1/72 scale A-7 Corsair II (Fujimi and Hobbyboss kits), modelling report by Meindert de Vreeze
review / modelling report
Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair was designed for the US Navy as an attack
aircraft to be operated from aircraft carriers. Vought Aircraft was purchased
in 1961 by Ling-Temco Electronics and LTV was formed. Experience of the
fighter Vought F-8 Crusader was used in the A-7 Corsair II design
but the airframe was kept simple as it was to fly subsonic only in the
attack mission profile. It got integrated navigation/attack and weapon
release systems that were very accurate. Initially on the A-7A and A-7B
two 20mm guns were fitted, but later variants like the final A-7E got a
single M61 Vulcan canon on the left side under the cockpit.
The plane was equiped with one and TF-30 later TF-41 turbofan engine without afterburner. It had a round intake with air duct below the single pilot cockpit tub with a shoulder wing that could accommodate six wing pylons. Also two pylons on the fuselage sides were installed to fit air to air Sidewinder missiles for self defense. Various stores could be fitted on the pylons including fueltanks.
First A-7 prototype flight was in 1965 and the type entered service in 1966 with the US Navy.
The US Air Force also was interested in the type and the A-7D was used by them with minor modifications such as adding a flight refuelling receptable on the upper fuselage as compared to the Navy variants. They also got their two seater variant, the A-7K used by the Air national guard. A USAF nickname used was SLUFF. In Vietnam, the A-7 was extensively used. About 1600 aircraft were manufactured and the last A-7 was operational with the US forces around 1994.
Some foreign air forces also purchased the A-7 eg. Greece got a variant of the A-7E called A-7H, Portugal got re-built A-7A called A-7P and also Thailand obtained the type.
Two seater TA-7C trainers were also made from converted A-7B and A-7C planes in 1976. Forward of the wing a fuselage plug of 40,64cm elngth and aft of the wing of 45,72 cm was inserted. Sixty planes were converted. The cockpit canopy is obviously longer and hinges to the right. In the nineteen eighties some of these planes were also upgraded, with new engine and probably Stencel SJU-8/A ejection seats. The TA-7C is the navy version of the twoseater, the A-7K being the USAF twoseater with the refuelling installation. The TA-7H was the Greek twoseater variant which received 5 planes. In the mid nineties, Thailand got second hand aircraft.
Technical data A-7E single seater: length 14,06 m; wingspan 11,80 m; empty weight about 9000 kg; max takeoff weight about 19000 kg. Max speed about 1040 km/hr; Range about 1200 km, ferry range 4600 km.
and Italeri issued kits, such as for the USAF kitno. 1237.
The Fujimi kits were a vast improvement over the older Revell, Airfix and Matchbox kits.
All these kits
were single seaters, with TA-7 twoseater conversion sets from Falcon,
This modelling Report will describe how the 1/72 models of Fujimi and Hobbyboss TA-7 can be made.
FUJIMI A-7 CORSAIR II
Two Fujimi kits
will be made, one for a A-7A and one for a A-7E (kitno. F9 ). As
I did not have a A-7A kit, I used the A-7B (kitno. F10 ) for the "Barn
Owls" and did a small adjustment myself.
The basic fit for all kits is OK, but the intake and its airduct needs work to fill all gaps which is an awkward job to do. On the other hand, the wing-fuselage joint is very good. The cockpit detail is a bit bare to current standards.
Building the Fujimi kits is very easy and straight forward. The cockpit tub can be detailed later on, only the intake ducting needs filling and sanding to hide the gaps. The canopy aft hinge mechanism is not really present in these kits, so adding some detail is worthwhile.
A couple of
resin seats were used, although the kit seats are also OK when detailed.
Make sure to check the configuration of the vertical tail fairings at the upper aft training edge and at the lower fin base. The fairings depend on the particular A-7 variant. Fujimi provides several optional parts for this and sometimes you have to cut off some bits.
Some applies for the guns, with the Fujimi A-7B kit indeed having two guns in the intake area, whereas later variants have a single gun fairing on the left lower forward fuselage area. I decided to make a A-7A out of this kit, with only minor differences between the A-7A and A-7B. The A-7A has a fairing under the rudder-tail junction; so aft of the base Fujimi part #49 a small piece of card was used to add this. Early A-7 also has the A30 seat for which the kit seat is good enough.
kit assembly was straight forward.
The A-7 US Navy
basic colour scheme is the USN Gull Grey FS16440 and white lower surfaces
A gloss coat
of Johnson Future/Pledge
was sprayed on to get a good gloss decal undercoat and the models were
ready for decalling. Decals came from both the kit decals and Microscale
sheet #72-162 for several US Navy models. The Fujimi kit decals are OK,
but I did not like the colours of the US "stars-and-bars". I used Microscale
set #72-84 replacements.
was finished in a scheme of US Navy squadron VA-93 "Blue Blazers" from
USS Midway with the code "NF". The Microscale #72-162 decals were used
for this purpose.
was finished in a scheme of US Navy squadron VA-113 "Stingers" of USS Ranger
using mostly kit decals. Here the stabilizer and aft fuselage have black
On both models,
the final assembly was done in a similar way.
The horizontal stabilizers are often seen a bit tilted down on Corsair planes at rest, so I cutt in a bit the stabilizer attachment lips and twisted carefully each stab relatively to the lip. They can now be fitted to the rear fuselage tail section.
part on the nose leg part #45 is solid. Cutting this off and making a new
one from strip would add interesting detail to the model.
Both models were completed by painting the anti-collision/ navigation lights and smaller antennas and 2 nose pitot tubes and fixing the canopy. Some stores (also from the HobbyBoss kit) were added as well with their pylons.
Some drybrushing was done in areas as well as adding some darker wash in flap and rudder panellines.
Again a coat of Johnson Future/Pledge was airbrushed on both models to protect the decals and have a nice even sheen.
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Created this page September 11, 2009