||Review / Modelling report|
A-6A intruder in 1/32 scale kit review & modelling report of the Trumpeter
kit by Meindert de Vreeze
The Grumman A-6 Intruder was designed in the nineteen-fifties as an attack aircraft for use from US aircraft carriers. It was to replace the prop driven Douglas A-1 Skyraider and for reliability got 2 jet engines. The wing was subsonic and a side by side cockpit was used to improve crew communication. It got an arrestor hook and a strong undercarriage for use on a carrier. Being an attack aircraft, it had no canon but a lot of pylons for ordnance. The first A-6 prototype flew April 1960.
were developed, the first being the A-6A (A2F-1) that had 2 Pratt and Whitney
J-52-P-6 engines. Systems completed the design with a special bomb aiming
and navigation DIANE system. DIANE consisted of multiple radar systems:
the Norden Systems AN/APQ-92 search radar and a smaller separate AN/APG-46
for tracking. Other systems were the AN/APN-141 radar altimeter and AN/APN-122
Doppler navigational radar to provide position updates to the AN/ASN-31
inertial navigation system. TACAN and ADF were also provided for navigational
use. DIANE had teething problems but eventually worked. On the nose a refuelling
probe was fitted. About 488 A-6A aircraft were produced until 1970 and
many were upgraded after that.
A dedicated ECM version of the Intruder was the EA-6 with a large antenna fairing on top of the tail, a different nose and ALQ-76 jamming pods. Even a KA-6 tanker was developed with external fueltanks and refuelling station under the rear fuselage but it had no DIANE. A four seat specilized ECM derivative with quite different forward nose and cockpit was the EA-6B Prowler.
The Intruder was extensively used in the Vietnam war. In later conflicts it was also used by the US Navy e.g. Libanon, Desert Storm in 1991 etc. The last flight of the A-6E was in 1997, being replaced by the F-18 Hornet.
For more info,
look at the references.....
Also check out the 1/72 scale A-6 models.....
The Trumpeter kit of the A-6A (kit no 02249) was issued summer 2013 and is the first injection moulded 1/32 kit of the A-6 Intruder. (Summer 2014 the A-6E kit was also issued).
The A-6A kit is very impressive with a big model with over 500 of finely moulded plastic parts, an etched metal fret, metal parts for undercarriage, rubber tyres and 2 large decalsheets. There are many sprues with stores. All panels are nicely done with recessed lines and some raised details.
Impressive in this kit are the fully
equipped engine bays (with 2 model engines!), the avionics bird cage, radar
nose and equipment and a very nice cockpit interior with good instruments.
The kit seats are nice and for the GRU-7 used on later A-6 variants. Early
A-6 Intruders had the GRU-5 but later A-6A's (after 1972) also the GRU-7.
Airspeed fuselage and wing tip brakes can be set open if desired and the
wing can be folded for carrier stowage. A full set of slats and trailing
edge flaps are also in the kit and posable. And the kit looks accurate.
- A-6A, BuNo 152940, VA-35, "NG/510",
USS Enterprise; Panther shape not accurate.
Purchased was an aftermarket SUPERSCALE
decal set 32-264 for a vey nice VA-95 Green
Lizards A-6A Intruder around 1975. The sheet has only the basic
markings but they are fine with good "stars and bars" and NAVY titles formats.
It was decided to do something special with this kit. I opted to make "a cut away" model with the left side with opened panels and showing the airframe structure and the right side as a regular model with panels closed. This strange bird is a change to regular models made.
Note: this cut-away shows an A-6E; the basics are similar for the early A-6A, but without TRAM etc.
|BEGINNING BUILDING THIS KIT AS
(STEP refers here to the kit instructions sequence).
As the model would be made as a "cut-away"
, the large kit parts suchs as fuselage halves, wing sections etc were
first separated from their sprues. The "left side" would be opened up with
various panels and hatches. Luckily the kit itself has also many open hatches
such as for engine bay, airbrakes, avionics and nose.
The model cut-away will be set on a display stand available. A hole was cut in the lower "belly" to accommodate a pin later on.
Next, the various airframe model components
were tackled using sound aerospace engineering practices regarding rib
structures, bulkheads, beams and spars. With various pieces of plastic
rod (e.g. from EVERGREEN), structures
Most common colours of the old style A-6 US NAVY scheme are white, mat black and US Navy gull grey Fed.Std FS 36440 (using Gunze Sangyo H325 acrylic). For the white FS 36875 Gunze Sangyo H1 acrylic was used and airbrushed.
Now proceeding with other assembly steps...
STEPs 1 - 3
The fret parts PE1 and PE2 for the
fan are a bit difficult to fit but look OK. In the right bay I only set
the front fan and part of the exhaust pipe (A3+A9+F5);
The seats were painted black with
olive drab cushions and parapack. Straps were from the PE from the kit
and tape with some buckles from the spares box. Some drybrushing was done.
Note one "cut away" detailed pilot seat. The seats were side aside for
later installment. Some warnings signs on the head rest to be set in place
as well later on.
Next, moving on to the cockpit interior....
The aft coaming part U32 was also
cut open, a photo used for reference. The cuts now shows a bit more depth
now and parts U22 + U24 are nicely done in this kit.
STEPs 6 - 7 and STEP 10
Main surfaces of the undercarriage
are white with "black" pre-wash to be added later on.
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October 27, 2014