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A-10C Thunderbolt II Kit

Academy 1/48 A-10C Thunderbolt II Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2023 Manufacturer Academy
Subject A-10C Thunderbolt II Scale 1/48
Kit Number 12348 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details and options Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $68.95

First Look

A-10C Thunderbolt II Kit
A-10C Thunderbolt II Kit
A-10C Thunderbolt II Kit
A-10C Thunderbolt II Kit
A-10C Thunderbolt II Kit

In 1967, the Air Force went to industry for the Attack-Experimental (A-X) program, a new close air support to replace the A-1 Skyraider. The two contenders were the Northrop YA-9 (which bore a strong resemblance to the Sukhoi Su-25 developed later) and the Fairchild Republic YA-10. The YA-10's winning design embodied survivability, boasting that it could fly with one engine shot out, one of the two tails blown off, and 1/3 of one wing missing, and still bring its pilot home. Throughout its early career, skeptics scoffed at these claims, but in combat over Iraq, this capability was not exaggerated!

Even after proving itself in Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, some Air Force senior staff wanted to retire the A-10 in favor of high tech fighters and believed that the F-16 could carry on the mission. After a series of tests with the F-16 (in one case renamed the A-16), the A-10 remained in service. More recently, some senior staff again wanted to push out the A-10 in favor of the F-35, but so far the A-10 has been slated for additional service life updates for the foreseeable future.

I was a bit surprised when Academy announced the A-10C in 1/48 scale given Italeri and HobbyBoss have both released this subject in this scale recently. Nevertheless, while the parts breakdowns were similar to the other kits, Academy has taken several different paths in designing this kit. While the forward fuselage is set up in a similar way as the other kits, Academy has tooled a one-piece hollow rear fuselage with mounts for the engine pods and tail sections. The engine pods are molded together as one part, also hollow, for inserting the engine cores. There won't be any engine door alignment issues here.

The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on eleven parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. The kit offers the following features and options:

  • Nicely detailed ejection seat
  • Detailed cockpit with instrument panel and side console details
  • Canopy can be positioned open or closed
  • Detailed nose and main landing gear
  • Speed brake/ailerons can be posed open or closed

The kit provides some external stores including

  • rocket pod
  • GBU-12
  • GBU-38/54
  • AAQ-28
  • AIM-9M
  • ALQ-184

Markings are provided for eleven aircraft:

  • A-10C, 80-0252, 75 EFS/455 AEW, Bagram AB, Afghanistan 2014
  • A-10C, 78-0597, 75 FS/23 FG
  • A-10C, 78-0679, 75 FS/23 FG
  • A-10C, 79-0129, 75 FS/23 FG
  • A-10C, 80-0188, 75 FS/23 FG
  • A-10C, 78-0597, 75 FS/23 FG, Commemorative scheme for Flying Tigers
  • A-10C, 78-0615, 25 FS/51 FW, Osan AB, 2021/22
  • A-10C, 79-0134, 25 FS/51 FW, Osan AB, 2021/22
  • A-10C, 81-0967, 25 FS/51 FW, Osan AB, 2021/22
  • A-10C, 80-0153, 25 FS/51 FW, Osan AB, 2021/22
  • A-10C, 81-0973, 25 FS/51 FW, Osan AB, 2021/22

In addition to the distinctive unit markings, the decal set also provides a nice array of airframe and armament stenciling.

This is a beautiful new tooled kit of this aircraft and should assemble with no issues. With the variety of subjects provided, you shouldn't have a problem creating a distinctive subject

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!