Eduard 1/48 A-4E/F Vietnam Scooters Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2015||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||A-4E/F Vietnam Scooters||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||1197||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Eduard-enhanced release of Hasegawa A-4E/F kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$89.95|
For a brief history of this aircraft and a look at the original Hasegawa kit straight out of their box, look here.
Eduard has released the next of their limited edition subjects, this time the 1/48 A-4E/F Skyhawk. In this series, Eduard starts with a kit from another manufacturer, in this case Hasegawa, then they add some nice details and terrific decals in the box, and then offer a variety of enhancements that you can also purchase ala carte. There is no surprise that Eduard would select the Hasegawa A-4 kit as their starting point, Hasegawa has produced virtually every variant of the Skyhawk and each one remains the best kit of that version in 1/48 scale.
The basic kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. The surface detailing is finely scribed and the sprues do not show any sign of molding flash. The kit also includes a fret of color-printed photo-etched parts that include A-4E and A-4F instrument panels, side consoles, and other details all with eye-catching color-printed details. Add the Brassin Escapac ejection seat which is cast in gray resin and consists of the seat and separately cast survival seat pack and backpack parachute. The combination of the the Brassin seat and color-printed photo-etch address the one weakness of the Hasegawa kit - the Spartan cockpit.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Choice of A-4E or A-4F detailed cockpit
- Detailed resin Escapac ejection seat with photo-etched pilot restraints
- Positionable canopy
- Optional boarding ladder
- Choice of 'fastback' or avionics hump
- Positionable leading edge slats
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable speed brakes
- Positionable landing gear
External stores options:
- Inboard external fuel tanks
- Centerline pylon
- Outboard wing pylons
This release provides markings for six subject options:
- A-4E, 149993, VA-72, AG/303, USS Independence, 1965
- A-4E, 150058, VA-195, NM/513, USS Oriskany, 1969
- A-4E, 150083, VA-153, NL/311, USS Coral Sea, 1968
- A-4F, 154186, VA-193, NM/200, USS Ticonderoga, 1968, CAG aircraft
- A-4F, 155018, VA-164, NP/401, USS Hancock, 1971, 'Lady Jessie'
- A-4F, 154190, VA-22, NF/300, USS Bon Homme Richard, 1970, CAG aircraft
The decals were produced by Furball Aero-Design for this release and include a terrific set of airframe stencils. The kit also comes with a nice chuckle. The title on the instruction book (not repeated on the box) 'Vietnam Scooters - US Supersonic Fighter'. While not designed as a fighter, I think we all know that the Scooter has more than held its own at Top Gun for many years. Supersonic, on the other hand, not so much. A-4 pilots will tell you that you can get the Skyhawk supersonic in a serious dive though your main limitation is the speed limits on your wing tanks and external stores. A clean Scooter get through the sound barrier though I imagine the Singapore A-4S has an easier time of it with their F404 engine.
In addition to the nice selection of details released concurrently for this kit, Eduard has also produced the BigSin A-4E/F Armament set which we will examine soon. This set includes 12 x Mk.82 500lb Snakeyes, 6 x Mk.82 Slicks, 2 x Mk.77 napalm, 12 x Mk.81 250lb Slicks, and three nice multiple ejector racks, all out of their Brassin range.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!