VA-164 ‘Ghost Riders’, US Navy, USS Hancock 1972
I have fallen in love with Hasegawa’s Skyhawk kits – I’ve got nine of them now! This is the first, the A-4F, which I built along with their A-4C. These are great kits. The fit is not perfect — plenty of work needs to be done to blend in the intakes, rear fuselage insert and wing root inserts. But the kits are pretty accurate and Hasegawa has really gone to town on providing all the details unique to each version. I built this example straight from the box and added rocket pods and 2000lb bomb from the Hasegawa weapon sets. I used the kit decals, which are printed by Cartograf and much thinner than normal Hasegawa transfers. They were fine over Humbrol enamels and the usual coat of Johnson’s Klear. As I was finishing the kit I dropped it and took a chunk of plastic out of the port wing trailing edge. I put it down to flak damage. The decals didn’t go down well around the wing tanks, and I distressed them a little to make it look they’d been chipped over time.
Year bought: 2001 (Antics, Guildford)
Year built: 2002 (Maid’s Causeway, Cambridge)