's (or station 2 and 4 on A-4E's), the station would be over it's SWL.

 

The station SWL excluded drop tanks, AERO 1C (150 gl) and AERO 1D (300 gl) drop tanks were authorized on station 1 and 3 (A-4A/B/C) or station 2 and 4 (A-4E and up). The stations had to follow the SWL for all other stores.

 

Also, the wing station pylons (all aircraft) titled 5 degrees to outboard, they did not hang straight downward.

 

/r

GW

Its great learn something new , and first hand infos are simply gold!

Why so, the great part of book etc... address the slant configuration primarily to doors clearance?

 

Crackerjazz you're welcome, great progress with the pilot!

 

 

Gianni

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On 3/13/2021 at 2:24 PM, kurnass77 said:

Its great learn something new , and first hand infos are simply gold!

Why so, the great part of book etc... address the slant configuration primarily to doors clearance?

 

Crackerjazz you're welcome, great progress with the pilot!

 

 

Gianni

Don't know why the majority of books focus on the door clearance issue vice the wing station loading limits, guess it's easier for the reader to understand.

 

CJ, sorry, don't mean to hijack your build thread, just wanted to throw out some info that might be useful to everyone.

 

V/R

GW

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If you want to add a level of realism the Mk-82 and Mk-84s have a release wire that runs from the aircraft weapons station to the PD fuse. The wire keeps the fuze explosive train from alignment and in safe mode until release. There is also a short lanyard that runs to a retention band that surrounds the air retarder fins. A series of safety pins are pulled by the lanyard when the bomb falls away from the aircraft at a safe distance it's within seconds deploying the fins and arming the fuse.  You may be able to Google some schematic diagrams. 

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