Monogram 1/48 OA-4M Skyhawk






Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


OOP since 1996


Ever since the Vietnam war, the USMC have been using what's known as FASTFAC aircraft; basically fast forward air control planes. This started with surplus F9F-8T trainers that had been modified for the role with extra radio equipment and under-wing hard points for rockets. The later developed into the TA-4F when the Cougars were no longer available. The TA-4F was also equipped with wing pylons and twin guns. When all of the tactical stuff was removed from the planes, these were then known as TA-4Js and became the most widely used of the Skyhawk family.

Twenty three TA-4Fs were further modified into advanced FAC aircraft with improved navigation and communication equipment in the dorsal hump. This meant modifying the cockpit canopy as well, though all the hard points and weapons capabilities of the TA-4F were retained. As with all other Skyhawk variants, these have since been retired from US service and are now in the bone yard awaiting destruction or being parted out to keep foreign Scooters flying.



It doesn't take a genius to see that much of this kit is based on the previous Monogram A-4E/F. In fact, other than the new fuselage and extra bits to make it an OA-4M, this is pretty well the same kit. That means a fairly well detailed cockpit, a pair of figures and a new weapons set, complete with Shrike missiles.

As with the previous kit, there are lowered slats and flaps. The speed brake can be posed open and the cockpit canopy can be displayed open. You also get a boarding ladder and two crew figures. No decals for the cockpit on this one as all the detailing is raised and ready for some realistic painting and drybrushing.

Instructions are typical of Monogram kits and quite good. Paint colors are given as both generic and, where applicable, by FS 595 numbers. The overall scheme itself is the Tactical Paint Scheme of  FS 36320, 36375, and 36495. Decals are provided for just one aircraft from H&MS-11 from MCAS Yuma, AZ. The decals themselves are typical of many Monogram kits in that they are thick and glossy. However, they do work and to my knowledge there are no aftermarket options for the OA-4M.



You want a 1/48 OA-4M, then this is the one to get. To my knowledge, other than the Fujimi 1/50 kit, no one else has one or is even planning to do a twin seat Skyhawk. Frankly, I don't know why and I'd much rather build the two seater than the single seat version any day. Despite this one being out of production, they can still be found without too much trouble from the second hand kit market and from swap meets. Below is a photo of a model of this kit I built in the mid 1980s. It now resides in the San Diego Aerospace Museum model collection.

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