Hasegawa 1/72 EA-3B Skywarrior Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2015||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||02126||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$64.95|
The Douglas A3D Skywarrior was developed in the early 1950s to provide aircraft carriers with a strategic (nuclear) bomber. Powered by a pair of Pratt and Whitney J57 engines (these were non-afterburning versions of the engine that powered the F-100 Super Sabre and F8U Crusader), the Skywarrior was the heaviest operational aircraft to operate from aircraft carriers. As the nuclear mission shifted from aircraft carriers to fleet ballistic missile submarines, the Skywarrior used its 'spacious' interior capacity to serve in the electronic warfare, reconnaissance, and air refueling missions. The Skywarrior was one of the longest serving carrier aircraft in Naval Aviation history as it entered service in the mid 1950s and would remain on-deck into the early 1990s.
The EA-3B (A3D-2Q) was the designation applied to an A-3B that was fitted with electronic reconnaissance equipment which included four additional crew stations in the space formerly used as the weapons bay. VQ-1 was the Pacific Fleet reconnaissance squadron equipped with a variety of recon platforms, with the EA-3B providing the capability to conduct operations from shore or embarked aboard an aircraft carrier.
It doesn't seem that long ago when Hasegawa first released this kit of the A-3 Skywarrior in 1/72. This was the first styrene kit offered of the Skywarrior in this scale though with Trumpeter's release of the Skywarrior in 1/48 scale, it is only a matter of time before that kit will be scaled down into 1/72 scale.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts and three parts cast in gray resin. The surface detailing is finely scribed and there is no sign of molding flash on the kit parts. The way the kit is laid out, you can leave the landing gear and engine pods off the aircraft until painting is completed to simplify the job of masking.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Simple construction
- Nicely detailed flight deck (crew seats could use crew restraints)
- Accurate main wheel well with openning through fuselage
- New resin ventral avionics 'canoe'
- Two new resin blade antennas
- Parts from EKA-3B version in the box
The kit includes decals for one of two Skywarriors:
- EA-3B, BuNo 146448, VQ-1, NK/006, USS Constellation
- EA-3B, BuNo unk, VQ-1, NH/004
The decal sheet provides the instrument panel in decal form and a nice set of maintenance stenciling to render the model.
This is still the best (and only) option for the Skywarrior in this scale and currently has a nice variety of aftermarket details available including a wingfold and photo-etched detail sets.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!