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I’ve seen a handful of in-box reviews of the new Academy 1/48 A-10C Warthog, but nothing about the build yet.  I thought I would share my experience of the build so far…and try to keep this updated.  This is going to be a simpler in-progress thread with almost all iphone pictures.  It's fairly labor intensive to get out the formal photography stuff for me, and my intent is to share more about the kit than the build techniques.


My first impressions purely out of the box are excellent.  The surface detail is very nice.  True-to-life are a number of rivets around the fuselage and these appear well done.  The panel line detail is sharp, although perhaps a touch heavy.


Academy used slide molding in an ideal situation, getting raised rivets along the fuselage with effectively no seams and raised details nearly 360 degrees.  Unfortunately, there still is a mold parting line along the top of the fuselage.  The 3-4 rivets in each line over the apex of the fuselage are already a little flat and will be lost further with sanding this parting line.  The damage is minimal in the grand scheme, but is going to benefit from some solution to restore the rivets. 


I started the build off in order with the nose gear well and the cockpit.  The early impressions from here were amazing, almost on par with a Tamiya build.  The cockpit and wheel well assemblies fit very well and detail level in the gear bay is overall very good, although perhaps not quite as complete as the Tamiya F-35.  Also a bit lacking, the instructions merely suggest to paint everything white.  Tamiya pulls an upper hand helping the modeler pain the various fittings in accurate colors and bringing life.  Nothing some references can’t overcome.


The cockpit is decent, although a bit flat for 1/48.  Aftermarket will be able to make an impact here.  The decals included for the switches, screens, etc match to the raised details well.  However, the instruments themselves a fairly simplified on the front dash.  And the green used for the LCD screens is shockingly bright and slightly out of register with the white background used under the green.  I painted mine a darker green.


I have been frustrated with the failed starts on the Hobby Boss A-10 and the resulting lack of a completed A-10 in my display case (love the brrrrrt!).  So my plans is for as simple a OOB as I can get for a completed aircraft.  So at the moment I am thinking this will have the pilot figure seated and likely the canopy closed.  For these purposes, the OOB cockpit ends up looking pretty nice.






Moving much further from here would involve closing the nose section off to adding any additional weight. So I chose to work on building up the aft section to help figure out how much weight to added.  Unfortunately, the kit takes a bit of a fall off the top shelf.  The build and fit are still very good, but not everything just falls in place and blends without much work. 


The engine pods fit well, although need a touch of sanding to lower the insert to the same level of the fuselage.  Even with this, the joint stands out from the surrounding detail.  Some may be happy to write this off as a panel line, the sticklers for finishing seams will be bothered by this.  Since I was already going to be replacing some rivet lines with Archer decals, I decided to clean these seams up with a little sanding and a touch or two of superglue filler.  The actual seam work was very easy, but rivets are lost and will need to be made up.






With that said for the engine pods, the tail assembly including the tail cone and the empennage come together very nicely.






The wings continue in a similar theme.  I have one and a half built up. They clean up fairly easy, but not without a bit of care.  This joint on the undersurface of the wing tip is the most notable.  This required a bit of filler and cyanoacrylate.  Easy work compared to the Hobby Boss, but in still in need of work.  I’d love to see Tamiya’s approach, or perhaps GWH, to make this seam easier.






I’m also not a huge fan of the split aileron top/bottom seam.  The inner portion has a trim tab and this seam is not too terrible.  But the outer portion runs the seam right through more raised detail that I saw no way to save. 




With all of that said, the overall flap and aileron assembly is much better than Hobby Boss and with much less work!  The Hobby Boss is a bear to close the split ailerons, and they don’t look as good even when done.




The flaps assembly by the instructions mount to pins in the “up” position.  Warthogs shutdown will have the flaps “down” once the hydraulic pressure bleeds off.  Since I’m planning on a pilot in the pit, a power birds with the flaps up isn’t unreasonable.  For parked birds, it will be easy enough to glue the flaps further after, but there isn’t a fixed locating pin to show exactly how far. 


I’ve been nervous of the forward-aft joint, but early tests suggest this will work well.




Despite my grievances, this is by far the most pleasant A-10 build so far! My reference is primarily the Academy 1/72 and Hobby Boss 1/48, although a couple decades ago I build the Monogram kit too.  It’s also the only remotely accurate A-10C available so far.  I had been hoping for a bit more given my experience with a couple of their recent kits (1/72 AH-64 and F-15E) that were dreams to build.  I think it’s fair to say this kit is currently the King of A-10’s, but it wouldn’t be too hard to see GWH displacing it when they get their kit to market.


I don’t know how regular my updates will be, but I will continue to share the build as it progresses.

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My work has primarily continued on the aft fuselage.  Both wings are complete.  Here’s a picture of the other split aileron undersurface seam before any treatment.  There shouldn’t be a seam on this out flared portion and I have no good way of filling this without losing some of the raised detail.  It could be replaced with some masking and Mr. Surfacer 500, but I think I’m going to just let it ride. 


Both wings are installed.  They locate with a simple mortise and tenon type joint.  The fit is very snug and I had to lightly sand the mortise to fully seat the wings.  These joints are tight enough that they seem align the wings fairly well, but it’s definitely not out of the question to end up with crooked wings if you’re not careful.  The rear wing fairing is a separate piece and both this and the forward slat fit very nicely. 

For whatever reason, the right wing went on fine.  But things went downhill gluing the left wing.  Test fitting showed no issues, but once I started gluing the wing wouldn’t square up well.  I ended up gluing the rear fairing in place first, then gluing the wing.  This gave more substance to clamp against and things went smoother. 


The engine intakes are too shallow as pointed out already in many other threads.  This is the biggest issue bothering me about a straight OOB build.  If any of the aftermarket corrections were already available, I might be inclined to use them.  But since they’re not and I want an A-10, onwards.  The exhaust is a little thick and there’s some more rivets that will need to be replaced over the top and bottom seams between the two halves.

The engines fit very nicely, but as instructed are prone to fit error.  The instructions would have you glue in the engine pod as show in the bottom picture.  The problem is while there’s a track to align the top “fin”, there’s no positive forward/aft stop.  It would be easy to glue this too shallow or too deep which would cause fit issues with the forward intact lip.  So glue this on first before fitting the pod.


I needed to paint these before gluing these in, so it came time for the first of the rivets.  I used looked through Micro-Mark, Quinta, HW, and Archer rivets, choosing Quinta 1/48 rivets as the ones that looked the closed for size/spacing.



These decal rivets, or any other raised replacement for the matter, never seem to be perfect.  But they look pretty good overall.


The fit of the nacelles gluing these pods in place is very good!


And just a quick shot of the painted exhaust done with a mix of Alclad II colors and then some pigments.


I also worked on the nose.  Fit fit is very good, but a word of caution.  Do not leg the forward right fuselage section get glued down to the nose gear well.  If glued in this position, it will be too narrow in cross section to fit well with the nose cone and bottom insert.  I was lucky not much cement had flowed up to this area and I was able to pry it free and get very good fit.


The kit calls for 25g of nose weight. My general experience is this assumes something with the density of depleted uranium at the very tip of the nose.  So I test fitted it all up and ended up selecting this batch of scrap lathe stock 304 stainless.


It solidly sits on the nose!


The weights were epoxied in place.  While that was drying, I started fitting some pylons.  This part was rather disappointing.  I’ve only fitted the right side pylons, but all sit high forward, and inboard. It was fairly easy to lightly sand forward and get good fore/aft fit. I’m still left with a gap inboard.  This will fill fairly easily with some Mr. Surface, but Academy has shown in the past that they can do better…it’s still al lot better than the fit of the pylons on the Hobby Boss kit.


The view from the other side looks a lot better.


I’ve also completed the main components of the nose section.  The end fit is excellent, but it paid to carefully clamp and glue small sections at a time.  I had a hard time getting clamps in the right arrangement to line it all up perfectly.


The top insert fit is very good as well, but leaves a small step where it joins the fuselage on the sides around the “plug.  This will need to be trimmed back to allow the nose section to fit well to the fuselage section.


As I’m getting further in to this build, the instructions are proving to be rather poor.  The diagrams don’t always clearly show how the parts should align for assembly and the parts fit isn’t so “positive” as to help with this.  And while I don’t know any modeler that fully follows the directions, their order is very odd.  They would have you build a full wing, including landing gear, payload, etc before fixing it to the fuselage.  I’ve seen posts from other modelers who have already encountered issues due to the lack of clarity.  Nothing that can’t be overcome, but I would urge caution and careful study.

I suspect the next update will be after fitting the nose and most of the fuselage lumps and bumps, getting near painting.


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She's coming along. FYI, Phase Hanger Resin has had their engine and intake sets available for over a month now. My buddy sent them a kit so they could do the parts. DEF Models and Wolfpack are also releasing these items soon.


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Looking really nice -- good in-depth review of how it builds, too.


If it helps your planning, A-10's actually have their flaps in the retracted/up position on the ground when the jets aren't running.  Once in a while, you'll see a jet's flap or flaps drooping, but that's not common.  It's absolutely accurate to build the flaps up without a pilot in the seat.  Hope that helps.


Thanks for the follow-along!

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21 hours ago, Guard Hog said:

Looking really nice -- good in-depth review of how it builds, too.


If it helps your planning, A-10's actually have their flaps in the retracted/up position on the ground when the jets aren't running.  Once in a while, you'll see a jet's flap or flaps drooping, but that's not common.  It's absolutely accurate to build the flaps up without a pilot in the seat.  Hope that helps.


Thanks for the follow-along!

What he said.


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On 2/26/2023 at 1:05 PM, Guard Hog said:

Looking really nice -- good in-depth review of how it builds, too.


If it helps your planning, A-10's actually have their flaps in the retracted/up position on the ground when the jets aren't running.  Once in a while, you'll see a jet's flap or flaps drooping, but that's not common.  It's absolutely accurate to build the flaps up without a pilot in the seat.  Hope that helps.


Thanks for the follow-along!

That’s good to know! Somewhere along the line I thought I’d learned that the flaps are in the up position at shutdown, but as the hydraulic pressure dissipated they dropped in to the down position under gravity. It appears I either learned wrong or never actually learned that. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress has outwardly has been a bit slow, although more related to work than the kit.  The forward fuselage was joined to the fuselage.  The end result is pretty smooth, but I did have to work in about a half to one inch at a time, clamping, gluing, then moving on to keep the joints smooth.  I caused some damage to tow raised strips just adjacent to the top insert.  This happened while trying to pry the insert up to glue and match the after fuselage better.  These were fixed with some masking tape followed by putty and a light sanding.



A minor detail, but the instructions do just call of the cockpit tub to be gray.  These two sections of the forward tub under the instrument shroud might be visible from a couple high angles (not totally sure), so I’d suggest painting them black to be sure.



The rest of the cockpit was finished up and assembled.  I had to sand the bottom of the ejection seat to allow it to sit lower and not displace the closed rear canopy.  This may have only been about half a millimeter and may not be necessary at all if opening the canopy.


The clear pieces are brilliant.  They are absolutely crystal clear and the included masks are a joy to work with.

All the air frame lumps, bumps, and antennas are on now as well.

I also had a go replacing the rivets.  Since this picture, this has basically all be undone cleaning up seams.  I also forgot a number of the rivets lost cleaning the mold parting line.


I don’t have updated pictures from yesterday’s and today’s work yet, but a full primer coat has been applied.  The surface detail looks great under paint.  Luckily, overall construction looked pretty good, but inevitably I have found a few areas needing work.  I think I have these reworked and am approaching the end of re-riveting. 

I have not installed all the sway braces yet, as I’m expecting these to be delicate.  But if the next round of spot primer over the touchups look good, these will go on and then painting.

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