Hasegawa 1/48 Douglas A-4M Skyhawk

with Cutting Edge resin seat

US Marine Corps, VMA-214 ‘Blacksheep’, Japan 1977

This Marines A-4M Skyhawk from Hasegawa was built alongside my A4D-2 and A-4K. The kit is modified by Hasegawa to correctly depict the later model Skyhawk by coming with a new fuselage and nose, new bulged air intakes, new instrument panel, coaming and canopy, new dorsal hump, new ‘Hot Dog’ tail and new antennae, air intakes, rear fuselage insert and tailpipe. It builds well, but the fit of the new nose isn’t great. The main fit problems are still there: wingroot inserts, rear lower fuselage inserts and the rear of the dorsal hump. However, the fit of the wings to the fuselage, the intakes and the tailplanes are perfect. I only added a seat from Cutting Edge, which is much more visible than in the A-4K because of the bigger canopy. The finish is Humbrol enamel coated with Johnson’s Klear and an oil wash. The decals are thinner than normal Hasegawa decals, but still thick compared to aftermarket or their limited edition offerings. They didn’t react too well to Mr Mark Softer, but did go down very nicely with Microsol and Daco Strong Setting Solution without silvering. Hasegawa has started supplying decals realising that many modellers like to paint as much as possible. So they do provide the tail markings with white stars on black decal, but also with separate stars so the the rudder can be painted black, which is what I did. The finish is a mixture of Pollyscale Flat and Satin varnishes. This kit went together very well, and I’m fairly happy with the end result.

Year bought: 2004 (Hannants, Duxford)

Year built: 2005 (Chesterton, Cambridge)

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