Hasegawa 1/72 EKA-3B Skywarrior Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2008||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||00924||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$58.95|
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 EKA-3B was the designation applied to an A-3B that was fitted with electronic warfare equipment as well as air refueling gear to perform both roles in combat operations.
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 and remains unchallenged to date. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts.
I built one of these kits a little over 10 years ago for a local IPMS contest and was one of those kits that simply falls together as long as a little care is taken to clean the seamlines. As I recall, only a little filler was required to achieve a seamless painting surface.
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.
The kit has a reasonably detailed cockpit for what you'll see through the greenhouse canopy, though Eduard has produced seatbelts and other nice additions to this kit at one point in the past.
With all of the bumps and bulges that distinguish this variant of the Skywarrior, this is my favorite configuration and is nicely done in this box. If you're not into the electronic warfare or tanker missions for your 'Whale', then you can simply leave off those optional parts and render a 'slick' A-3B.
The kit includes decals for one of two Skywarriors:
- EKA-3B, BuNo 142252, VAQ-131, AB/615, USS John F Kennedy, 1970
- EKA-3B, BuNo 147660, VAQ-130, NG/614, USS Constellation, 1972
The decal sheet provides the instrument panel in decal form and a nice set of maintenance stenciling to render the model.
It is nice to see this kit back out again. It has made periodic appearances, but this kit has been overlooked a bit and we thought we'd bring it to your attention as it was certainly an interesting subject to have in kit form.
My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!