Jump to content

A Study In Grey; a USN Vought Corsair II A-7E. ***FINISHED***


Recommended Posts

It's been a while!  Real life distractions have had me otherwise focused since mid February.  I did manage to finish another Wessex for the Salty Sea Dog GB (I still have to take the photos and put up the RFI for that...) but my BM time has been very limited.

 

One of the things I wanted to do in 2023 was build a little outside of my usual fare and take on some more modern subjects.  As the first project of this ilk I'm going with a Vought A-7E Corsair II.  I've always liked the A-7, it's got a pugnacious look about as befits a dogfighter whose job was to get in close and beat up its opponents.  This isn't my first A-7.  I have a vivid memory of building one when I was 11 or 12 years old in Saudi Arabia on a visit to my dad's refinery.  I don't remember the specific markings but I do remember it was a grey/white one with colourful decals.  I remember showing it off proudly as it did look rather good - to my eye at least - and then, paint barely dry, taking it out to the desert and shooting it to pieces with my dad's highly illegal .22 rifle.  

 

For my second A-7, 45 years after the first, I managed to pick up one of Hasegawa's 1/48 kits; I read the HB kit is horribly misshapen and the older Fujimi/Eski(sp?) not as good as the Has kit.  The first thing that struck me was how big it is.

 

spacer.png

 

I picked up some aftermarket for this one to cover a few issues.  I'm using the Eduard PE set for the cockpit as these jet cockpits are very technical compared to the single engine props I usually build so I was looking for some help with this one.  I am going to use decals rather than painted markings.  The markings are complex and artistic, and were applied with great skill on the real thing.  They have an overall quality of finish I wouldn't be able to replicate with masks.  I've chosen a colourfully marked grey/white scheme for this one, the uppermost scheme on the Zotz sheet below.  I'm not confident the aged Hasegawa decals will work so I also obtained a Print Scale A-7 stencil sheet.

 

spacer.png

 

With my materials assembled I began work, predictably on the cockpit.  I followed my usual process of basic assembly, black base and then final colour.  The seat took shape well enough with some PE and brass wire to add some detail.

 

spacer.png

 

The cockpit tub took shape and colour equally well.  I added a dark goop wash to pop some details and then a dry brush and grey pencil (I used grey rather than silver as it's more scale - to me at least - than bright details picked out in silver).  

 

spacer.png

 

I then did a dry fit to check alignment and fit and was pleased that it did indeed go very well together.  It's been a long time since I've built a Hasegawa kit but I do seem to remember they fit well.  I liked the overall level of detail of the kit parts plus the PE but know that my effort here pales compared to true jet builders.

 

spacer.png

 

It was while comparing these pics to some on the internet of the real thing that I noticed the rear bulkhead was supposed to be black.  Doh! A little careful masking was required and then the correction...

 

spacer.png

 

When I had the bulkhead repainted I added some dry brush and pencil detail and also enhanced the detail on the panels on either side of the seat.  I'm calling the cockpit done now.

 

spacer.png

 

A test fit shows that all is still well in the fit department so joining the fuselage will not be an issue.  However, in my haste I've left a couple of injector pin marks in the intake and there's a seam to clean up too.  Much of this clean up would have been infinitely easier to do before I glued it together...  One lives and learns.  That task, and joining the fuselage is next.

 

Cheers.

 

 

Edited by mark.au
  • Like 32
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark,

 

That's a lovely start and will look forward to seeing your usual sumptuous finish applied to such an interesting scheme! Good to see you back,

 

Cheers,

 

Roger

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The A7E was a great attack aircraft with (for it’s day) a wonderfully accurate, reliable and user friendly navigation system (which makes all the difference in the world to the poor old frazzled mudmover’s stress levels).  It’s nav kit was way better than the NAVWASS in the early iterations of the Jaguar (GR1) and the unreliability and poor pilot interface of the NAVWASS was directly implicated in several fatal crashes.

 

So the old girl certainly deserves your magic, Mark.  Oh, and for a man who avowedly doesn’t like doing cockpits that’s a jolly fine ‘pit :D

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Fritag said:

It’s nav kit was way better than the NAVWASS in the early iterations of the Jaguar (GR1) and the unreliability and poor pilot interface of the NAVWASS was directly implicated in several fatal crashes.


This astounds me…. After the first it wasn’t fixed???  Thanks for the background info, turns out the A-7 delivered as well as it looked the part!  Did you ever get to fly in one?

 

13 hours ago, Fritag said:

Oh, and for a man who avowedly doesn’t like doing cockpits that’s a jolly fine ‘pit :D


Much of the credit for the cockpit goes to Eduard, but I find I am warming to the task.  I realised my disdain for cockpits was rooted in an impatience to get through assembly to painting.  I’m taking a more zen approach nowadays and trying to be in the whole process.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great start Mark, hhe cockpit is looking rather splendid , great job , love the look of these aircraft too , I always remember seeing one in the Matchbox catalogue I had as a youngster.

Great to see you back up here and looking forward to seeing this progress.

Chris

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks gents, @bigbadbadge and @Lord Riot.

 

One other task required before closing the fuselage, the jet exhaust.  I applied a flat black first, then Vallejo Burnt Iron and then some random shading with clear red, blue and orange.  Practically none of this will be seen once the fuselage is joined but it's a fun little task and I like building the result.  If I ever built one of those jets where the temper coloured metal is clearly visible this will have been good practice.

 

spacer.png

 

That left the actual joining to do, which I accomplished over several stages.  Here's where we're at.

 

spacer.png

 

The instrument coaming isn't glued, but it will be once I'm ready to add the canopy - the PE gunsight will be far too vulnerable to leave exposed like that without the windshield in place to protect it.

 

That's it for now, I'm off on a road trip to WA for a few days.  Cheers.

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

It never sits right, does it, when there’s a model one ought to finish but hasn’t?  I realised that I wasn’t that interested in my chosen scheme for this one so I looked around and found this…

 

spacer.png

 

This one looks like much more fun…. I’ll need to do some fancy work on the Silhouette because many of the markings will need to be painted - the most difficult being the eagle on the tail. 

 

So, back at it.  A couple of hours’ work brought me to ready-to-paint.  
 

spacer.png

 

I’m going to do the majority of the paintwork before joining the wings.  There will be some work required to clean the seam when I do bring them together but it will be fairly simple and the alternative is an awkward paint job with the wings in the way.

 

I’m using Eduard masks, the first set is for the rubber surround of the glass and when this is fully dry, I’ll apply another mask for the top coat.  


spacer.png

 

I’ve got a little bit of Future on the black to help it seal and also I wanted the rubber to be a bit shiny compared to the very flat grey finish the airframe will carry.  There’s a little more work required at the forward windshield seam too, by the look of it.

 

Cheers.

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/29/2023 at 10:10 AM, mark.au said:

It's been a while!  Real life distractions have had me otherwise focused since mid February.  I did manage to finish another Wessex for the Salty Sea Dog GB (I still have to take the photos and put up the RFI for that...) but my BM time has been very limited.

 

One of the things I wanted to do in 2023 was build a little outside of my usual fare and take on some more modern subjects.  As the first project of this ilk I'm going with a Vought A-7E Corsair II.  I've always liked the A-7, it's got a pugnacious look about as befits a dogfighter whose job was to get in close and beat up its opponents.  This isn't my first A-7.  I have a vivid memory of building one when I was 11 or 12 years old in Saudi Arabia on a visit to my dad's refinery.  I don't remember the specific markings but I do remember it was a grey/white one with colourful decals.  I remember showing it off proudly as it did look rather good - to my eye at least - and then, paint barely dry, taking it out to the desert and shooting it to pieces with my dad's highly illegal .22 rifle.  

 

For my second A-7, 35 years after the first, I managed to pick up one of Hasegawa's 1/48 kits; I read the HB kit is horribly misshapen and the older Fujimi/Eski(sp?) not as good as the Has kit.  The first thing that struck me was how big it is.

 

spacer.png

 

I picked up some aftermarket for this one to cover a few issues.  I'm using the Eduard PE set for the cockpit as these jet cockpits are very technical compared to the single engine props I usually build so I was looking for some help with this one.  I am going to use decals rather than painted markings.  The markings are complex and artistic, and were applied with great skill on the real thing.  They have an overall quality of finish I wouldn't be able to replicate with masks.  I've chosen a colourfully marked grey/white scheme for this one, the uppermost scheme on the Zotz sheet below.  I'm not confident the aged Hasegawa decals will work so I also obtained a Print Scale A-7 stencil sheet.

 

spacer.png

 

With my materials assembled I began work, predictably on the cockpit.  I followed my usual process of basic assembly, black base and then final colour.  The seat took shape well enough with some PE and brass wire to add some detail.

 

spacer.png

 

The cockpit tub took shape and colour equally well.  I added a dark goop wash to pop some details and then a dry brush and grey pencil (I used grey rather than silver as it's more scale - to me at least - than bright details picked out in silver).  

 

spacer.png

 

I then did a dry fit to check alignment and fit and was pleased that it did indeed go very well together.  It's been a long time since I've built a Hasegawa kit but I do seem to remember they fit well.  I liked the overall level of detail of the kit parts plus the PE but know that my effort here pales compared to true jet builders.

 

spacer.png

 

It was while comparing these pics to some on the internet of the real thing that I noticed the rear bulkhead was supposed to be black.  Doh! A little careful masking was required and then the correction...

 

spacer.png

 

When I had the bulkhead repainted I added some dry brush and pencil detail and also enhanced the detail on the panels on either side of the seat.  I'm calling the cockpit done now.

 

spacer.png

 

A test fit shows that all is still well in the fit department so joining the fuselage will not be an issue.  However, in my haste I've left a couple of injector pin marks in the intake and there's a seam to clean up too.  Much of this clean up would have been infinitely easier to do before I glued it together...  One lives and learns.  That task, and joining the fuselage is next.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

Sorry Mark but I don't think the seat looks quite right.

 

I am not sure what variant it is supposed to depict, the early ESCAPAC or the later SJU-8 seat. In any case the two metal shields look like they are sitting far too forward, they would interfere with the pilot's helmet. I think that they may be some sort of wind deflectors or canopy breakers that deploy upon ejection but I think you have installed them incorrectly. If this is the later SJU-8 seat, I don,t think it featured these, at least not visibly as the cloth headpad partially covers the sides. Your later subject choice in the Lo-Viz scheme has the latter seat which is painted black not grey,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

Edited by Pappy
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, mark.au said:

I’m using Eduard masks, the first set is for the rubber surround of the glass and when this is fully dry, I’ll apply another mask for the top coat.  

 

Interesting that.  Looking forward to seeing how the multiple-mask-thing works.

 

Also looking forward to you grubbying up the airframe, Mark.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

 

Nice to see this one again like the grubbyness of some of the airframe, looking forward to seeing this develope.

 

 

The grubbiness was the attraction, I'm looking forward to getting messy.

 

2 hours ago, Pappy said:

 

Sorry Mark but I don't think the seat looks quite right.

 

 

Don't be sorry 🙂  Luckily I'm not that fussed about the accuracy of the inside on this one - it's too late anyway, the cockpit is closed - this one is a fun project to explore a grey jet finish.  I'll know for next time though, thanks.  Now, if we're talking about variations on a P-51 or some such, then it'd definitely be something...

 

1 hour ago, Fritag said:

 

Interesting that.  Looking forward to seeing how the multiple-mask-thing works.

 

Also looking forward to you grubbying up the airframe, Mark.

 

The second set of masks were quite tricky to apply, and I won't know if I got it right until the reveal in some weeks hence...  Before then, the fun bit.  A start on which has been made.

 

spacer.png

 

This pic doesn't show off the preshade very well, so I tried a different angle...

 

spacer.png

 

...which does show it more clearly.  There's more to do, but I'm happy with this as a base on which to add more grub later.

 

I'm back to my usual paints, back in my comfort zone of mixed artist's acrylics thinned with Windex and Future.  I really, really like the finish they achieve.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

Edited by mark.au
  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, mark.au said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second set of masks were quite tricky to apply, and I won't know if I got it right until the reveal in some weeks hence...  Before then, the fun bit.  A start on which has been made.

 

 

 

 

I completely stuffed this up on my recently completed phantom. In the end it was easier to mask and paint the seal after the main frame colour. This made it much easier to get a consistent seal width all around.

The Hasegawa Corsair II is a great kit that surprisingly has not been surpassed 

 

Bruce 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh a SLUF in the making and I missed it...

Well done Mark, I've that same kit in the attic....

As far as I know the HB kits are a copy & paste of the Hasegawa one...

Congrats for the grey and the preshade, it look ace to me....

Sincerely.

CC 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 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...