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  1. First time I've done this and I'm reluctant to post lots of detailed CU pics because I'm really not a good modeller - and this one proved very difficult. I got back into modelling a few years ago largely inspired by the thought of reproducing some aircraft of the Falklands War, of which I was an interested spectator in the UK at the time. Thought I'd concentrate on Argentine aircraft since they employed a greater variety of types than our forces, and although I have always been a huge fan of the Harrier, I was put off doing one of those in 1/48 (my chosen scale) after reading lots about the difficulties the few available kits presented. Anyway, I ended up building a few other things instead, and this is my first Falklands War model! (My build rate is incredibly slow - I'm busy, and I have other recreations.) I acquired the Hasegawa kits on Ebay for the A4B and A4C Skyhawks, plus the Hobbycraft "Falklands" A4Q kit which I plundered for [1] some of its rather good decals and [2] the bomb, which is a good rendition of the 250kg EXPAL bomb carried by FAA A4C and other aircraft - this is intended for my A4C[P] when I get round to it. As a relative beginner, not very skilled, I made life even more difficult by trying paint masks for the first time - I wanted to do my A4Q as 0660/3-A-307 as piloted by Capitan de Corbeta Alberto Jorge Philippi in the May 21st attack on HMS Ardent, and wasn't aware of any suitable decals. Ian at Adastramasks.com was very helpful, and masks were neither as expensive as i'd feared nor as difficult to use - though I was nervous at first. The masks proved especially good for the main serials, and those anchor symbols on the wings - the Hobbycraft decals proved tricky to get lying flat. (The Hobbycraft decal for the blue/white tail flash was also too awkward, wouldn't lie down: I airbrushed the blue and white, then used a cutout "sun" symbol decal.) The kit in general I found a bit of a bugger! Hasegawa's reputation notwithstanding, the fit of some parts was not perfect; and this plane in 1/48 has lots of bits hanging off it that are difficult not to knock off, damage, lose (and so on) despite arranging the workflow carefully so the awkward tiny bits go on last... I destroyed the refuelling probe! Fortunately I was able to cut off the tip and epoxy it onto some very fine alloy tube I found, just the right size. These A4s have a distinctive dorsal radome: I made mine from Milliput, moulded and sanded to shape, then stuck the red nav light on top made with a scrap bit of clear plastic. The ring antenna on the vertical stabiliser is fine lead wire. I might have overdone the weathering: I consulted various reference photos very carefully and sought to reproduce stains, dirt etc religiously; and I thought that with lots of intensive flying in bad conditions, those planes would be dirty. This aircraft and its mission. HMS Ardent was on isolated picket duty in Falkland Sound and had already been damaged by FAA planes that day when Philippi's trio of Escuadrilla 3 Skyhawks arrived: these guys were more skilled than their Air Force colleagues at attacking ships and they had the correct weapons, US Mk82 snakeyes. (Burden et al in "Falklands - The Air War" say four of these bombs - Luis "Der Grunepunkt" on here says three bombs and I suspect he's correct.) Philippi and his wingman Jose Arca hit Ardent a fatal blow and she sank later. Coming off the target, they were spotted by two Sea Harrier patrols, one from 801 Squadron that had insufficient fuel to engage, and another from 800 Squadron. The latter destroyed all three Skyhawks, Capt. Philippi's aircraft being hit by an AIM9-L fired by Lt Clive Morrel in XZ457; Philippi ejected and survived. This engagement appears to have taken place in late afternoon (-ish) so my "dawn raid" pic showing 0660 bombed up and ready to go is probably a romantic misconception! I'll try to make a better job of my FAA A4C/P, with the experience gained from this sometimes vexing build.
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