Jump to content

Grumman A-6E Intruder***FINISHED***


Recommended Posts

I suppose it is possible I might find something else in my stash but I know I do not have any Japanese "subjects" ie planes/tanks/ships and as far as I know I only have two Japanese manufactured kits left, one of which is in tended for another GB, so that just leaves this-

DSC07793-crop

It cost the princely sum of £3.99 from a discount store on the outskirts of Leeds back in the 1990's and I bought it to replace my original A-6A kit bought in Ellesmere Port in the late 1970's which is in a pretty sorry state though I may be able to renovate it at some time. I gather that they did upgrade the original kit a little, particularly the arrestor hook which was wrong, but I suspect the only other changes were to add the sensor turret under the nose for the A-6E version. The cockpit still has terrible seats which are moulded as part of the rear bulkhead, and not staggered as in the real thing, so I will be doing some work on that and perhaps the u/c bays, but other than that and probably a modified weapon load-out it will be OOB. The kit comes with two optional colour schemes - gray/white and two grays and I will probably be doing the latter.

 

Given the number of GB I hope to be involved in the next few months, this may be a slow build!

 

Pete

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

OK, the three kits I building for other GB are in a slow fiddly phase so I will make a start on this.

 

This is the cockpit my ancient A-6A dating back to the late 1960's - I bought this in the mid 1970's I think.

DSC07879-crop

Very basic indeed - not to mention wrong!. This is the kit part with the "seats" moulded as part of the floor. No stick, no side consoles and the IP is also wrong.

DSC07877-crop

So the first job is to cut off the seats and replace them - I have a couple of choices.

DSC07881-crop

The kit one is in the middle and the one on the left is one from my recent Hasegawa EA-6B Prowler - I splashed out on resin replacements as they were not very good but at least they are better than the ones in this kit. On the right is an Aeroclub Martin Baker seat of which I have a pair donated by a fellow modeller as part of a "job lot" he got when his LMS closed. The label has come off but somebody has written MB Mk 10 on the bag. They look a lot better but AFAIK the ones used in the A-6E were in fact a USN version of the earlier MB Mk 7 so they are not entirely correct. Even so I may use them and they have the added advantage of adding a bit of ballast to the nose. As in the front of the Prowler the seats in the A-6 were staggered with the pilot sitting further forward than the observer. I will add a stick of sorts and side consoles if there is room. I may also try and modify the IP as it was "stepped" according to D&S. I have taken the canopy off my old kit so I can check the clearance.

 

So I will be pottering around doing a bit of fettling for the next couple of days.

 

Pete

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like a good 'un. Yet another Hasegawa kit that ended up in a FROG box - I didn't do anything past WWII back in the day so these all passed me by. Looking forward to some vicarious fettling!

 

Regards,

Adrian

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

Looks like a good 'un. Yet another Hasegawa kit that ended up in a FROG box - I didn't do anything past WWII back in the day so these all passed me by. Looking forward to some vicarious fettling!

 

Regards,

Adrian

Hi Adrian,

 

The way the kit is engineered there is not a lot of room in the pit so I doubt I will be able to do much - in fact with the pilot's seat moved forward I will be lucky if I can get his stick in! I may be able to improve the area behind the seats and for example put in the pistons that slid the canopy back and forward instead of the "generic box" Hasegawa provide!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/10/2023 at 7:55 AM, JOCKNEY said:

That replacement seat looks the business,  I hope the canopy is nice and clear so you can see in the cockpit

 

Cheers Pat 

Nice and clear but split right down the middle which is seldom a good idea! Fortunately a frame line should hide it.

 

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is my "improved" cockpit ready for painting.

DSC07932-crop

Unfortunately, the way Hasegawa have engineered it it looks like there will not be enough room to fit in a "control column" with the pilot's seat moved forward - I would need to cut away part of the rear of the fuselage opening to do that and frankly I doubt it would be worth the effort, but I will see what I can manage - they seem to have made the thing too small front to back!

 

Pete

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did manage to get the stick in eventually pus a controller for the right seat. Dry fit at the moment!

DSC07936-crop

I think I made the hood for the radar screen a bit shallow and too wide - may have another go later. The IP dec broke up, hence the gap in the middle which I will try and sort out. It is not brilliant but as usual the macro shot makes it look a lot worse than it does to the eye and it is somewhat better than the kit version I think. I have cut off the large "box" on the rear section of the cockpit opening and will have a go at improving it - a few smaller boxes, the ram that slid the canopy back and forward and some general plumbing, but that will be after the fuselage is closed up.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's at least 30 years since I bought this kit and even then the mould was already over 20 years old so there was a bit of flash, and the fit was not perfect but not that bad,

DSC07940-crop

The instructions call for 8g weight and the seats make up 6g of that so I added another 4g to be safe (hopefully). The D&S review mentioned problems getting the large insert in place underneath and it was quite a problem on the Prowler I built recently but with a bit of careful preparation it fitted pretty well.

DSC07941-crop

In the above pic you can see a couple of the changes Hasegawa made to the original moulding - a different shaped "blister" in front of the hook and a revised hook and bay to correct the error on the earlier one which was totally wrong and had no "roof" either. They made a few other changes, and also missed a few as well.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

Cockpit looks good Pete. The fuselage is a pretty complicated shape - an injection moulder's nightmare!

 

Regards,

Adrian

No doubt that is why they used inserts for both the middle of the underside and arrestor hook/well, which complicated matters slightly. As with the Prowler the wing to fuselage joint also looks complicated but seems to work.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on a photo in one of my books I have added a few bits behind the cockpit - not entirely accurate but it gives an vague impression of the real thing and is much better than the original kit version I think. Incidentally, although Hasegawa provided a new decal for the IP it is still not right for most A-6E with the TRAM sensor "turret" and so my "hood" is not quite right anyway!

DSC07943-crop

As I mentioned, Hasegawa have made some changes but missed a few. As originally designed the A-6 had perforated air brakes on the rear fuselage sides but they did not quite work it seems so the production versions were fitted with split brakes at the wingtips. The original brakes were retained for quite a time  albeit disabled except on the EA-6A where structural changes to the wing to take an extra outboard pylon meant the wing brakes could not be fitted. On late production airframes such as this they were converted to equipment bays with a solid cover so I have tried to represent that.

DSC07946-crop

The small rectangular depression above and to the left of the brake is the original side formation light. This was replaced by the strip "slime lights" so I have filled it in. The dome in front of the arrestor hook that I mentioned earlier is for the APN-153 Doppler radar which is used to update the Inertial Navigation system apparently and I read today that originally the forward section of the "Y" shaped arrestor hook was in fact faired over in the original design so I guess that may be partly why Hasegawa modelled it incorrectly first time round - maybe they had access to the wrong drawing as reportedly happened with the old Airfix Fairey Battle. I have since tidied up the front of the hook insert as I noticed it was sticking down a bit when I saw the above pic.

 

I will do a little re-scribing and then get the wings on.

 

Pete

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hasegawa retooled the wings for this boxing.

narrative

They added the ALR-45 RHAW bulges under the wingtips, the thickened section at the forward wing root for some sort of communications antennae, and the notches in the flaps needed to clear the drop tanks when on the inner pylons. The original version already had the small wing fuel dump pipes next to the speed brakes, the intake for the cockpit aircon and the so called knife edges - these are a thin section on the inner leading edge that apparently provided early warning of a stall. They have not included the bullet shaped pods for an ECM system that were mounted above the dump pipes on some late models, which was originally developed for the cancelled A-6F.

 

The wings were a bit of a tight fit and had to be filed down a little and I will have to do a little work on the joint with the exhaust pipes.

DSC07950-crop

Incidentally in the original design it was intended to have moveable tail pipes so that they could be angled down slightly to improve take off but this was dispensed with. In this boxing they replaced the very early fixed horizontal tail with elevators with the correct all moving tail and have added the air intake to the left of the fin that was fitted to the A-6E with the TRAM sensor. They also added the vents underneath the cockpit so it was a major reworking, but they did miss the changes to the position lights underneath which I will deal with another time. I may also have to add the odd blade aerial or two.

 

Pete

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The intakes were not quite as bad as I expected.

DSC07952-crop

I have sorted out the joints as best I can and will leave the kit there for a while whilst I make some more progress on a couple of kits in other GB. The undercarriage is a bit basic and lacking in detail - for example I will have to make and add the scissor link to the nosewheel, and the wheels themselves are very poor so I have ordered some AM replacements. There is no detail in the wheel wells but as they will hardly be visible I will probably not bother to do anything with them. I have also ordered some more decs as the kit ones only provide for a gray/white one from VA-35 and a "tactical" gray one from VMA(AW)-332 which was mostly shore based I believe. Once the bits and pieces arrive I will start this up again.

 

Pete

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

With my big Ju 290 out of the way I now have room to get back to this and have made some more progress.

DSC08099-crop

I added the missing scissors link to the nose leg and got the u/c on together with the Reskit wheels which look a bit better than the ones in the box. When I recently build my Prowler I bought some resin replacement seats but forgot to put the grab handles for the face curtain on  so I used a couple of them on this kit. I then washed it, primed it and gave it a couple of coats on Light Compass Gray. Now it just needs the various areas of  Dark Compass Gray adding, together with the Dark Gull Gray walkways. Masking the wing upper surfaces will be a pain because of the wing fold mechanism "hump" and the fences but at least there are no white control surfaces and silver leading edges to paint. The Almark decs I bought are for the CAG's aircraft of VA-95 based on the USS Enterprise during  operations against Iran in April 1988 following the mining of the USS Samuel B Roberts.

 

Pete

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

Can't see the join on those intakes now :)

 

it's looking very tidy!

 

Regards,

Adrian

No, they and the speed brakes have gone, but what should be there is the fold down step etc built into the intake wall but of course Hasegawa did not mould it on this kit, just the Prowler.

 

Pete

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that's most of the main painting done.

DSC08113-crop

Initially I used the kit decs for the walkways, but did not like the colour so overpainted them in Dark Gull Grey. I suspect that the upper fuselage walkway on the plane I am building was a bit different, being wider and not going all the way back to the fin but I am not sure. The canopy is not that good a fit and in spite of having filled the gap it still is a bit obvious but will have to do. Bit of touching up to do then one with the decs!

 

Pete

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I have been a bit distracted by another build but have been picking away at this slowly.

DSC08259-crop

Most of the decs are on as is the sensor turret under the nose. Now I will concentrate on getting this finished before starting on my Fujimi Bf 110D.

 

Pete

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Nearly there. I have now got all the decs in place and added the undercarriage doors and the centreline tank.

DSC08338-crop

Adding the red edges to the doors is now a lot easier since I bought a red paint pen! One thing Hasegawa forgot to update for this revised kit was the front nosewheel door. On the original it had a warning beacon as well as the landing light and the "traffic lights" for the deck approach system. On the TRAM version the beacon was moved to under the Starboard engine intake so I have fixed that. Next I will add the tanks to the inner pylons and then I have to decide what I am putting on the outer ones. The kit comes with the same rather crude MER and Mk 82 500lb bombs as the original A-6A kit 50 or so years back, but I won't be using those and have cut the MER off. I will either add LGB or maybe Harpoon missiles as I gather they were the weapons used together with Rockeyes and Skippers when the plane I am modelling was engaged in the conflict with Iran in 1988 caused by the mining of the USS Samuel B Roberts. Once that is sorted I only have to add the refuelling probe and pitot tube.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, this just needs a finishing coat of varnish and it will be done.

DSC08384-crop

With another build also finished and one getting there I can now start my Bf 110D, and maybe the King Tiger as well. That should keep Pat happy!😄

 

Pete

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • PeterB changed the title to Grumman A-6E Intruder***FINISHED***

I have sprayed the Intruder and will now post it in the Gallery.

DSC08459-crop

Now I will concentrate on my Bf 110D.

 

Pete

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks fantastic Pete

Would this be the same as the Frog version ?

In which case I might need to rescue it from the the deepest, gloomiest areas of the stash !

Cheers Pat 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, JOCKNEY said:

Looks fantastic Pete

Would this be the same as the Frog version ?

In which case I might need to rescue it from the the deepest, gloomiest areas of the stash !

Cheers Pat 

Yes and no Pat!😄

 

The original Hasegawa A-6A from the late 1960's was released over here in a Frog box and it is virtually the same kit, but as I mentioned in the build Hasegawa did re-tool some of the parts - for example they added the sensor bulge at the wing tips and changed a few details on the fuselage, most noticeably around the arrestor hook. They also added the nose TRAM turret and an airscoop near the tail, but both of those are "optional". The old Frog version should build up into an A-6A though, although the cockpit is a bit wrong as I described, and the MER and bombs are a bit basic. It would of course only be finished in the Light Gull Gray/white scheme, and the decs may or may not work after all this time, depending on who printed them - Scalemates say the Frog boxing had "new decals"! I think my old one was the slightly later Hales boxing.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...