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Hoops

1/72 Hasegawa USAF Test A-10C

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Good Afternoon,

 

Sometimes you pick an aircraft that you want to model because the markings are interesting, or because there is a interesting bit of history behind it, or you really like the aircraft itself. In this case, I chose this build because of the absolutely ridiculous weapons load that was applied to this aircraft for testing purposes.

 

Normally the A-10 is not cleared to fly with drop tanks and any weapons, but the fine folks at Eglin Air Force Base did some testing in 2013 to clear the aircraft for just that. See the press release here:

 

https://www.eglin.af.mil/News/Article/814477/40th-fts-expands-a-10-fuel-limitations-in-combat/

 

This picture is what inspired me to do the build:

 

48812760452_50847ff126_b.jpg130814-F-OC707-052 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

This particular aircraft, being a test bird, has some differences when compared to a normal A-10C, but they are not too significant.

 

For this build I used the Hasegawa A-10C kit, not because it is the best in the scale, but more so because I happened to have one in the stash.

 

Pros:

Good shape, reasonable fit in some parts, extra sprue with C model specific parts (the only kit to do so in 1/72)

 

Cons:

Raised panel lines, oversimplified details, poor fit in some other parts.

 

Before construction, I rescribed the entire kit, my first time ever doing so. Rather than go nuts and try to correct any misplaced panel lines, I simply copied those that were already on the kit. I wanted to do some detailing with the kit, but didn't want to go crazy and spend too much time on it.

Edited by Hoops
fix spelling

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The cornerstone of the build is the fact that it has the massive drop tank on centerline as well as all of the weapons, so the tank had to look decent.

 

The tank included in the kit has good shape for the body, but found that the fins were to small to my eye.

 

As a result I took an extra tank from a Hasegawa 1/72 F-111 kit and modified the fins to match my references. To my eye, the fins on the F-111 tanks are too large, and they extend aft past the aft point of the tank itself. It's always easier to remove material than add it, so I cut down and reshaped the fins to match my references. I found that the under fuselage pylons were a bit shallow, so I added a strip of .5mm Styrene sheet to the bottom to make them a bit taller.

 

The modified F-111 tank is on top, and the A-10 kit tank is on the bottom in this image:

 

48812723002_e5fba63b65_b.jpg20190929_135120 by J Hooper, on Flickr

Edited by Hoops
grammar

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The weapons included in the kit aren't very good, so they were immediately ejected in favor of others from various Hasegawa weapons sets. I had to buy another complete set of laser guided bombs just for this build in order get enough GBU-12s.

 

Here they all are assembled and awaiting paint:

 

48812722942_19abf9b0f4_b.jpg20190929_135250 by J Hooper, on Flickr

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The instrumentation boom off the nose is very prominent and it would be a shame not to include it in this build. It was scratched from various sizes of Evergreen styrene rod, the very tip being from a unused test probe from the Hasegawa F-14 kits. I left the airflow sensors off, as small as they would break off very easily. Even without them, you still get the effect in 1/72.

 

48812225833_b581af3c78_b.jpg20190929_135504 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

Some other light details that were added:

 

Fill the holes for the PAVE PENNY pylon, and add the four mounting bolt heads

Add stall strips on the leading edge of the wings

Add the slightly raised platform for all formation lights

Add the rubber bumper below the engine nacelles on the side of the fuselage

Add the radar warning receivers (small disks) on the corners of the nose and tails

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13 minutes ago, Hoops said:

Rather than go nuts and try to correct any misplaced panel lines, I simply copied those

A good approach Hoops, keep it simple but effective.

 

I like your subject matter, I love A10's even if the US Air Force does not and that little splash of colour on the instrumentation probe draws the eye.

As for the weapons load, it makes the A10 look aggressive and purposeful and they too add a little colour

 

I will keep an eye on this build.👍

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On the underside, I opened up all the vents on the lower aft fuselage. The fit of the wingtips was difficult and needed lots of filler and work to smooth out. I opened up the front of the vent just behind the gun muzzle, and did some general light detailing. The towel rack antenna on the bottom is too shallow as molded by Hasegawa, so I extended it a bit until I was happy with how it looked.

 

I boxed in the main gear wells a bit, but didn't get too crazy trying to fix things in any of the gear wells.

 

48812225783_96bc9bf640_b.jpg20190929_135547 by J Hooper, on Flickr

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I just placed the engine nacelles and the horizontal stabs on for this photo, they aren't glued on yet.

 

48812722577_780f0e89ac_b.jpg20190929_135654 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

Antenna and platform was added to the top of the right vertical stab, unique to the is test aircraft.

The GPS and SATCOM antennas on the top are correct for this aircraft, but it did not have any of the missile plume detectors on the wingtips or tail. Those were left off and the holes filled.

 

 

Thanks for looking!

Cheers,

Hoops

 

Edited by Hoops

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19 minutes ago, Head in the clouds. said:

A good approach Hoops, keep it simple but effective.

 

I like your subject matter, I love A10's even if the US Air Force does not and that little splash of colour on the instrumentation probe draws the eye.

As for the weapons load, it makes the A10 look aggressive and purposeful and they too add a little colour

 

I will keep an eye on this build.👍

 

Thank you for the kind words! Dirty, deployed aircraft have a certain kind of appeal, but sometimes a bit of color for something different is nice for a change!

 

Cheers!

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Wow, I hadn't even realised the A-10 wasn't cleared to carry the fuel tank for combat. It's a great subject to build and the weapons load in the top picture will really look great.

The Hasegawa model looks pretty decent but  what's the consensus on the "best" 1/72 A-10 model?

 

Great start Hoops, I'll follow this one.

 

Jeff

 

 

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43 minutes ago, pinky coffeeboat said:

The Hasegawa model looks pretty decent but  what's the consensus on the "best" 1/72 A-10 model?

Italeri kit has very nice engraved panel lines and various weapons including fuel tanks.

Academy kit is also nicely detailed.

Hobby boss kit has also nice panel lines (and as far as I remember rivets) and N/A-10 twin seater model is available. But the kit looks like snap tight model which is a typical Hobbyboss feature.

 

I cannot comment about the kit accuracy as I am not A-10 expert 😁

 

Serkan

 

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1 hour ago, Hoops said:

I did the artwork for the decals on this aircraft, and hopefully they will be printed before too long.

Interesting project. I did not know that this bird is not cleared to fly with fuel tanks and weapons together.

 

How do get your artwork printed?

 

Serkan

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17 hours ago, pinky coffeeboat said:

The Hasegawa model looks pretty decent but  what's the consensus on the "best" 1/72 A-10 model?

 

Thanks Jeff,

 

There are really four options out there for A-10s that are readily available in 1/72 now: Hasegawa, Academy, Italeri and Hobby Boss.

 

Hasegawa: As described above. Of note, the tails have been modified to include the radalt antennas for the LASTE modifications that appeared in the early 90s. To do a pre-LASTE aircraft these would have to be filed off. Personal complaints that I have with the kit:

 

Too many compressor blades on the engine front: way more than on the real aircraft, making them much too narrow.

Nose gear well is too deep, which makes the cockpit too shallow and the ejection seat too small.

Nose gear well has one height, rather than having a shallower step at the aft end where the nose gear would be mounted. This makes the actual nose gear itself much too tall. It will be fairly well hidden once assembled though.

The A-10A kit has no aft wall on the cockpit, although this was added on the sprue for the A-10C.

There are lots of details that could be improved, but overall, it's OK.

 

Academy: it is a copy of the Hasegawa kit, but with recessed panel lines. I've matched Academy parts against Hasegawa parts, and they are *almost* interchangeable. I think that one of the fuselages is 1mm longer or something minor like that. That being said, the molds have not been updated for any of the LASTE mods, so it is most appropriate for an early A-10. All other complaints about the Hasegawa kit other than having raised panel lines also apply to the Academy kit.

 

They did modify the molds to add the chaff/flare buckets under the wingtips, but these are really bad in shape. It would be probably be best to just remove them.

 

Italeri (also reboxed by Revell Gmbh): It has been a solid 16 years since I've built this one, but I do have one in my stash though. These written from memory. It does include the details for LASTE modifications, but despite recent boxings having markings for A-10Cs, the kit does not represent any of the changes.

 

Pros: 

Recessed panel lines, but they are soft and fairly large, comparable to other Italeri kits of that era.

Adds the option of opened air brakes

Better landing gear detail and proportions

Better cockpit dimensions

 

Cons:

I think that the nose shape is better on the Hasegawa kit, but the Italeri is not bad.

Overall the molds are not very crisp and the fit is not particularly great.

Compressor spinners have some weird details

Pebbly surface texture

 

Hobby Boss: Very simplified and toy like. I picked up a two seat N/AW with thoughts about kit bashing the applicable two seat parts with one of the other kits. I probably won't even wind up using those, instead going with the Falcon vac-form conversion. I would recommend it only if you are looking for a very easy build to highlight a neat marking scheme or something along those lines.

 

 

Would it be nice to have a modern, new tooled A-10, kit? Yes it would. I don't think it will happen though, as there are some acceptable offerings out there. All have their advantages and disadvantages, you just have to pick which ones are most important to you I think.

Edited by Hoops

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Gday Hoops, nice work so far mate, one of my favourite jets.

 

Sorry if you've already mentioned this but did you weigh down the nose ? I recall these being notorious for tail sitting.....

 

Cheers

JJ

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On 10/2/2019 at 11:37 AM, JJ2016 said:

Gday Hoops, nice work so far mate, one of my favourite jets.

 

Sorry if you've already mentioned this but did you weigh down the nose ? I recall these being notorious for tail sitting.....

 

Cheers

JJ

 

I added a number of fishing weights, secured with Milliput, beside the nose gear well. It's probably more weight than was necessary, but this will definiately not be a tail sitter.

 

With regards to the build, I'm just finishing up my Viggen and two F-14s, both just need a clear coat to be complete. Additionally a V-22 I'm building with my daughter needs only some work in the cockpit and it will be done as well. Once those minor steps are complete, work will focus on the A-10 again.

 

Cheers!

Hoops

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I'm always interested in these threads where the merits of different A10 kits are discussed. I'd generally agree about most of he comments about the Italeri kit, but the more I look at the canopy the more it just looks way to falt, without the bubble effect toward the rear. For that reason alone, I'd tend toward the Hasegawa kit.

Cheers, R

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I've done all the major painting, next step will be any detail painting. Antennas, touch ups, others. Airbrush work is complete however.

 

48994754661_6138ae37d5_b.jpg20191101_155816 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

48994206433_b578a9669b_b.jpg20191101_155827 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

Painted with Model Master Acrylics, but I found the Dark Ghost Grey to be to purple and too dark, so I misted some Light Ghost Grey over it until I was happy. I hope I don't have to do any touch ups on any of those areas, good luck getting the colors to match!

 

In positive news, I'm really happy with how the panel lines turned out. I think that they'll look really good under a wash.

 

Edited by Hoops

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I also finished the detail painting and construction on most of the external parts. Some will still need a few decals, and will definitely look good after a wash. The data probe for the nose has only had the orange painted, all other details still need to be touched up with a brush later.

 

Lots and lots of bombs! I would have loved to put the orange markings on the fins of the GBU-12s, but there was no way I was going to be able to paint those consistently. If there were decals available, I would use them, but they don't exist in 1/72.

 

48994206383_2c2f790cf5_b.jpg20191101_160101 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

Cheers and thanks for looking!

 

Hoops

 

 

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Good Morning,

 

The Wolfpak Decals for this aircraft came in late this week, so I finished up the decaling last night.

 

49330869313_daa0e66989_b.jpg20200105_104753 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

The next step is to put a clear coat over the decals to seal them before applying a wash and any other weathering.

 

49330869373_16a1a76874_b.jpg20200105_104559 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

I didn't apply any decals to the underwing stores, so they are already weathered. Just waiting on a dull coat to seal those items up. In this image, the impressing weapons load is just set onto the aircraft for illustrative purposes.

 

49331336066_f160626924_b.jpg20200105_105136 by J Hooper, on Flickr

 

Not too much left on this build, in the end phase now!

 

Cheers, and thanks for looking,

Hoops

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