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A4B[Q] Argentine Armada, Falklands 1982

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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.

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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.

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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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You did a great job - don't be shy about posting your efforts as you have a good looking model there

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That's a nice model there Corporate. :speak_cool:

I never saw any of these whilst I was there, plenty of Daggers and Pucaras, as I think the A-4's concentrated on targeting the warships at sea.

Look forward to seeing more of your Armada Argentine models.

Mike

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Thats a very nice Scooter!

Great build! :goodjob:

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I concur with what others have said. Don't sell it short! I've researched Argentinean Skyhawks myself and your build looks great. You've added all the proper lumps and bumps to it (such as the thick spine antenna behind the cockpit and the loop antenna aerials to the tail) and the coloring looks good. About the only thing I see that could be added would be the catapult bridle hooks to the forward main gear wells, but otherwise I like what I see. Weathering of the Qs seemed to depend on whether or not the bird was a hangar queen. Some of the jets looked pretty clean while others looked a little on the ratty side. This one seems to strike a nice balance.

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quote 'because I'm really not a good modeller'

Er, evidence to the contrary, thats a little stunner!

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Looks good....

Always nice to see a scooter........and a operational looking one is much most sweeter.......

Rgds

Mr B

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This is a fine build and you deserve to be very happy about the excellent results shown here ! That final image is superb ..... a great way to show off this Skyhawk.

Mike

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I concur with what others have said. Don't sell it short! I've researched Argentinean Skyhawks myself and your build looks great. You've added all the proper lumps and bumps to it (such as the thick spine antenna behind the cockpit and the loop antenna aerials to the tail) and the coloring looks good. About the only thing I see that could be added would be the catapult bridle hooks to the forward main gear wells, but otherwise I like what I see. Weathering of the Qs seemed to depend on whether or not the bird was a hangar queen. Some of the jets looked pretty clean while others looked a little on the ratty side. This one seems to strike a nice balance.

Thanks JMC - those catapult bridle hooks were additional victims of clumsiness and sort of disappeared... You remind me that I forgot to mention colour/paint. Initially I primed it with Alclad II grey, then part way through this very slow intermittent build I finally switched to Vallejo acrylics; US Light Grey 71045 should have been the correct Gull Grey for the upper surfaces but I lightened it quite a lot 'til it looked right. Deep Sky Blue 70844 is a pretty good match for the blue in the Argentine national colours, a little too bright maybe. Glad you think the dirt/weathering is not too obtrusive: my best photos show these aircraft pre-hostilities and they show some staining and e.g. muzzle-blast marks, so I imagined that under the pressure of intensive operational use they would be even dirtier...

Thanks to everyone else for your supportive, constructive comments! Very reassuring.

Regards, Tony

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My friend, that is bang tidy!

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:coolio: That's a nice build for a beginner!! And I love the research you've done on this aircraft. I would like to do one myself. Good job!!

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great work Tony, good to see it finally done!

I know you had some hassle with the build, you might see 'faults' but we don't!

If you saw this posted here by someone else you'd think it was a good model.[which it is]

But a request, more photos please, though I'd suggest without you holding it, as that does make it look like a model! :rolleyes:

Now where's that A-4C! :whip:

cheers

Troy

Edited by Troy Smith

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great work Tony, good to see it finally done!

I know you had some hassle with the build, you might see 'faults' but we don't!

If you saw this posted here by someone else you'd think it was a good model.[which it is]

But a request, more photos please, though I'd suggest without you holding it, as that does make it look like a model! :rolleyes:

Now where's that A-4C! :whip:

cheers

Troy

Thanks Troy, nice to hear from you. More photos? No, sorry, can't get it together - and the other day it had a slight bump in the bookcase behind me, causing some minor damage to the extremely delicate landing gear.....

Do you refer to my A4C, or yours...? Sorry, recall we discussed this but don't recollect the details. I'm still keen to do my Hasegawa A4C/P as a Falklands War FAA 'plane, and I have some Eduard colour etch for it too; I would hope that my experience with the A4B taught me a few things, and my second A4 ought to be better, with less hassle. I want to do 2-3 other kits first though - right now I have the parts of a Monogram 1/24 NASCAR racer spread out on my workbench, airbrushed with primer, and there are a couple of aircraft kits waiting too, including a 1/48 executive jet for which I have some interesting paint masks....

Any news on the Tempest front?

Best, Tony

Edited by corporate

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Looks awesome indeed!

Cheers

Nicolai

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Thanks Troy, nice to hear from you. More photos? No, sorry, can't get it together - and the other day it had a slight bump in the bookcase behind me, causing some minor damage to the extremely delicate landing gear.....

excuses excuses.... well, I'm sure other's would like to see more.

Do you refer to my A4C, or yours...?

YOURS! hence the whip emoticon.

Sorry, recall we discussed this but don't recollect the details. I'm still keen to do my Hasegawa A4C/P as a Falklands War FAA 'plane, and I have some Eduard colour etch for it too; I would hope that my experience with the A4B taught me a few things, and my second A4 ought to be better, with less hassle. I want to do 2-3 other kits first though - right now I have the parts of a Monogram 1/24 NASCAR racer spread out on my workbench, airbrushed with primer, and there are a couple of aircraft kits waiting too, including a 1/48 executive jet for which I have some interesting paint masks....

Now would that happen to be Learjet to match the Skyhawk I wonder?

Any news on the Tempest front?

I'll email you as this is wandering off topic.

cheers

T

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Well done on the model its not very often I see the words HMS Ardent on this forum so I looked deeper and found your nice little model.

I lost my farther on the ship back in 82 and your information on the attack made me think again about what had happened.

Well done on a nice little model my friend

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