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1/72 Airfix A-4B Skyhawk


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Hi guys, hope you don't mind me jumping in with this one, I hadn't planned on joining this GB but I just couldn't resist this cracking little kit from Airfix and this is a perfect excuse to crack it open. :)

So here's the obligatory box and sprue shots.

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I don't know much about these wicked little aircraft but this kit really does feel like it's up to standard, like a lot of the new airfix moulds. Though I do wish they would use smaller sprue attachments, some of the small delicate pieces are smaller than the attachment point which is going to make getting them off in one piece pretty tricky/annoying! :chair:

As per usual this kit starts with office. Nice and positive fit just a shame any detail is left to decals. This is coming straight OOB so I managed to get a fair bit done this afternoon, hard to believe I've managed to get the cockpit done in a day, haha!

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Pretty standard, but I'm happy with it. :)

Any tips or comments will definitely be welcome on this one! I normally deliberate and research every build before I start but this one was a proper impulse so I know nothing about them!

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DISASTER! :weep:

I should always learn that, trying to just do a quick bit of modelling before turning in, is never a good idea! I was gently heating the tail to try and straighten it out as it had a definite warp to right hand side, but I heated it a little too gently and managed to melt it! Feel like such an idiot :wall::wall::blush:

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Have thrown myself on the mercy of airfix's spares department this morning to see if I can get a replacement, but if I can't this one might just die in the water before it's had chance to really get going. :(

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Thankfully Airfix were brilliant, delivery next day via 1st class post in a nice padded envelope turned up on Friday! :D

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And work commenced this morning to try and catch up to the point where I'd got to before the accident.

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Also, got the exhaust finished off, along with the intake ready to close the fuselage up. This really is a nice little kit by airfix, so far the fit has been great, positive and strong.

Next up was trying to squeeze as much weight in to the tight nose as I could, this really has tail-sitter written all over it! Thankfully, though the nose is tiny there is a great big space hidden between the seat and intake.

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The 2 halves go together well with no major steps or issues, which is always a relief!

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You can see in the picture the only place that needs a little filler, where the intake meets the fuselage.

After all this work, this is where I left it tonight. I had toyed with leaving the air-brakes open but all the pictures I've seen today show them closed when on the ground, so just gluing them closed. :)

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Again, any comments or pointers welcome. :)

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Hi Danny! :)

Yes it's a cracking little kit, isn't it?

I'm building the same kit at the moment, but you're a lot faster builder than I am! :worthy:

Have you decided on the markings and loadout yet?

Will follow your build with interest. :)

Cheers :bye:

Hans J

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Cheers Hans. :)

I'm going for the 'Green Lizard' scheme included in the box with a pretty standard load-out of the 3 external tanks, I had thought about trying to pick up some after market decals but with no real luck.

It really is a nice little kit, just wish some of the sprue attachments were smaller! :bangin:

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It really is a nice little kit, just wish some of the sprue attachments were smaller! :bangin:

I took almost all the parts off the sprue with a razor saw, there are a few very chunky ones in there.

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Cheers guys :)

Thanks for the tip speedman, I'll have to give that a go. :thumbsup2:

Progress may well slow down now as I'm on to the little bits, where you spend most of your time taking them off and cleaning them up so nothing really post worthy!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cheers Ilking :)

A bit of slow progress on this one at the moment, I've been getting the drop tanks ready and following a tip from Hans' build I've attached the gear bay doors at this point to give a stronger fit. Also, having painted the gear legs and wheels I just need to get a wash on them then they can be called finished too.

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**Big Update Time**

Managed to get a lot done over the weekend. Most of the painting is now finished, just on with a gloss coat and I can crack on with the decals and weathering, the fun bit! :D

Here's how I started this weekend;

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I had managed to get the white down in a nice solid coat. I started with tamiya XF-1 as a base then put several thin coats of Mr Color Gloss White. The photograph doesn't show it very well but this gives the underneath a bit of a creamer hue, like the old colour photos I had been using for reference. Just left to dirty the wheel wells with a wash and paint the black lines on the tail hook.

Next up was getting the top side white areas painted;

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Airfix don't quite get the areas correct so using as many reference photos as I could find I masked it up. The main confusion is on the wing edges, Airfix show the white area stopping before the edge of the wing and being confined to just the flap, whereas it should go right to the edge and following the forward diagonal. These areas were painted the same as the underneath, Mr Color over XF-2.

Continuing on the top I decided to get the red flap areas sprayed;

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I fought with this one a little, I wasn't sure of the best way of doing it so, either spray before the grey and mask it off or put down the grey and spray over the top. In the end I went for doing it this way round, though I ended up struggling to get the grey to cover the over spray so in the future I will probably do it in the same order but mask the wings up first to reduce the over spray.

Then on to the grey;

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This was only a couple of coats in, I've tried to keep the pre-shading to a minimum so used a darker shade of grey instead of black, though at this point you can still see a bit of the red showing through on the wings. :banghead:

And finally where she sits at the moment;

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All the masking tape taken off and ready for the gloss coat. The only casualties of attaching the gear bay doors early was the nose gear and one of the main gear doors got knocked off while I was taking off the tape, these have now been reattached with some CA.

Overall I'm quite happy with it, the pre-shading has come out quite well, nice a subtle, apart from on the wings where I had to go a bit heavier to cover the red overspray. Should hopefully get some time at the desk tonight to finish off the landing gear and then I can start weathering this up. :thumbsup:

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It really is, Airfix have done a cracking job on this one. Lots of lovely detail but without an over complicated construction! Wish they would do a new F-14 with the same philosophy! :pray::pray:

It would be great to see some new decal options coming out too as I found AM decals tricky to get hold off, especially the US Navy squadrons.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well with my KUTA P-47 eating time I have been slowly moving this one along. :)

All the decaling done.

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Since taking this picture, I've repainted the intake lips to hide the balls-up that is the airfix decal :chair: and I've started my first go at pin washing the panel lines.

The gear bay doors are missing after I messed the up painting on the red edging so they are off to be resprayed and started again! :shutup:

With a little over 2 weeks left I'm hopeful I can get this finished by the deadline. :)

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Blimey you're nearly there - should easily make the deadline. Looks a nice little kit. I bet you won't do that again to sort a twist out in the fuselage?

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Cheers Andy, hopefully this will make it but just don't want to go jinxing it! :lol:

Haha, yeah definitely won't be doing that again! I was so pleased when the replacement from Airfix turned up and it was arrow straight. :winkgrin:

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Cheers Rudolf. :)

I tend to go over the top on the nose weight to make sure but I think airfix suggest a 5g weight but I would definitely say this will need some weight to keep the nose down! The other thing that doesn't help is that I don't have any sensible size weights so have to pack them in with whitetak, iirc I used 2.6g fishing weights. I really must try and pick up some lead shot. :lol:

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oh yes lead is the remedy. I usually fix it in the fuselage with epoxy paste cause it is very heavy itself

Looking forward to the final result. Your Skyhawk is excellent!

P.S. haha try tungsten, gold or better depleted uranium for this action cause these are the heaviest materials :wink:

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Nearly there, must stay focused! :banghead:

A little weathering done and my first go at pin-washing. Was really impressed with the airfix panel lines, they might be a little agricultural for some, but they took to wash really well. I'm quite pleased with it. :)

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Last things to finish off, reattach gear bay doors, attach cannon barrels and flaps, then just a matt coat.

I've been really impressed with this little kit from airfix, the fit is great and apart from the initial cock-up with the bent tail it really has been a trouble free build!

Great job airfix, now just release it with other decal options and you'll be on to a winner! :thumbsup:

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Cheers Rudolf, if this kit is anything to go by we have got some very exciting times to come from airfix. The fit is great and the detail even at this scale is spot on. :)

No weapons on the pylons, I'm just going for the extra fuel tanks. :)

Finished this last night, here's a couple of quick pictures as I'm planning on breaking out the blue paper and taking some proper ones tonight if I get chance :)

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I've really enjoyed this build, airfix have got a winner and will definitely be getting more of my money for another one! :D

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