Airfix 1/72 TA-7C Corsair II

KIT #: ?
PRICE: 1988: 7s 6d
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard

Conversion A: using two A7E Kits to produce a TA7C.        Conversion B: Airfix A7E + Falcon conversion fuselage


LTV company has been trying since 1966 to interest both the Navy and the Air Force in the tandem two-seat version of the A-7 Corsair. The two-seat Corsair II was converted from a standard A7E airframe by LTV to demonstrate the feasibility of the configuration for training and/or combat.  Work on Corsair Bu No 156801 started in February 1972 and first flight took 6 months later on the29th of August. Since the first flight it was demonstrated on many occasions to key USAF and USN personnel. The conversion on the Corsair introduced two new parts to the standard A-7E so that the fuselage increased in length by 34 inches (0.47”), i.e. 16 inches (0.22“) forward of wing location and 18 inches (0.25”) aft. The rear fuselage was given an upward tilt of a little over 1 and 1/3 degrees. This will maintain suitable clearance when the aircraft is in the take off run.

The TA-7 as came to be known, was 500 Lb heavier apart from being longer than the ‘E’ model. The rear cockpit, which accommodated the instructor, was raised above the forward one and a new upper fuselage and dorsal fairing added. A housing was added to the rear fuselage to fit a landing drag chute located at the base of the fin. The forward cockpit was unchanged from the A-7E and the rear has full primary and secondary controls for take-off, navigation and landing on carrier decks or concrete runways. The canopy is a one-piece moulding hinged on the starboard fuselage. A rear protection shield is provided between the cockpits to give the rear occupant protection in the event of emergency ejection. The production version was fitted with a standard radome. Following the success of the TA-7 conversion and good performance, 24 TA-7 were eventually converted from A-7B and 36 from A-7C that formed two A-7 units.


 Long before the recent release of the 1/72 scale kit No 87209 by Hobby Boss there were two ways to produce the TA-7. Either by building one from two Airfix kits and fit an Airmodel cockpit canopy or by utilising the Falcon TA-7 vac-form kit conversion. In both cases it involves what can be regarded as a major conversion. The Airfix kit was basically used in each case. Description of the Airfix A-7E appears in previous kit reviews at the ‘Kit Review Index.’


 Conversion A.

Two A-7 kits were required to obtain the new fuselage extensions. In my case I used a brand new Airfix A-7 and parts from another scrapped one. The two fuselage halves are first cemented together leaving out the ducting part 1 and part 2, bulkhead 5 and the cockpit components parts 3 and 4. A razor saw cut out marked lines on both halves of another fuselage into three sections. These sections are placed on one side and the intake ducting from both kits was cut into 4 sections (see sketch). The ones shown in red are discarded and the remaining parts are cemented together as depicted in the sketch, which resulted into a lengthened duct of an overall length of 2.04 inches long. At the rear of this duct bulkhead 5 was then cemented.

The second part of the conversion consisted of lengthening the fuselage by inserting the extensions at the forward and at the rear of the fuselage, the rear fuselage being at a slight tilt upward as mentioned earlier. Cutting the rear insert section slightly wider at the bottom does this. The four fuselage half inserts (these are shown in red, see drawing) are now glued to the fuselage from the other kit, which was also parted accordingly. The rest follows the kit instructions and also involves building the second crew accommodation, inserting a second seat, coaming, side and front instruments and control stick. These are built u from plastic card cut or bent to shape. Having detailed the interior and painted interior grey with touches of black. The drag parachute housing at the base of the fin at rear is made from a shaped piece of sprue. Any blemishes or slight stagger at the seams is corrected by fairing with Plasto filler followed by sanding. The undercarriage is assembled according to kit instructions. The clear canopy came from a cockpit canopy set issued by Airmodel.

 Conversion B

 The second TA7 was a more straightforward build. This involved using the Falcon TA7 vac form fuselage, which was part of a triple conversion from a Falcon set. Detailing the cockpit office was the only additional work needed and the rest was assembled as per instruction sheet.


 The TA7 in the first conversion represented a TA-7C 156795/204 trainer attached to VA-122 aboard USS Lexington . This was completed in standard Gull grey/ white colors. The second TA7C 154424/466 AD was completed in overall tone down grey attached to attack squadron VA-174 based at NAS Cecil Field. I used Maintrack (UK) decals that proved timely issued for this conversion.


 Both conversion kit builds proved challenging but in each case a fine model was produced of a high performance trainer/ multi role combat type. It was several years that had to pass before an injection-molded kit of the type was eventually released. Both kits were built prior to 1988.

Carmel J. Attard

August 2011

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