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A-4 under slat colours.


stevehnz
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I'm doing a Skyhawk in the current GB finished as a USN one from 1958, this one, though the Xtradecal sheet shows it as 1960. Looking at this photo compared to later photos such as this one, I'm not seeing the red colour under the wing slats & wondered when this became a thing & what would have been the underslat finish before that, both on the wing & the slat underside. I don't mind not doing the red under the slats seeing as this one has orange highlights on tanks & leading edges. :( Seemed like a good idea at the time. :D

Steve.

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Hi Steve,

 

I think that @Tailspin Turtle (Tommy Thomason) has addressed the reason for the difference between the two photos in his Tailhook Topics post on crush points... I'm not sure that it answers your question about the underside of the slat, but it shows well that the surface of the wing normally covered by a retracted slat was not always red. My take on the underside colour of the slat would be white, but that's just my guesswork.

 

For more of Tommy's great Skyhawk work, please see this post for information on the treatment of A-4 leading edges.

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Posted (edited)

"Douglas A-4A/B Skyhawk in Navy Service" by Steve Ginter has two photos of your aircraft, one from the left on the ground and one from the right in the air. On the ground the slats are open and to me it looks like no red underneath. The date is 1957. The airborne shot is from 1959 and the battle efficiency "E" has been added to the fuselage side above the intake warning. The book calls the aircraft an A4D-2

 

EDIT: In the same book I see aircraft of the same time frames with and without red under the slats. Sorry I can't help out more

Edited by fubar57
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Thanks @Andrew & @fubar57, a bit as I thought, a how long is a piece of string question. :( I have the Ginter book & agree that the earlier photo was without the red, but the more I looked through it for correlation, the more confused I became, unsurprising after reading the Tailhook entry Andrew linked to, no simple answer. As to colours in the absence of red, gull gray in the wing recess & white under the slat makes sense to me, unless someone has a definitive answer to the contrary. 

Steve.

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Steve,

 

Here are a couple of colour shots of A4D-2s (one dated 1961) showing the colour under the leading edge slat the same colour as the rest of the wing.

51231183018_a397be50ce_b.jpg

51230971786_0149e49f15_b.jpg

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10 hours ago, Jens said:

How can you tell the leading edges are orange?

Jens

Im pretty sure @stevehnz is doing the one from the xtradecl sheet and that show orange leading edges

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2 hours ago, Julien said:

Im pretty sure @stevehnz is doing the one from the xtradecl sheet and that show orange leading edges

 

Yes, the Xtradecal instructions show orange leading edges. However, has anyone ever seen a colour photo of that? I have never seen an A-4 with leading edges in other colours than the Corroguard, which does look a bit dark in some pictures. 

Never blindly trust decal instructions, especially not those from Xtradecals.

 

Jens

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That photo by Finn also shows an A-4 without the dropped slat.  (and carrying a very impressive load of rockets!!).

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44 minutes ago, Jens said:

 

Yes, the Xtradecal instructions show orange leading edges. However, has anyone ever seen a colour photo of that? I have never seen an A-4 with leading edges in other colours than the Corroguard, which does look a bit dark in some pictures. 

Never blindly trust decal instructions, especially not those from Xtradecals.

 

Jens

In this photo I posted it looks like the leading edges are green like the fin cap and tank tip and tail which suggests the squadrons could paint them any way they wanted.

51231183018_a397be50ce_b.jpg

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I takes Jens point but looking on this website, there is a colour photo of VA-86 A-4s a few years after my subject which have lost the dark colour on the fin leading edge but have it on the wing leading edge. In my reading re corroguard, they would have been painted out all over, so a dark wing leading edge suggests a squadron colour as in Rays photo above. I acknowledge it is possible to argue either way, nevertheless, mine is going to have orange leading edges. The image under the colour one, 4 ship formation, looks like a silvery fin leading edge, corroguard ?, but darker wing leading edge, orange?, up to me I guess, I may do a Corroguard fin. :unsure:

Steve.

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1 hour ago, Jens said:

 

Yes, the Xtradecal instructions show orange leading edges. However, has anyone ever seen a colour photo of that? I have never seen an A-4 with leading edges in other colours than the Corroguard, which does look a bit dark in some pictures. 

Never blindly trust decal instructions, especially not those from Xtradecals.

 

Jens

Never once did I say I trusted them or that they were even right so dont put words in my mouth. I just said that probably where he got the info from as I sent him the option. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Julien said:

Never once did I say I trusted them or that they were even right so dont put words in my mouth. I just said that probably where he got the info from as I sent him the option. 

 

I didn't put words in your mouth! I merely stated in general that decal instructions are not to be trusted. Is there a reason for this slightly hostile tone, or am I missing something in translation here?

 

Jens

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9 hours ago, Booty003 said:

That photo by Finn also shows an A-4 without the dropped slat.  (and carrying a very impressive load of rockets!!).

Very hard to see in that pic but there will be a strap locking the slat in place.

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I'm usually a lurker, but this thread raises a good question for all military a/c modellers. I am a long time aviation writer and sometime modeling journalist. And a picky modeller, as well. I have published on this subject and have researched a few decal sheets. The question of red or not red on the real a/c can vary from paint shop to paint shop and squadron to squadron. It's often a matter of how the tech order is interpreted by the painter or crew chief.I can't find the USN t/o relevant to this in my 1950s copy just now, but the point is that we are bigger sticklers for this type thing as modellers than military paint shops, and there's lots of wriggle room in these details. Every time a military plane is painted it comes back a bit different.

And yes, as said above, always get a second opinion when following color callouts on decal sheets.

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13 hours ago, Finn said:

Sometimes straps weren't used:

 

44297465790_ab5bb284c0_b.jpg

 

Jari

Cant expect civilised behaviour from Bomb heads

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