VA-176 ‘Thunderbolts’, US Navy, USS Intrepid 1966
Released at the same time as their F-84G Thunderjet and F4D Skyray was Tamiya’s A-1H Skyraider. It’s a truly great kit with outstanding fit and detail. I can’t recall any problems with it. About the only addition that could be made is a tarp cover for the canopy retract mechanism. I added no aftermarket to this kit and simply replaced the fin-mounted pitot tube with a brass tube and wire example. The kit comes with an excellent assortment of ordnance, and I added the load-out that looked most ‘bomber’ like. I used the kit decals to display this famous MiG-killer Skyraider, and they were fine — thicker than those in the slightly older Tamiya kits like the MiG-15bis and F-51D Mustang. The finish is Halfords White Primer, Humbrol enamel grey, Klear, Windsor and Newton oil wash and Humbrol Matt Cote. I attempted to replicate the Skyraider’s distinctive exhaust stains using my Badger 200 airbrush, but it really looks poor, which is a shame as the kit would be nice otherwise. I’ve also built the Tamiya A-1J Skyraider model more recently, which is basically the same kit with some small additions and different ordnance.
Year bought: 1998 (Wonderland Models, Edinburgh)
Year built: 2000 (Send Marsh, Surrey, UK)