A-4 Skyhawks
U.S Navy
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A-4 models in 1/72 scale: kit review & modelling report  
 
The Skyhawk was designed by Ed Heinemann from Douglas as a low cost small jet attack fighter to be operated from US Navy carriers. The A-4 Skyhawk had various modifications during its operational career and depending on the period and specific aircraft.

The A-4M that appeared 1970 has some mods with older Skyhawk versions:
- larger stabilizer with squared off tip
- larger bubble canopy
- parachute housing at the tail
- DECM antenna on top of tail
- small fairings and bumps at nose, tail etc.
- new 1G3 seat (replacing the ESCAPAC seat) and a simple HUD (head up display)
- several internal changes (wing, engine, avionics etc). 

Several A-4 kits will be made. The best way is to look at reference books and choose a specific type and model to make. 

Some additionals are used such as Microscale decal set no.72-427 to get a choice of colours and lettering and smaller stencilling for the kits in 1/72 scale.

 

Italeri

Fujimi

Hasegawa

Matchbox


The Italeri kit #157 is a basic but good model of this little jet strike aircraft.

        Italeri A-4M box
a-4m schemes
The kit is a nice compromise at low cost and can be made into a nice kit for the collection.

p1 decals 

p2 

The kit is simple with about 35 parts, with just the basic usual parts but no extras. It will benefit from replacing the seat with a new (resin?) one and improving some details in cockpit (which is very small) and areas such as the undercarriage

The Italeri kit of the A-4M has most of the characteristics listed above incorporated. Two decal versions are provided in the kit for US machines:
1/ black tailed VMA-331 A-4M in white/gull grey schema and 
2/ overall grey VMA-214 machine.


Italeri model being "in progress..." : painted in the standard (older) USN scheme of FS36440 Gull grey and lower FS36875 white . Enamels were used.

Scheme made: A-4M VMA 223 with yellow markings: reference Osprey book "Navy Attack" on page 62

The Italeri star-and-bars were in my opinion too large, the Modeldecal ones OK but to dark in blue.
a-4m vma 223
  ITALERI KIT of A-4M VMA 223 
vma 223 skyhawk

Wing tanks came from a Fujimi kit..... 

On to next [ A-4 page 2.. ]
 


References:
    - A-4 Skyhawk, In detail & scale, Kinzey, No. 32
    - Navy Attack, Osprey series , Francillon, 1990
    - USN Carrier Air Units, Squadron, Vol.3, Kasulka
    - World Air Power Journal, Vol. 10
    - IPMS NL  A-4 walk arounds by my modelling friend Cees

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Created May 19, 2002;
updated March 2021