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A- 4E Skyhawk

About Me,LodettiModeler McDonnell Douglas A- 4E Skyhawk IAF -

1. History

The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a single-seat subsonic carrier-capable attack aircraft developed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps in the early 1950s. The delta-winged, single turbojet engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later by McDonnell Douglas. The Skyhawk is a relatively lightweight aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 pounds (11,100 kg) and has a top speed of more than 670 miles per hour (1,080 km/h). The A-4 was originally powered by the Wright J65 turbojet engine; from the A-4E onwards, the Pratt & Whitney J52 engine was used. Skyhawks played key roles in the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War, and the Falklands War.

Israel was the largest export customer of A- 4E Skyhawk. The Skyhawk was the first U.S. warplane to be offered to the Israeli Air Force, marking the point where the U.S. took over from France as Israel's chief military supplier. Deliveries began after the Six-Day War, and A-4s soon formed the backbone of the IAF's ground-attack force. In IAF Service, the A-4 Skyhawk was named as the Ayit (Hebrew: עיט‎, for Eagle).

2. The Kit


2. The Kit

As with any jet aircraft model, the most complicated area is the cockpit. The kit includes separate consoles and instrument panels molded with raised dials, switches, and knobs. The HUD instrument from plasticard. Seat belts and shoulder harness were detailed with buckles from VP’s auto buckle set ( #0065 ).The Hasegawa offering features raised panel lines. I fixed a needle into my pin vise and using a strip of flexible plastic, rescribed the panel lines. THE WHEEL WELLS ARE NICELY REPRESENTED,BUT I FOLLOWED MY STANDARD PRACTICE OF SUPERDETAILING WITH VARIOUS WIRES AND TUBES. The cockpit and turbo engine were positioned before closing the fuselage halves. Undercarriage doors, landing gear ,and wheels are excellent, again with necessary wires added.


3. Fuselage, Canopy and cockpit

I armed my Skyhawk with the six MK 82s included in the kit. The final construction step was affixing the canopy. Frames were added with strip plastic and mirrors were scratchbuild. The panels were masked off and the frames sprayed black for viewing from the inside, the topped with the camouflage of the exterior. The kit specifies the center winshield panel as blue,so this was sprayed with Acrylic transparent blue. I used vinyl glue to secure canopy into position.


4. Camouflage and Markings.

Marking is taken from an image of the book ‘Illustrated Guide to the Israeli Air Force? [Bill Gunston].To me the most satisfying aspect of modeling is painting, and the Israeli colors are particularly attractive. I always apply an undercoat of paint to show imperfections and prepare the final color. I used Gunze Sangyo Hobby Color paints for almost all of the painting, except for the main wheel, air intake and landing gear bays well ,with Tamiya Mini X-2 Gloss White  Acrylic. Upper surfaces, with Sand FS33531, Red brown FS30219, and Pale Green .Deeper recessed received this treatment with an airbrush. Turbines and metal sections were painted with Testors enamel Metalizer, polished with a handkerchief, and sealed with semigloss transparent acrylic. Peeling and scratches were simulated with a fine brush and small amount of aluminum paint. The star of David was created by drawing the design on a low-tack adhesive paper, cutting it out, fixing it in place on the model, and airbrushing through it like a stencil. The tail badge was painted by hand. Before applying the kit furnished decals, I prepare the aircraft section with clear acrylic gloss,  which hides the decal film after marking is applied. To seal the paint and dull the upper surfaces, the entire aircraft was sprayed with dull a finish.


5. Weathering.

The weathering of the model is very important and this entire task was undertaken carefully. In order to give prominence to the panel lines I added diluted Acrylic. The darker colors were added to the lower areas of the panel lines with the lighter shades along the edges. This  latter operation will give a certain depth to the model and will eliminate the flat appearance of a standard paint scheme. For the lines between the panels I used colors I used OIL - MAIMERI PURO mixing with THINNER 5816604 - Petroleum essence (278 - Burnt Sienna - 535 - Ivory Black - 018 - Titanium White ).In conclusion you will paint all the surfaces with a semi-transparent paint (This is my technique (glossy acrylic G.S. COLOR 030 paint diluted with white spirit at 20%).


6. References.

*  Illustrated Guide to the Israeli Air Force [Bill Gunston]

*  A-4E  Skyhawk - model Art Detail & Scale ( B. Kinzey )

*  Mid-East Aces: The Israeli Air Force Today (Osprey Colour Series)

*  Mid East aces: The Israeli Air Force Today ( P. Hadleman ) – Osprey Aerospace

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