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The A4 Skyhawk Jet Model Kit

Article by Paul Nortness

So far, I've shared a few tricks with you to help spruce up your builds. I would like to share one of my favorite model kits with you today. I have built this kit many times and always enjoy building it. It's the Hobbycraft 1:48th A-4 Skyhawk. Hobbycraft really had a winner on their hands when they released this kit. However, they had the bad fortune of releasing it about a month before Hasegawa released their 48th scale Skyhawk. While a little rougher and not as refined as the Hasegawa kit, the Hobbycraft Skyhawk is half the cost and comes chalk full of weapons.

The A-4 Skyhawk has always been one of my favorite planes, even as a kid. Whenever I went to the hobby shop, if there was a Skyhawk model I had not built you can bet I would come home with it. I loved watching the Blue Angels because of their beautiful blue A-4s. Of course, it didn't hurt when I saw them dog fighting with the Tomcats in Top Gun.

Hobbycraft released all the major variants the U.S. operated, as well as many foreign versions as well. The nice thing about the kit is all variations included the dorsal spine, or "hump". This allowed the builder to convert their A-4C into an A-4L, or A-4E to a A-4F, etc. As previously mentioned, every kit comes packed with weapons. From Zuni rockets to Mk 82 bombs and fuel tanks, it's all there. You will have so much ordnance that you will be able to load up a few planes! I was able to load up a Revell F-15E with all the bombs I had left over in this kit.

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This kit has received a lot of unfair bad press. I've read reviews of this kit saying they didn't like it because you can't build it with the canopy raised. My pictures clearly show that just isn't the case! Another common knock on this kit is that you cannot open the airbrakes. In all my articles to date, I stress the importance of checking your references and this is a great example of why. While parked, the airbrakes on the A-4 Skyhawk remained closed.

The only real detractor with this kit is the cockpit and ejection seat. It is very spartan and lacks a lot of detail . The nice thing is you can use the cockpit from an old Monogram A-4 which is much more detailed. Also, any resin set from the Hasegawa kit will drop in with little to no work. Another option is cover it up! I went into my spares bin and found an old Monogram pilot figure and put him in the seat. This does an excellent job of hiding all the cockpit's deficiencies.

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The kit is an absolute blast to build and offers no surprises. The seams are very minimal and can usually be addressed with Mr. Surfacer. The model shown in this article used no putty at all. You can easily build this model in a weekend and with a little love have a great looking A-4 Skyhawk on your shelf.

This is the one kit I can always go back to when I am frustrated and things aren't going my way. I always keep about 3 or 4 of these little kits in my stash. Having a kit like this in your model stash is one of the most important tools you can have. It's a great distraction when you are stuck on that big mega kit you are building and just can't get that part right. Building models are meant to be relaxing and fun, having a favorite model kit like my Hobbycraft A-4 is a good way to remember that when things get too stressful.

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