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Skyraider AD-4W/AEW.1 Conversion

North Wing Model Craft 1/48 Skyraider AD-4W/AEW.1 Conversion First Look

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review March 2008 Manufacturer North Wing Model Craft
Subject Skyraider AD-4W/AEW.1 Conversion Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48005 Primary Media Resin
Pros Interesting subject, nice details Cons
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (Yen) ¥5000

First Look

Skyraider AD-4W/AEW.1 Conversion

The AD-4W was developed for the US Navy as an early warning flying radar system to replace the TBM-3W Avenger. The AD-4W carried the X-band microwave AN/APS-20 radar which was a carryover from the Avenger and which incidentally was also used in the British Gannet and other aircraft after that. The early warning Skyraider was used from 1949 and through the Korean war. In 1952 about 50 AD-4W aircraft were sent to the British Fleet Air Arm as part of the military assistance program.

The British designated the aircraft as AEW.1 and it served with the FAA until 1960 were it was replaced by the Fairey Gannet.

The first AD-4W/AEW.1 was released by ESCI in the early 80's. It was rather basic with its own problems but it was all there was until Meteor released their Cutting Edge conversion four or five years ago. Fast forward to 2008 and we have another new conversion coming from Japan this time.

North Wing Model Craft has another comprehensive conversion done in white resin and including clear vacuform parts and some small metal details.

The biggest parts are the two fuselage halves that start from the firewall, include the wing roots and most importantly, incorporate the radar operator doors and continue further back including the portion of the fuselage with the deleted speed brakes. This is really a great touch as the modeler will only have to add the rear portion of the Tamiya fuselage that includes the tail. The belly radar housing is a big solid piece of resin that will have to be cleaned up by removing the pouring stub but also by sanding it smooth. It looks like the master was not very well smoothed out and there are some minute undulations on the surface of the radome. The drop tanks look ok but they too are not very smooth and have some surface irregularities.

The modeler will have to remove the armor plating on the lower surface of the wings.

An interesting touch is that the kit not only provides two clear vacuform canopies but also a resin copy of the master used to form them in case the modeler wants to make their own vac copy.

The fixed leading edge slats were warped in my example but this is easily fixable with some hot water.

This kit does not include decals but it includes references to five aftermarket decal sets that could be still available at some hobby shops.

This kit is recommended to modelers with experience in resin conversions and to those who missed out on the Cutting Edge conversion for the AD-4W/AEW.1.

You can find this conversion on the manufacturer's website.