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Speedman

Airfix 1/72 A-4B Skyhawk VA-95 "Green Lizards" - Completed

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Speedman    1,870

Hi,

I had an online £5 voucher (with no minimum spend) for Argos a few weeks ago, looking through their kits found a few offers on their starter sets. The A-4 was down to £6.88 with free delivery, so one brand new A-4 kit was delivered to my door for £1.88!! :clap2: (Is there a prize for the most inexpensive build? ;))

I had intended to build it OOB representing BuNo 142833 (kit markings) as exhibited in the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, but looking at a few photos I will need to do a little bit of work to match it. I'll have to drop the flaps for starters and there is a brace/collar on the front undercarriage to I'll have to make as well. More things will probably come to light as I find more photos if it online. I've been working mostly in 1/144 & 1/200 since getting back into the hobby so going back up to 1/72 for this feels like I'm in "The land of the giants"! :lol:

Couple of pics to start off, the kit (which I haven't even unbagged yet) and what it should hopefully turn out like.

2013-08-2509_12_33_zpsffe15f9f.jpg

Douglas_A4_Skyhawk_3_zps9b254c1e.jpg

Edited by Speedman

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Speedman    1,870

It looks to be a great little kit from all the reviews I've read. I haven't built an Airfix kit since the late '90s so I've not experienced the "new tool" generation yet but I'm looking forward to it. I might make a display base for it with the rails, chocks and plaque... As long as I don't get carried away and build an entire 1/72 USS Intrepid ;)

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Severus    4

(Is there a prize for the most inexpensive build? ;))

I got even cheaper - ever tried trash diving? ;) (F-100D from ESCI, trashed because of short shot :D )

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Speedman    1,870

As I'm awake and it's past midnight I opened the bag and made a start. From the few parts I've dry fitted I must say I'm impressed at the quality of the kit, although I do find the plastic a little soft to work with. Should get a bit done in the next few hours (I only sleep 4 hours a night) and I'll get some photos up in the morning when I've got some proper light.

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Speedman    1,870

Main parts of the cockpit built and first paint on. Tail pipe built and the inner seams sanded smooth after a little Mr.Surfacer was applied, got that painted as well. I've also added weight to the nose and the front of the centreline tank with Liquid Gravity, first time I've used it and it's fantastic! Rather than make any type of plasticard bulkhead to keep the balls in there while I added a few drops of super glue, I just used some blu-tac and popped it out before the glue set.

Right, nearly 03:30 time for bed. Got to figure out how I'm going to drop the flaps yet...

It's 08:02, photos taken, rather that use another post I'll stick them in this one.

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Compared to my normal 1/144 everything is very, very... BIG! :blink::lol:

2013-08-3107_41_32_zpsc809a6b0.jpg

Edited by Speedman

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Speedman    1,870

I've been finishing off a few other projects today but I managed to get the cockpit painted, just needs a quick spray of matt varnish to even the finish up and seal in the weathering. The only thing I added to it was the ejection seat handle. The belly tank is done and I've been filling a few small sink marks plus I've worked out what I'm going to do to drop the flaps.

2013-08-3119_29_3702_zpsf42d59b2.jpg

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Speedman    1,870

Exhaust and intakes now fitted and I've removed the port flap section. I'm going to replace it with some plasticard and thin the existing part down to become the lowered flap.

2013-09-0101_23_0201_zpsdcf2c298.jpg

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Speedman    1,870

After a couple of days on other builds, (including a rather special FAA Corsair II, keep your eyes peeled for it ;) ) I fitted the "pit" and joined the fuselage halves yesterday. After a dab of Mr. Surfacer, a bit of light sanding and some rescribing and it's looking pretty good! A far cry from my previous Airfix A-4 experience, the old Top Gun "Jester" release... Now I feel old :weep:

The lower wing is just dry fitted for the photo but I have now removed both of the flaps from the upper wings and I'm going to be working on them today. I spotted a couple of tiny sink marks on the the tank yesterday and filled those as well as the sink marks on the wing leading edges, still plenty to do but It's going smoothly so far.

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Edited by Speedman

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Speedman    1,870

I've assembled the wings and replaced the part of the upper wings where the flaps were cut out, the wings went together flawlessly. Still working on the lower flaps and I want to get the two pylons fitted today.

2013-09-0416_32_14_zpsbc44863f.jpg

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Speedman    1,870

Isn't it annoying when you've looked at dozens of photos of the aircraft your building and missed an obvious detail... Looking at a few shots of the flaps today I noticed, for the first time, that the centreline tank has fins! So I did a bit more research and it's an Aero 1D, the tank I'd already built is in the parts box and one of the kits wing tanks will be replacing it. Luckily I had only tacked the pylon on so it came away cleanly from the old one. I've already added weight to the front and joined the two halves, just a little filler and a quick sanding session and I should be back on track.

Edited by Speedman

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Speedman    1,870

The correct tank is 95% done, just a couple of very small sink marks to take care of. I've finished the flaps and also prepared a few other parts as well. I'll be making a start on all the undercarriage tonight, just removing the parts from the sprues and getting them cleaned up and ready.

2013-09-0519_26_1701_zpsea432397.jpg

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Speedman    1,870

I've finished prepping all the parts for the rest of the build and have added a few little details to match the museum bird. I've made a couple of bridle hooks out of stranded wire, superglue and Mr. Surfacer. There's a small plate top & bottom of the wing to hold the aileron in place on the exhibit so I've replicated them with some tiny sections of Pepsi can.

The good news is that I've finished my "unusual" FAA Corsair II today so I can spend a bit more time on the Skyhawk. Check out the Corsair if you want a giggle :DClick for strange Corsair

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Speedman    1,870

Got the nose gear brace/collar done this morning, now I'm looking through all the photos to see if there are any other little details peculiar to the museum exhibit. I know at some point I need to make a windscreen wiper for it and that is going to be a really fiddly job :unsure:

2013-09-0711_47_3101_zpsf3c7ffb2.jpg

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Speedman    1,870

Primer sprayed along with some gloss white today. I'll be working on masking the canopy and painting the undercarriage tonight.

2013-09-0816_21_3001_zps296f829f.jpg

Edited by Speedman

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Speedman    1,870

Majority of the painting done on the undercarriage and I've done a few other parts as well.

2013-09-0819_26_19_zpsc2936f3a.jpg

Edited by Speedman

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Speedman    1,870

Finished the undercarriage last night. This morning I sprayed a final coat of gloss white on the airframe and detailed the doors and main wheels.

2013-09-0913_35_1701_zpscd61ae94.jpg

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Speedman    1,870

I sprayed the canopy black yesterday afternoon after leaving the white to dry for a good 24 hours, first time I've used the Halfords Appliance White so I wanted to be sure I'd get no lift off from masking. Apart from that I spent a few hours playing around with colour mixes for the upper surfaces. After a few hours playing and making a dozen swatches I was happy with my chosen mix.

Masked it this morning and got to work with the airbrush and my mix, gave it a few coats and left it for a while before a few coats of Humbrol Clear. Unfortunately the camera on my tablet really doesn't capture the colour that well :unsure: I should be getting the red bits done tomorrow and I'll hopefully get some decals on there by the end of the day.

2013-09-1118_00_3901_zpsc412ede0.jpg

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SaintsPhil    716

Flying along with this one! I've not even started my 2 yet...

Good plan to add lead to the drop tanks, might have to pinch that idea, except I think I'm going to use resin tanks on mine....

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Speedman    1,870

There's enough weight in the nose without the drop tank to be honest. I'm always a little paranoid and tend to add as much as possible because I mainly work in 1/144 and usually have very little space to play with. I have a 1/144 Trumpeter F-86 which was a bit of a nightmare, that was the first time I added weight to drop tanks and I've done it ever since. The nice thing about the Liquid Gravity is that it's not lead, I thought it was when I bought it but it's a hard metal :blink: Does the job though!

Little tip if anyone is going to use it for the first time, pop a drop of superglue where it's going to go followed by the first few balls as this will get a good grip on the surface. First time I used it I poured a load in followed by a few drops of glue, after letting it cure I picked up the part and the whole lot fell out in one lump! Easy to glue back in after but annoying.

Edited by Speedman

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