Hasegawa 1/48 A-4KU (AF-1) Skyhawk 'Brazilian Navy VF-1 15th Anniversary' Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||April 2016||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||A-4KU (AF-1) Skyhawk||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||07423||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Still best Skyhawk kit in 1/48 scale||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$52.99|
The A-4 Skyhawk was first designed in the mid-1950s as a lightweight, agile attack aircraft. In its numerous versions, the Skyhawk served the US Navy and Marine Corps in peace and in combat into the 1970s. While the Navy transitioned into the A-7 Corsair II, the Marines opted for a new version of the Skyhawk as a stop-gap until the next generation of attack aircraft was available that could meet the unique mission needs of the Marines.
The A-4M first entered service in 1970 and the type remained in production until February 1979. In all, 162 A-4Ms were produced, none of which would see combat in Marine service. Kuwait was another customer of the A-4M with their specific aircraft configuration designated as A-4KU. Many of these aircraft operated from Saudi Arabia during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait with only one combat loss. Brazil purchased 20 of the A-4KU to become the AF-1 in the Brazilian Navy to operate off the new Sao Paulo aircraft carrier (formerly the French Navy's Foch).
Hasegawa has released their A-4M Skyhawk with the appropriate parts to render the AF-1. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on nine parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. As usual, the kit offers some nice details and options out of the box:
- Detailed cockpit
- Canopy can be positioned open or closed
- Optional boarding ladder included
- Engine compressor face visible down intakes
- Engine tubine face visible down exhaust duct
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable slats
- Positionable speed brakes
External stores include:
- 2 x wing tanks
The kit provides markings for one option:
- AF-1, N1004, VF-1, Sao Paulo, 2013, Anniversary scheme
The Hasegawa 1/48 Skyhawk kits are easy builds and this example will provide a colorful addition to your scale flightline.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!