Vought A-7 Corsair II   in 1/72 scale
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1/72 scale A-7 Corsair II  (Fujimi and HobbyBoss kits) 
kit review / modelling report

Another A-7 kit was made here, the previous made Fujimi kits can be seen on page 1....


This Chinese kit brand also issued several kits (see above)  for the 1/72 A-7, including a twoseater kit for the US Navy or Marines TA-7C Corsair II, kitno. 87209. 

The Hobbyboss kit has 5 sprue sets with about 140 light grey/green plastic parts and that includes a large number of external optional stores like fueltanks, two FLIR pods, bombs and Sidewinder missiles. The parts are very nicely done with fine engraved lines and rivets but also raised detail when seen on the real plane. Nicely done are also a couple of opened avionics bays and emergency power unit with details.

The decals are good for a US Navy VA-174 squadron plane. 

The cockpit may benefit from adding some extra detail from rod and sprue, but the kit seats are adequate in this scale. The right rotating canopy has a very good cross section but there is a seam mark in the middle, this needs to be removed with a polish/sanding stick and the canopy polished with Tamiya polish pasta. 
Looking at the Hobbyboss kit, comparing it to the Fujimi kits and looking at pictures (see references), I found the exhaust pipe in this kit (and in fact all other Hobbyboss A-7 kits) being far too wide. I solved this by cutting, prior to starting the assembly, two vertical slots in each fuselage tail section ; say 3 cm in front of the ends and bended the exhaust area end and reduced the width about 1 mm on each half. The result is a 2 mm reduced tail exhaust area width and a far more convincing look in this area. This sounds a minor correction but it is really visible!
Next, the kit was assembled as per instructions. I really liked the main air intake with its tunnel and the nose gear with its detailed launchbar and its storage area. In the gear bays also nice detail is present as on the insides of the doors. 

The refuelling boom flat rear part #E1 was cut off and the gap/panel filled.

The fuselage was assembled but wing halves (also here as with the Fujimi kits) were kept separate for painting/spraying and applying the decals.

The canopy hinge details were suggested by adding tiny bits of sprue and card. Also the mirrors in the canopy were added from cut thin metal (3 for pilot, 1 for instructor). Canopy and windshield were painted with the brush in Gull grey. 

I could not find any after market decals for a TA-7C, so opted to use the kit decals. The scheme is the standard US Navy scheme with Gull grey and white.

The kit decals are OK and the scheme is also attractive. The decals for the US Navy VA-174 plane with code "AD" were applied as per instructions. Only the AD code was made a 1 mm (0.05 inch) less wide by cutting out a section of the "D". The edges of the black and yellow diamond markings were painted with a fine brush.

All decals were thus applied to both fuselage and wing halves. I had some trouble added the yellow canopy framing which is provided as decals. I carefully trimmed the inner areas decal film away with a fresh X-acto blade and applied than the decals. It takes care and patience but the result is worth it. The frame decals were fixed with Johnson Future clear applied with a fine brush. 

Next, the decalled wing halves were fitted to the fuselage, filling the junction gap with white glue and painting it gull grey when dry. 
Gears, doors and details were added. I kept one avionics hatch open on the left side, closing the right side one. Unfortunately, the hatch part #D30 to be closed fits terribly. I found out too late and trimmed the part and filled the edges with white glue, painting them white when dried. 

Time for finishing the model with details, like the cockpit. The cockpit is quite well detailed, some white glue was used to close the gap between the rear instrument panel #C15 and the cover #C5. I also used the instrument decals. 

Inside the canopy, the rotating mechanism was suggested with some card and rod. The yellow framing is from the kit decals. Also mirrors were added cut from thin metal. The result:

Some extra "wire" and cables were suggested in the avionics bay from copper wire and sprue. Some drybrushing was done in areas.

The anti collision light was added as well as some tiny antennas and 2 small nose pitot tubes from rod which are missing in the kit. The model was finished with adding some stores with their pylons to the model. (Note: the fueltanks can also be fitted on the inner stations #3 + 5 ).

Finally, a coat of Johnson Future/Pledge was airbrushed on to protect the decals and have a nice even sheen.

   VA-174 TA-7C

  FLIR pod seen on inner pylon

And that is it! Three nice A-7 Corsairs II models in the 1/72 scale collection. 

and F-8 Crusader as compared to A-7 Corsair II

On to next A-7 [ Page 3... ]

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Created this page September 25, 2009