KIT:

 Hasegawa 1/48 A-7D Corsair II

KIT #

 

PRICE:

$30.00 mail order; nearly twice that retail

DECALS:

See review for details

REVIEW BY:

Fred Krause

NOTES:

Overall a good kit

 

 

THE KIT

 

This was my second attempt at a Hasegawa A-7 kit. The first was their 48th A-7E. Both of these kits suffer from the same problems. Overall, this is a very good kit, and is easily the best A-7 kit in 48th scale. Like most of Hasegawa’s later releases, the panel lines are beautiful on this kit, as is most of the detail. Unfortunately, also like all of Hasegawa’s recent releases, this kit has minimal armament, consisting of only two AIM-9s. Fuel tanks, and two MERs are provided, along with a "suggestion" that you spend still more money on their weapons sets, at an additional cost, of course.

The kit decals provide markings for three different A-7D’s; one from the 4450th TG (tailcode LV), in the European One wraparound scheme, one from the 74th TFS (tailcode EL) in the SEA wraparound scheme, and one from the 353rd (tailcode MB) in the standard SEA scheme. The sheet also provides the information placards for the landing gear struts, and wheel wells, which is a nice touch, considering that the decals a so thick that they are pretty much otherwise useless. Crappy decals, and no weapons, are major complaints that I have with Hasegawa, considering the steep prices they demand for their kits. However, if you want to do any A-7 in 48th, their kits are the only real option for most modelers. (Editor's note: there is an A-7A in 1/48 by Monogram, but it is a rework of the elderly Aurora kit). Enough bitchin’, onto the kit!

 

CONSTRUCTION

 

The cockpit went together quite well with the exception of the seat. Since the seat provided didn’t have any seatbelts, or a harness, I replaced it with a Verlinden ESCAPAC seat. The fuselage went together well. Make sure to check the instructions, or photos, of the A-7 you are modeling, as a number of alignment holes for the different "add on’s" must be opened up before you glue the fuselage halves together. The biggest problem I had with the fuselage was getting the fit of the avionics bay doors, and speed brake, to go flush with the rest of the fuselage. Much filing was required! If you’re going to model yours with all these open, you should have much less trouble than I did.

Next came the wing assembly, and more fit problems. When I did the A-7E, I made the mistake of following the directions, and glued the top half of the main wing, to the bottom half. They also tell you to do the same with the wing tips, and then insert the piece for the unfolded wing between the main wing assembly, and wing tip assembly. The result was a real bad fit. This time around I glued the piece for the unfolded wing between the lower main wing, and lower wing tip. I still had to do some filing to get the fit good. After the glue dried, I glued the upper main wing, and wing tip to the bottom wing assembly. The result was a much better fit.

If you plan on folding the wings, a piece is provided in the kit, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble. This is great if you’re doing a Navy bird, as folding the wings was common practice. It would seem that the USAF folded the wings on their A-7s far more infrequently. The other part of the wing that did not fit good, is where the upper part of the wing attaches to the fuselage. No matter how much I filed, and test fit, I couldn’t get the wing to go on straight, without having one end stick up too much, and the other too low. The result is another bad joint that must be fixed. This also left a gap under the USAF style refueling receptacle, which had to be filled, and sanded. The rest of the kit went well without any further fit problems.

 

PAINT & DECALS

 

 After the main body was assembled, I was ready to paint. I left off the two inner pylons to facilitate painting. I chose to do a two-tone gray aircraft from the 162nd TFG based at Tucson IAP, Az. The decals came from Superscale sheet #48-355. The scheme consists of FS 36118 Gunship Gray, and FS36270 Neutral Gray. It's a pretty simple scheme to paint, but I discovered it is not a true wraparound scheme on the wings. I also had to take into account that the ANG badge for each side, and the serial number for the left side, are split stencil, which is to say that the markings color is split at the paint demarcation line….. Gunship gray markings over Neutral gray paint, or vice-versa. Careful effort when painting must be made to line the decals up in the right spot. The decal's Gunship gray matched the Gunship gray paint very well, but the Neutral gray is a few shades off. After painting, the model was gloss coated, then decaled, and then flat coated.

The landing gear, boarding ladder, and canopy all went on without a problem. The inner pylons were then added, along with the sway braces for all the pylons. I added an AIM-9M from my spares box, on the right side fuselage missile rail. Before adding the canopy, I painted a thin line of gloss coat along the paint demarcation line, and once dry, added 1/64th inch yellow stripes from Superscale decal sheet #PS-6. White 1/32nd stripes were added in front of the refueling receptacle. Even though no info on this is included in sheet #48-355, I have seen pictures of a/c from this unit with this.

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

Overall, this is a very good kit, and builds up into a very nice model. I do think that Hasegawa tried to please everyone, by detailing the tar out of this kit, and ended up with a lot more bad fit than there needed to be. Couple this with no weapons, and crappy decals, and even the $30 mail order price is too steep. If Monogram, or Minicraft ever made a serious attempt at an A-7, or F-18 (Hasegawa’s is absurdly priced at $80+!!!), Hasegawa might find themselves with a lot of unsold kits.

As a side note; a company called Seamless Suckers makes a seamless resin intake trunk that would look far better than the kits two piece trunk, and its impossible to sand seam. It is, however, kind of expensive at $12 plus shipping.

 

REFERENCES

 

Detail & Scale Volume #22, A-7 Corsair II (covers both USN & USAF versions).

Detail & Scale Color & Markings Series, Volume 19; A-7D markings of the USAF, and ANG units.

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