Revell 1/48 A-10A Thunderbolt II
|NOTES:||Fit is good on most pieces, but will have gaps here and there.|
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force (USAF). Commonly referred to by the nicknames "Warthog" or "Hog", its official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II fighter effective at attacking ground targets. The A-10 was designed for close air support (CAS) of friendly ground troops, attacking armored vehicles and tanks, and providing quick-action support against enemy ground forces. It entered service in 1976 and is the only production-built aircraft that has served in the USAF that was designed solely for CAS. Its secondary mission is to provide forward air controller – airborne (FAC-A) support, by directing other aircraft in attacks on ground targets. Aircraft used primarily in this role are designated OA-10.
The A-10 was intended
to improve on the performance of the A-1 Skyraider and its lesser firepower. The
A-10 was designed around the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon. Its airframe was
designed for durability, with measures such as 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of titanium
armor to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a
significant amount of damage and continue flying. Its short takeoff and landing
capability permits operation from airstrips close to the front lines, and its
simple design enables maintenance with minimal facilities. The A-10 served in
the Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), the American intervention against Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait, where the A-10 distinguished itself. The A-10 also
participated in other conflicts such as Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, the
Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and against Islamic State in the Middle East.
I got this kit for Christmas, and as I opened it up I was greeted by 3 or 4 sprues molded in a dark grey and 1 sprue containing all the clear pieces needed. It comes with a pilot figure made for sitting in the seat. There seems to be flash on just the sprues themselves, and very minimal flash on the main pieces. The clear pieces were all molded nicely and I didn’t see any type of slip of the mold problems. The decals were printed nicely and came with decals for two versions of planes, “Norris the Playhog” and “Let’s Roll”.
The munitions that it comes with are 6 Maverick air-to-surface missiles. 8 cluster bombs, 2 napalm containers (never heard of them until I got this kit), a centerline fuel tank, and a jamming pod.
(during construction, I used Testors mode glue the whole time) I start off normally by painting many of the pieces and them putting them together. (All the painting will be in the colors and markings area) The first thing I did was assemble the wings and jet engines. The wings were molded in 2 halves and were molded for the parts of the flaps being open would be slid in. The wings assembled quite nicely really and then when they dried, I attached the open flaps, the wheel well halves, and the little spoiler like pieces on the front inward parts of the wings. The jet engines were quite simple consisting of a part molded to represent the front jet blades and then the exhaust nozzles. These were put into the top half of the jet casing and allowed to dry. Then the bottom half of the jet casing is molded in 2 parts being that the fuselage is molded to attach right to the jet engines. After I had painted all the cockpit pieces and the little pilot, Let’s call him “Jeff” for now, I started off by gluing the main seat frame pieces into the “bathtub” and after those dried I glued the seat itself onto the frames. Now one thing about this part is the instructions don’t exactly show how the seat fits onto them, but I think I got it right. I pretty much got it of where it is about halfway between sticking out and in between the frame pieces. It seemed to work cause when I put Jeff in, he wasn’t sitting too far back. The one thing I realized when I got him in there was that I forgot to put the joystick in. Thankfully for some reason he wasn’t sticking to the seat even though there was glue there. So I pulled Jeff out of his seat and put the joystick in, then I put him back in with a bunch more glue on his back, and he stayed this time. While those were drying, I put the kit provided decal for the instrument panel on and the decals for where the various levers and buttons are on each side of the pilots arms. Then after everything dried, I installed the instrument panel into the cockpit.
Moving on, with the fuselage halves, I put a 1 ounce fishing weight into the nose. Not all the way up in the front, cause the weight was too big. Then I went and test fitted the cockpit and thankfully I did, because at first I was thinking the instrument panel was glued on wrong, but after I looked closer, I noticed the support piece molded into the right fuselage half was molded in wrong so I clipped it down and after that the cockpit fit in perfectly.
I attached the other fuselage half and taped them together and let them dry. After that, I attached wheel well for the front landing gear in where it goes. Care needs to be taken here so that the part on there that looks like the guns’ barrels is “attached” to the gun molded into the plane. After letting it cure, I then glued the bottom plate on that simulates the rest of the planes’ fuselage.
After the plane dried, I attached the jet engines, since I had them assembled prior to painting. Being that I had the front and rear wings already assembled from painting, I started attaching the front wings, and as the instructions say, the tabs on them overlap in the plane. Make sure that when putting them in, put the left wing in first and then put the right one in making sure that the tab on the left wing stays on the bottom. After gluing them I had taped them to make sure they didn’t move, but the wings started pulling the same junk another model of mine was doing of where they were literally pulling the tape off of the main body. I finally got them onto a little jig made of some paint cans to support the wings and the plane itself resting on a BB gun ammo container and a glue bottle. It went better with the tail wings, and they too overlap in the plane. As before, make sure the left wing is on the bottom and the right on the top.
Moving on to the landing gear, I slid the main gear into place along with what looks to be some of the hydraulic pistons. After they cured, I started attaching the various armor bits and the TINY hydraulics. I don’t have tweezers is probably why I had a problem with some of the pieces, so you guys with tweezers out there, it should go a lot easier for you. Those dried, so I moved on to the front landing gear, which thankfully was easier. I just had to attach the armored gear doors and a couple little pistons and let it dry. When all the gear dried I attached the wheels and left the plane upside down so they wouldn’t splay out.
The next day I then attached the “pave penny” pod onto the side of the plane and then attached the windscreen to the plane. The rear part is molded for looking like it is open, so I glued the inward frame piece and then attached it to the plane. Thankfully I did a forward facing view to check on the wings and noticed the canopy was slightly crooked so I fixed it straight.
Going to the armaments, I decided to do a mix of 5 cluster bombs, both maverick missile holders with 2 missiles each, the jamming pod, and both napalm containers. I had to attach all the bomb holders to the bottoms of the wings and then all the little pins that would be holding the various items. All the bombs, containers, missiles, and the jamming pod were molded in 2 halves. I took one half and then glued them prior to painting so when painted, the seams would be covered. All of the parts assembled well with only the napalm containers needed being taped until the glue was hard enough. When all the parts were painted, I then started attaching the armaments onto the holders, with the exception of the mavericks. Those first needed to be mounted onto their own special holders and then mounted onto the bomb mounts. Care needs to be taken that you get the bombs and containers on just right or they will be crooked.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I started off by painting the main cockpit piece Model Masters enamel Light Ghost Gray, and then went on and painted some of the seat framing Testors Olive Drab, (I hand paint most of the smaller parts by the way). For the seat, I painted the part where your back would be Testors Flat Tan, and the headrest was the olive drab again and a red stripe down between the two cushions. And with Jeff, I painted his main outfit olive drab and his gloves, boots, and air hose a mix between Testors flat and gloss black. His helmet was painted the light ghost grey. As with the various straps on him.
For the landing gear, the kit was calling for a satin white, but that just didn’t look right in my mind, so I went with Testors Metal Aluminum. I’ve had the bottle ever since my first model, and painting it onto landing gear makes them almost look like they just came off the assembly line. For the wheels I painted them the metal aluminum too, and painted the tires gloss black. Being that this is a more modern plane I figured the tires would probably be glossier than a WWII era plane.
For the lighter gray on the fuselage, I used Model Masters Light Gull Gray from a rattle can, and for the darker grey it was Model Masters Gunship Gray, also from a rattle can. I find when it comes to rattle can paints that Model Masters paints to not run like regular Testors rattle can paints do. For the engine exhausts, I used the Testors Metal aluminum yet again.
When I was doing the front turbine parts, I had painted the cone in the middle first and then went to paint the black, but it started smearing the metal aluminum. At first I thought I was going to have to find a way to get the paint off of there, but then I continued smearing it a bit and found that it made the turbine blades look more like they had actually been used. I then repainted the cone in the middle.
For the markings, being that I went with the “Let’s Roll” variant, I did the two tone color scheme, and to get the colors, I used masking tape to cover the light grey and then painted the darker on. The canopy and windscreen were masked too, and then painted the gunship gray.
Going to the decals, knowing Revell, they were thin, but had excellent color and stayed on well. The instructions can be a little vague on where to put the decals exactly. Warning, if doing the “lets roll” variant, the instructions require you to put some dark brown decals on the bottom where the front landing gear is. There is an antenna molded into the plane that when the main decal is put on, you will have to cut a slit in the decal where the antenna is.
Conclusion: This model was fun to build. I’m normally not that good at doing planes, but it seems this is the best I’ve done so far. I highly recommend this to anyone that would want a pretty famous jet in their plane collection. The skill level on the box for this kit is a 4, which in my mind is pretty accurate given how much detail is in this when it comes to the landing gear and various other parts.
References: The only website I went to was Wikipedia. All the markings were copied from the instructions.
Jacob Hendershott (e-mail link not posted by request)
13 February 2018
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