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Readers’ Gallery: Drew Tarter’s 1/48 Hobbycraft A-4C “MiG-killing Skyhawk”


Agape forum member Drew Tarter (Navairfan) shared his finished work on this great looking and historical A-4. Awesome job on this one, Drew!

Here’s my 1/48 Hobbycraft Skyhawk, the A-4C ‘Vietnam’ boxing. I completed this just a few weeks before Hasegawa released their far superior A-4’s, but the Hobbycraft A-4C is a decent, if basic, rendering of the Skyhawk. It will build into a fair example of the A-4 out of the box, with generally good fit. But it has some missing details, and others are poorly rendered. I’d place it third behind the Hasegawa and Monogram A-4’s respectively. I made these improvements to address some of the accuracy issues:

I used a True Details ESCAPAC seat to replace the very basic kit seat, and added a scratch-built gun sight. I replaced the way overscale tail hook and refueling probe with scratch-built examples, and added scratch-built catapult bridle hooks in the main gear wells, extra wires to the nose gear well, and added a tailpipe with flame holder. I also added an anti-collision light to the spine, a temperature probe to the nose, photo-etched mirrors to the canopy, and drilled an engine oil exhaust port on the left side. I used powder from a black artist’s pencil to create the stain from the exhaust port. Finally, I replaced the kit’s 20mm cannon barrels with better resin examples from Quickboost.

I used kit decals to depict ‘Sunglass 685′, BuNo 148609, the A-4C flown by LCDR. Ted Swartz when he shot down a MiG-17 with a Zuni rocket on May 1, 1967. Since I didn’t have the appropriate Zuni pods, I’ve portrayed his jet after the Mig-killing mission, loaded with two Mk 84 iron bombs from my spares box.